Garden Mint Soap Recipe

Garden Mint Soap Cold Process Soap Recipe (palm free)


This mint soap recipe is another personal favorite! The French green clay helps soothe skin irritations, while the peppermint essential oil energizes and refreshes the senses.

I use fresh mint from my garden to make this, but you can also use dried. Any type of mint that you have on hand will work in this recipe: peppermint, spearmint, pineapple mint, apple mint, orange mint and so forth.

This is a Cold Process Soap recipe.

Instructions for making soap can be found in my post Soap Making 101. I also recommend my ebook: Natural Soap Making: Cold Process Basics & Recipes, for more in-depth information, details on coloring soaps naturally, how to read a lye calculator, 25 of my favorite palm-free recipes, and more!

Natural Soap Making 275 px

 Garden Mint Soap

You can buy all of these oils and butters at Mountain Rose Herbs. I buy lye from my local Tractor Supply store or you can order from BrambleBerry.com.

To infuse the water, add handfuls of fresh (or dried) mint leaves to a jar and pour simmering hot water over them. When it’s cool enough to handle, move the jar to the refrigerator and allow it to steep for several more hours. Strain, then proceed as directed in the post Soap Making 101.

At trace add:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons French green clay (where to buy)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons peppermint essential oil (This amount is for when I use the NOW brand which is on the fairly weak side. You may need less than this if you have a very strongly scented oil.)

This recipe is sized to fit a homemade 5 lb wooden loaf mold. The inner dimensions are roughly: 16″ long  x  3.75″ wide x  4.75″ tall.

If you have a different mold in mind, here’s a great site that will tell you how to calculate how big a batch of soap you should make for the size mold you have. Remember you can easily adjust amounts using a lye calculator.

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You may also like:

Ideas for Using Fresh Mint | Using Fresh Mint to Make Salves & Lip Balm | Rosa Rugosa Soap

Ideas for Using Fresh Mint   Using Fresh Mint to Make Lip Balm & Salve   Rosa Rugosa Homemade Palm Free Soap Recipe

 

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69 Responses to Garden Mint Soap Recipe

  1. Maureen Russell says:

    Hi Jan
    I have been waiting for this soap because I have so much mint in the garden. Besides making the tea could I also add some dry peppermint to the soap. How does dry peppermint behave in saponified soap. Does it stay green or turn brown?? Does the French green clay give any color to the soap?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Maureen, The French green clay gives a light green tint to the soap. (My bars are greener than the picture shows, but I should’ve added a bit more to really make the green show up better.) I also have a lot of good luck using chlorella powder to color soap a deeper green. I’ve not added a lot of leaves & petals to soap, but I’ve seen some nice bars with mint leaves in them. You could try a small portion and see how they hold up for you! :)

  2. Beth Reynolds says:

    Can you make the mint tea in advance and store it till you actually have time to make the soap 😉

    • Jan says:

      Hi Beth! Yes, you sure can! You can keep it for a few days in the refrigerator or you can store it in the freezer for several months (like you would the juice, for making jelly at a later date.)

  3. Karen B says:

    I love mint soap (I often make it with peppermint EO, not with tea), but it never comes out this white. Is that because of your high percentage of coconut oil? Typically the olive oil will turn it greenish-yellow. I’m loving all of these recipes. Thanks so much!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Karen! Much to my chagrin, the photo made the soap look whiter than it actually is. I need to try to get a better photo in less glaring light. (It’s on my to-do list.) :) The French green clay gives it a nice pale green tone that darkens a bit as it ages, but I also used light olive oil for this batch, instead of extra virgin, plus a good amount of coconut oil – so without the clay it would be rather white. I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

  4. Debbie says:

    Hi Jan
    Could this recipe work with a purchased goat milk base? adding the clay?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Debbie! Yes, clay should be a great addition to goat milk base. You could try adding a tablespoon or two of clay per pound and adjust from there.

  5. Patty says:

    Hello,
    My friend and I are relatively new to soap making. We made a nice soap about 3 weeks ago with Hemp seed oil. It’s a lovely shade of green. I am going to try the same recipe in the spring with mint from my garden. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  6. Delene says:

    Could you use bentonite clay in a hot process soap recipe? Maybe a tablespoon or two per pound?

  7. Sydney says:

    Hi,
    I’m making soap for chemistry and I really want to make this one. The only thing is, I don’t know what French Green Day is and where to find it. Can you give me some stores that would have it? Thank you!

  8. Sydney says:

    Oh sorry, I read that wrong, clay looked like day at first glance. Sorry to bother you.

  9. This is super-fatted at 5% and I know it’s a very highly conditioning, cleansing, hard bar too. It will create lots of foaming lather! Love it!!!!

  10. Jace Honey says:

    can you use french green clay powder? and where did you get your clay? And mango butter? where did you get that? and is there a substitute?

    • Jan says:

      Hi, yes! I use French green clay powder in this recipe. I buy it from MountainRoseHerbs.com. You can also buy mango butter from there or brambleberry.com. If you don’t want to use mango, you can also use shea butter or cocoa butter or even another oil if you’d like, but you’ll need to rerun the new amounts through a lye calculator: https://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php

  11. i want to now the steps as soon as possible please

  12. Shirley says:

    Hello Ladies:
    I have read some of the Recipes on different types of bar soaps. From what I saw, its a recipe using the **cold process **. Than, I saw another Website using the ** hot cooking process **. What would be easier for me ( as a New Starter) to start trying? – the Cold Process or the Hot Process?
    I love the Scent of Mint, Oatmeal, Peppermint, and my favorite, Lavender.
    Its so hard to find the real ** Lavender flowers and stems **, could I use the Lavender Oil instead? and that also applies to the ** other scents that I have mentioned shown above**. Would love to hear from several of you. Many thanks in advance, Shirley

    • Jan says:

      Hi Shirley!

      You can use the same recipe for cold process as hot process. With the cold process (CP), you pour your raw soap into a mold after it reaches “trace” (thick enough to leave an imprint when you drizzle some of it across the surface) but with hot process (HP) you keep cooking it (I use a crock pot) for about an hour more and THEN pour into the mold. With both, you let the soap sit in the mold for a day to harden. With CP, you wait another 4 to 6 weeks for the bar to fully cure. It gets harder and gentler. With HP, you can use it the next day, but it’s on the softer side and it won’t last as long. Both ways are valid ways – it just depends on if you want fast soap or you can wait a while! :) I think hot process is a bit easier as far as cleanup too.

      You can use lavender essential oil instead of real lavender. Real pieces of lavender will quickly lose their scent, so for a scented bar, you really need to use the essential oil. If you’re not adverse to chemicals in your soap, there are fragrance oils available too. I suggest you check out brambleberry.com – they have a selection of both, plus a fragrance calculator that you can use to determine how much you need to use.

      Have fun making your soap! :)

  13. Ron says:

    Can you tell me how many standards size bars of soap this recipe will make? Thank you.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Ron! This recipe is sized for a 5 lb loaf mold that is 16 inches long (inner dimension), so your big loaf of uncut soap will be 16 inches long as well. I always calculate that the ends may have to be cut off because of wrinkles in the parchment paper lining, leaving about 14 or 15 inches. If you’d like your bars to be about 1 inch thick, then you’ll get 14 or 15 bars.

  14. Tanya Selth says:

    “If you’re not adverse to chemicals in your soap, there are fragrance oils available too”

    Fragrance oils should NEVER be used on the skin, they arent designed or tested to be.

    • Jan says:

      It’s good to check with the manufacturer to know for what use they’ve created the type of fragrance oil you choose.
      From Brambleberry’s FAQS: http://www.brambleberry.com/Fragrance-Oil-Information-W33.aspx

      Q: Can I use your fragrances in my lotions? What about my bath fizzies and stuff?
      A: Yes, all of our fragrances are safe to use in all manner of soap and toiletry items (except edible products).

      Q: Why do I have to use special fragrances for my lip balms?
      A: You need specially approved flavors and fragrances for lip balms because you “eat” your lip balm. Therefore, it falls under a separate classification and all the ingredients must be “GRAS” (Generally Recognized As Safe) for eating.

  15. Maria says:

    Hi there. I am fairly new to soap making; I have certainly been inspired by your creations. I just made some infused dandelion oil and forsythia oil. I discovered some mint in my yard and I am thinking to make some tea to add to my soaps. I know the dandelion has healing properties but the mint tea…will it help the scent of the soap or can you tell me what the purpose is of all the “teas and infusions” ? Healing? Scent? Thanks a bunch. (I love the fact that I can utilize nature around me, just curious of how it affects my soaps/lotion bars.) Thanks again : )

    • Jan says:

      Hi Maria! Mint infused oil will keep its scent in things like salves and lip balms, but it doesn’t really carry through the soap process & neither will the mint tea. It’s possible that some flowers and herbs lend beneficial properties to soap, but in other cases – it’s just added for fun and as a way to use up a bountiful harvest. Some herbs, like chamomile, will carry a light yellow tone and scent to your final soap, a strong violet leaf infusion can lend a green tint, while many others don’t seem to alter the final color. Soap making is a creative process filled with experimentation and discovery & for me, flowers/herbs play a big part in it! :)

  16. Is it possible to add or exchange goat milk out for one of the oils in this recipe? I would really like to make goat milk soap. I’m new to soap making… doing my research before I start. Any advice on the goat milk with this recipe would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Sandi, One of the things I want to write about in the near future is making milk soaps. Basically though, you make them similar to regular soaps as in my Soap Making 101 post here: http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/soap-making-101-making-cold-process-soap/ but you use milk instead of water. (So in this recipe, milk instead of mint tea.) Because the milk heats up so fast when lye is added, you should freeze the milk until it’s a slushy texture before you add lye. These lower temperatures are so the milk sugars won’t scorch and turn your soap dark brown. You also keep it the mold uncovered (or even stick it in the refrigerator or freezer for 12 to 24 hours) so the soap won’t overheat and crack.

  17. Audrey says:

    I just made the mint soap. My mint tea was quite dark…an orangey-brown. The tea was very concentrated. At pouring the soap was a light caramel color. I also didn’t add the clay. I was hoping for a more whitish color. The tea was room temperature. Should I have chilled the tea or maybe even frozen it to a slush to have a whiter bar of soap?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Audrey! Depending on how strong your tea is, it could slightly affect the end color of the bar. For example, with the photos of my Rosa Rugosa Soap –
      http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/rosa-rugosa-soap-recipe-palm-free/
      I used a lot of darker pink and red roses to make the tea in that batch. My bar ended up the creamy color shown, whereas it usually ends up white, when I use lighter roses/tea color.
      Once you slice it and let the bars air dry, you should see a gradual lightening over cure time, but there’s a good chance they will be more cream than white.
      I think using a less strong tea will be the way to go next time. Freezing it to a slush is a great idea too!

  18. Christine says:

    Can you use something else other than lye?

  19. simcha says:

    I made the mint soap the bars melt really fast and I would like to make a harder bar what do I add to make a harder bar

    • Jan says:

      Hi Simcha! I do find that palm free recipes aren’t always quite as hard as ones made with palm oil, but this recipe shouldn’t melt up that fast for you. Here are some ideas on how to get a harder bar of soap:
      1.) Check that your lye is fresh. (Clumpy lye has been exposed to water and won’t measure correctly, leaving you with a soft bar.)
      2.) Use more “hard” oils. Hard oils would be tallow, lard, palm, cocoa butter. Olive oil is a soft/hard oil. It starts off soft, but will harden as it cures. You could replace the avocado oil with one of those hard oils.
      3.) You can increase the coconut oil, since that’s a hard oil too, but too much could leave your skin dry.
      3.) You can add about 1% melted beeswax to your soap, at trace, or add stearic acid (1/8 ounce per pound of oils) to your recipe.
      4.) You can use less lye. My recipes are superfatted at 6%; you could drop down to 5%.
      5.) You can add salt to your water portion to increase hardness. I haven’t tried that (other than salt bars) so don’t have precise amounts. Too much salt though will cut your lather.
      I hope one of those ideas help!

  20. cheryl says:

    Can anyone tell me where I can get these ingredients?? Cheap

    • Jan says:

      Hi Cheryl! You can get oils like olive & coconut from your grocery store. The others can usually be found at health stores or online. (The cheapest online would probably be amazon.com or brambleberry.com) If you don’t want to fool with the fancy oils that are harder to find – you can take a recipe that uses just olive and coconut like this one: http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/oatmeal-honey-soap-recipe-palm-free-gluten-free/ and instead of using plain water, use mint tea and instead of putting oats and honey at the end, just put in peppermint essential oil & green clay, if you want the color.

  21. cheryl says:

    Thanx Jan!!!! I used to do melt n pour!!! Would like to try different soap making methods!!! Will try

  22. Judy Eppley says:

    I really want to make soap instead of buying it at festivals and quaint little shops. I want to follow your instructions too.

  23. Laura says:

    What is the benefit of using the mint tea? Does it contribute to the scent at all? I don’t have the essential oils but I do have a ton of mint in my yard. I was hoping to scent soap with it.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Laura! It’s unknown if any of the benefits of herbs make it through the soap making process, but even if they don’t, it’s fun to add as a creative ingredient. Most herbs and flowers won’t keep their scent through the process though. So, fresh mint won’t scent your soap – only the essential oil can do that. You can however, make a mildly mint scented oil and make lip balm and salve using it – the how to is here: http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/using-fresh-mint-to-make-lip-balms-salve/

  24. Joy says:

    Is there a particular type of mint that I can grow in my garden to make this?

  25. Nick says:

    I made this soap today!! I am pretty new to the soaping scene! I omitted the green clay only because I didn’t have it on hand, and I didn’t have mint tea, so I used green tea. At thin trace I mixed in the green tea grounds, and I am super satisfied with the way it looks, I also used half Peppermint EO and half Lemon grass EO.. It will be really hard for me to wait a month to try. :) Thanks so much for the recipe! :)

  26. olivia says:

    Good day Mr Jan,
    I would like to produce 100%bio product, not using lye but however make lye from scratch with ashes and also using one or two carrier oil for the entire process. the inconvenient in Africa is that we have everything in raw material and different shapes, for example olive oil or castor oil are not really common in Cameroon.
    could you help me adjust the recipe with this consideration?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Olivia! I haven’t tried making my own lye with ashes (though I do want to!), so I’m not sure exact amounts on those. What types of oils do you have available where you live? If you let me know, then perhaps we can adjust the recipe to better fit what you have on hand and then you can more easily figure out the lye amounts from there.

  27. olivia says:

    Thank you for the prompt response. I would like to base my recipe on palm; avocado oil; shea butter and coconut oil. However; i would like to focus on palm oil and avocado.
    Thank you and have a good day.

  28. Roberta Apple says:

    Jan,
    Can you substitute mango butter for shea butter?
    I just happen to have some on hand.
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful soap recipes with us.

  29. irene says:

    Hi Jan, how long I need to cure this soap?

  30. Robin says:

    Jan, I have always read that using Lye is very dangerous and that you have to be careful of fumes.

    Your instructions lead me to believe that it is, indeed, safe to use.

    That being said, does your equipment (crockpot, utensils, etc.) need to be dedicated to soap making? I have dabbled in soap making using glycerin bases, but find those not to be exactly what I am looking for.

    Thanks for your wonderful advice. :)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Robin! Lye does need to be treated with respect and carefulness, but yes, you’re right! It can be safe to handle, when used properly. It’s not much different than handling other strong household chemicals such as bleach. I do use dedicated soap making equipment, though I know other soap makers don’t. I think it may be a personal level of comfort thing – but I feel better not cross-using things. If you do try soap making out – I hope you enjoy it! :)

  31. Diann says:

    soap making is a new adventure for me and I can’t wait to get started. My question is how and what do you use to clean your bowl, pitcher or stick blender with after using lye in them?
    Love your blog – So much helpful information!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Diann, I’m happy that you like the blog! For cleanup – You can either wipe things out immediately after use with paper towels or rags, keeping in mind raw soap is still really alkaline so you still need gloves & caution for that method, OR what I usually do – set everything that touched the raw soap batter aside for 24 hours. After that time, the lye is pretty much neutralized and you can just soak everything in warm water and it will wash away like regular soap does, no gloves required. For the pitcher and cup I use to measure lye and lye solution, I just rinse out well in plain water and set them aside to air dry on wax paper, then store up with my other soap making supplies when dry. One thing I learned (the VERY hard and expensive way!) is to never throw anything with raw soap batter in your dishwasher. The kitchen pipes will not fare well over time! I hope you have a wonderful time with your soap making adventure! :)

  32. Joy says:

    I thought I’d let you know that my Tractor Supply does not carry lye in their stores. However, I saw online that Lowe’s had a drain cleaner that was 100% lye. It showed 10 available. However, when I went to purchase it, there was only 1 on the shelf. I guarantee they only put out one at a time, as my location is kind-of-like the meth capital. Sad, I know. Also, Bramble Berry’s lye is cheaper to purchase, if you have other things to buy to make up for the shipping costs.

    • Jan says:

      Thanks Joy – Bramble Berry is a great source for lye (and lots of other goodies!) Amazon has some too. That’s good to know about your Tractor Supply not carrying lye. I went in my local store to buy some yesterday – and they were out! Hopefully, they restock it soon though.

  33. Connie Bolton says:

    Would love to try this soap as well as the Aloe Rose recipe. I have some grapeseed oil and some kukui nut oil which a friend purchases for me. I have never used these in making soap and was wondering if they could be used successfully to sub for any of the oils I these two recipes?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Connie! I rarely use grapeseed (the shelf life is so short) and haven’t tried kukui nut oil in soap to know for sure, but from what I’ve read they can be used as a small part of a soap recipe. This link has good info on each:
      http://candleandsoap.about.com/od/soapmakingoils/tp/qualitiesofsoapmakingoils.01.htm
      For the Aloe Rose soap – I would think that you could sub those two in place of meadowfoam and apricot kernel perhaps. For the Garden Mint soap – I’d probably try swapping out the mango butter for kukui nut oil and some (maybe all?) of the avocado oil with grapeseed. These are just guesses though, based on what I’d try first. They don’t always work out, but usually do! :)

  34. Karen says:

    I have “European” Clay-is that the same as French Green clay?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Karen, I’m not sure since I haven’t heard of a clay called that before. If it’s green colored though, it’s a good chance that it is the same or similar!

      • Karen says:

        I’ll give a try and let you know! Also can this recipe be halved? Ty!!

        • Karen says:

          I’m new at using lye calculators but I halved the oils and got 11.78 oz of water/tea and 4.52 oz lye?

          • Jan says:

            Hi Karen! That’s right on target for a 5% superfat. (I do most of mine at 6% superfat, but 5% is great too.) I usually decrease the water even more though when making palm free soaps so they firm up a little faster in the mold. So, I’d probably use 10 oz of water/tea.

        • Jan says:

          It sure can! Good luck with the recipe! :)

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