Garden Mint Soap Recipe
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.
You can find an overview and directions to make soap in my Soap Making 101 article or check out my Handmade Natural Soaps eBook Collection.
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Garden Mint Soap
- 4 ounces (113 grams) Avocado Oil
- 24 ounces (680 grams) Coconut Oil
- 28 ounces (794 grams) Olive Oil
- 4 ounces (113 grams) Castor Oil
- 2 ounces (57 grams) Mango Butter
- 9.0 ounces (255 grams) lye (sodium hydroxide)
- 19 ounces (539 grams) cooled mint-infused water (mint tea)
All measurements are by weight. You must have an accurate scale to make soap.
To infuse the water, add handfuls of fresh (or dried) mint leaves to a jar and pour simmering hot water over them. Steep for about ten minutes, but not too long or your tea will be too dark and will affect final soap color. Strain, cool further if needed, then proceed as directed in the post Soap Making 101.
At trace add:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons French green clay diluted with 3 tablespoons water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) peppermint essential 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, this article should be helpful:
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?
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! :)
Can you make the mint tea in advance and store it till you actually have time to make the soap ;)
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.)
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!
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!
Could this recipe work with a purchased goat milk base? adding the clay?
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.
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!
What a great idea – that sounds like it will make a wonderful soap!
Could you use bentonite clay in a hot process soap recipe? Maybe a tablespoon or two per pound?
Hi Delene! I think it should work just as well in hot process soap recipes.
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!
Oh sorry, I read that wrong, clay looked like day at first glance. Sorry to bother you.
No problem! :) Good luck with your chemistry project!
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!!!!
Thanks Riens Handmade Soap! It’s one of my personal favorites! :)
i want to now the steps as soon as possible please
Hi! An overview of the basic steps to make soap can be found here: https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/soap-making-101-making-cold-process-soap/
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
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! :)
Can you tell me how many standards size bars of soap this recipe will make? Thank you.
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.
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 : )
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! :)
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.
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: https://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.
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?
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 –
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!
Can you use something else other than lye?
Hi Christine! Without lye, the oils would just stay oils and not turn into soap.
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
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!
Can anyone tell me where I can get these ingredients?? Cheap
Hi Cheryl! You can get oils like olive & coconut from your grocery store. The others can usually be found at health stores or online. 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: https://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.
Thanx Jan!!!! I used to do melt n pour!!! Would like to try different soap making methods!!! Will try
I really want to make soap instead of buying it at festivals and quaint little shops. I want to follow your instructions too.
That’s great! Good luck and happy soap making!
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.
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: https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/using-fresh-mint-to-make-lip-balms-salve/
Is there a particular type of mint that I can grow in my garden to make this?
Hi Joy! You can use any type of mint to make this soap. The main scent comes from the peppermint essential oil you add at trace.
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! :)
Hi Nick! I’m so glad that you liked the recipe. It sounds like you came up with a fantastic version! :)
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?
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.
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.
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.
Hi Roberta, You sure can! :)
Hi Jan, how long I need to cure this soap?
Hi Irene! I cure cold process soaps for four to six weeks, but start testing them on myself around three weeks.
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. :)
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! :)
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!
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! :)
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.
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.
I have “European” Clay-is that the same as French Green clay?
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!
I’ll give a try and let you know! Also can this recipe be halved? Ty!!
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?
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.
It sure can! Good luck with the recipe! :)
I don’t have mango butter. Would cocoa or shay work? This looks fun! Also, have you ever used any cooking spices as colorants?
Hi Joni! Shea or cocoa butter would also work in this recipe. I do like to experiment with spices as colorants!
Can I substitute saflower or grapeseed oil for avocado? I wanted to make this soap but no avocado.
I have tons of lard, grapeseed,olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oils.
Hi Joni! I haven’t tried that combination before, I think it would work out to swap grapeseed for the avocado. (Soft oil for a soft oil.) From another angle though, lard might work nicely instead, since it can replace some of the qualities that palm oil would normally contribute.
Jan, this is the next soap on my list to try in a few weeks when it’s a bit cooler outside. I let my mint go to bloom this year and when I picked a bunch to dry a few weeks ago, I also dried the flowers. They seem to have more mint smell then the leaves. Could I infuse the blooms to make the tea for this recipe or even in some olive oil? I dried and stored them separately from the leaves. Thank you <3
Hi Annie! Yes, you can infuse the flowers too. The scent of mint will stick around (possibly faintly unless you do a double infusion) for lip balms and salves, but for soap it won’t carry through to the final bar. I like to add peppermint essential oil to make up for that. (Bramble Berry is going to have your best price for larger bottles of essential oil for soap making. At least as far as I’ve found so far!) I LOVE this soap recipe probably better than all of the others ones I’ve made. I keep coming back to it, year after year, because I love the combination of the clay and peppermint oil. It’s very refreshing! I hope you like it too! :)
One more note – I don’t think I mentioned it here in the recipe, but if you infuse your tea too long and it turns a very dark brown, it might affect the end color of the soap. So, if you want your green to be true, make sure your tea is a lighter color. :)
Oh thank you for telling me about the tea color. I was using my Amazon free shipping and ordering my things from them, but two oils and a glass measuring cup were damaged in 3 different shipments, which they did refund me on but after that I went ahead and did an order with Bramble Berry last night. I have everything I need for this soap, I’m just waiting for the weather to get cooler so I don’t have to worry, fuss and fret so much over temp and humidity. :)
I’m so sorry about all those shipping losses you had! I’m glad you’re all set for supplies now! Let me know how your soap turns out! :)
I am new to this whole soap making thing, but I am fascinated by it! It is a little confusing but I am anxious to get started. Wish me luck!
Good luck! You can do it! :)
I goofed big time Jan, I made a 5 pound batch of the mint soap this afternoon and had the prettiest swirl design on top. I placed cardboard on top to cover the mold and I didn’t think I added too many blankets but when I checked it 1 1/2 hours later it was cracked all the way down the middle. I freaked (this is only my third batch of soap) I thought I could use the chopstick to stir the top and make it pretty again. Well it looks awful. So I guess I get to do my first rebatch tomorrow night. With this peppermint, what is the best idea for liquid? I thought canned goats milk but I don’t use animal products in my house and that might not be a good idea. What are your thoughts???
I didn’t goof!! The bars came out nice and firm and the top reminds me of a rough marble so I decided not to rebatch. I think it’s a total success. :)
Oh Hooray!! I’m so happy to hear that! :)
Hi Annie R, I have done the same thing before! What I do now though is take a glove and lightly press it back together. Then uncover and let it cool down a little. I don’t use milk in a rebatch because I’m afraid it will spoil at that point. (It might be possible though, that’s just my instinct talking, not cold hard facts.) :)
Hi,Jan instead of mint tea,can I use mint infused olive oil???
Hi Prachi! Yes, you can use mint infused oil instead. Neither the tea nor the oil will help scent the final soap though, so if you’d like a minty smell, you’ll want to keep the peppermint essential oil in the recipe.
Thank you Jan, I love peppermint eo and definitely plan to use it..☺
Hi I’m going to make my own soap eventually I have coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, caster oil, bentonite clay, peppermint EO and melt and pour is this OK? X
Hi Stace! The melt & pour can be used all by itself to make soap, like this post:
You can add some peppermint essential oil and clay to the melt & pour base to personalize it.
If you want to make soap completely from scratch, you’re all set with the other ingredients (coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, clay & EO), all you need is lye (sodium hydroxide). You can find high quality food grade lye by Essential Depot on Amazon, but it does take some caution in handling, similar to other strong household chemicals such as bleach & ammonia. (Without lye, the oils won’t turn into soap. With melt & pour, a factory handled the lye part first, so you don’t have to, but for a from-scratch soap, you have to mix the lye part.)
tells the basics of making soap
and a good starter recipe that uses just coconut oil and olive oil is:
Good luck with your soap making! :)
Im anxious to try my first batch. I have seen tons of videos and read lots not he cold process I’m getting braver every day. I purchased your ebook and read the part about the “cleanup”. Thats my real concern. Some soapers mention to leave all working supplies in a large bucket, cover and clean in a couple of days whereas you mention wiping and easing under cold water right away.
What is the best method. Should I wipe down counters, supplies, sink using vinegar? Like all beginners, with the fear of lye…I want to be sure I’m not contaminating the kitchen area by not doing it right…ugh! Sorry probably a silly question. HELP!
Hi Gina! How exciting that you’re so close to making soap! Once you try it – I think you’ll be so glad you did. :)
It’s definitely a smart idea to think about cleanup before you get started.
I’ve done and recommend both methods. The easiest (and my favorite) way, is to just set the dirty equipment aside for a day or two and then it will just rinse away like soap.
If you’re in a hurry, you can wipe the equipment down with paper towels or rags, while wearing gloves, and then wash (but I don’t use cold water – I use warm water and a grease-cutting detergent like Dawn, in case there are any traces left after wiping.)
I wipe down my counters with a rag or paper towel dampened with plain water. You could use diluted vinegar too however, if it makes you feel more assured.
Good luck with your soap making adventures!
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