This pretty double-sided bar of Minty Poppy Seed Scrubby Soap has one end that’s scrubby and one side that’s minty fresh for a bit of end-of-summer tootsy scrubbing. If your summers (and feet) are anything like mine, you likely need it! These bars are also fantastic for gardeners or anybody who regularly gets their hands proper dirty, so I’m sure you’ll have no trouble gifting them as we head into fall harvest season.
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If you’re familiar with cold process soap making, you’ll find these bars come together quite easily. You can use a loaf mould or a cavity mould—it’s all up to you! You will need extra indigo powder if you choose a cavity mould, though, as you’ll have more surface area to cover with your seaming.
The scrubby layer gets its scrubby kick from some ground pumice, which gives the layer a rather greyish tone, and some pretty black poppyseeds. The top layer is a pretty turquoise, thanks to the addition of a lovely turquoise mica that gets its hue from hydrated chromium green chromium oxide (which you could use instead of the mica). YellowBee sent me this mica, it’s part of their new line of micas (there are so many and they’re so pretty!).
The essential oil blend is a mixture of straight-up-chilly menthol and peppermint for a cool, crisp, clean scent that’s like standing under the AC unit in a peppermint candy workshop.
Minty Poppy Seed Scrubby Soap
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
35% beef tallow or lard (why?)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
8% rice bran oil
12% soya bean oil or olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
Calculate to a 5% superfat
Per 500g (1.1lbs) fats:
- 3/4 tsp silk peptides, powder, or amino acids (need an alternative?)
- 3 tbsp white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
- 23g | 0.8oz menthol essential oil or menthol crystals
- 7g | 0.25oz peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada)
- 0.5g | 0.01oz indigo powder (this will vary with the surface area of your soap)
- 2 tsp pumice (aim for a coarser variety—fine is hardly noticeable if you’re looking for a foot scrub
- 3/4 tsp poppy seeds
- 2g | 0.07oz teal my beating heart mica (or other teal mica) or 1g hydrated chromium green chromium oxide
Kick things off by calculating out your recipe for the amount of soap you’re making to get the finite amounts of the fats, lye, and water. Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it! Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedure before diving in.
You’ll also want to prepare your mould, measure out all your additives into small bowls so they’re ready when you need them, and add up the weights of the water, lye, and fats to get the total weight of your batch. Divide that number by 2 and write it down for later—we’ll be dividing the batter in half by weight, and doing different things to each part.
Since we’re doing two layers, I’d recommend soaping this batch at room temperature. To do this, gently melt the beef tallow and unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada) in your soaping pot (since those two fats have the highest melting points), and once they have just melted, remove them from the heat and stir in the olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada), castor oil (USA / Canada), and coconut oil. The residual heat from melting the beef tallow and shea with melt the coconut oil, and the added room temperature oils will help bring down the temperature of the melted oils. You can use a potato masher to break up the coconut oil to help it melt faster; if you’ve just barely melted the beef tallow and shea it will need some encouragement. When you’re done you should have a pot of liquid oils that feel only just a wee bit warm/room temperature to the touch.
Add your still-hot lye water to this mixture of melted and mostly room temperature oils and brought that to trace, stirring and intermittently blending the mixture with your immersion blender. Once you reach a medium trace, blend in the clay, silk, and essential oils, and now it’s time for colouring and layering!
Using your scale and that number you wrote down earlier (the 1/2 batch weight number), divide your soap in half into two smaller bowls. Add the pumice to one half of the batter, blend that in with your immersion blender until it’s smooth, and then stir in the poppy seeds (we don’t want to blend them or you’ll break them up). Add the mica to the other part, and blend it in with your immersion blender until the colour is smooth and uniform, and you see no clods of mica.
Spread the pumice/poppy seed layer on the bottom of your soap mould and spread the top down. Using a sieve, tap a fine layer of indigo powder over the pumice batter. Be sure the layer is quite thin so you don’t create a weak spot between the layers. Once you’ve got good, even coverage, wipe down the sides of the mould with some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and gently spoon the teal layer over top. Rap the mould on your counter to help knock out any air bubbles, and shape/sculpt the top of the soap however you like.
Cover and leave to saponify for 24 hours before slicing. Slice, and let age for at least three weeks before using. Enjoy!
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I just ordered my supplies for your class from Amazon. Is there a code I can put down to give you credit?
Hey Darlene! If the order has already been placed it’s probably too late, but in the future the Amazon link on this page is an affiliate link, so if you click that before you make any Amazon purchases I’ll get a small percentage of what you spend at no extra cost to you 🙂
Ah, I’m glad this question was asked because I’m putting an Amazon order together. I’ll make sure to link through here, Marie.
Thanks so much, Kelly!
Earthues here in Seattle has the best indigo I’ve found (and I did a bunch of indigo dyeing a few years ago). They have tons of other natural dyestuff, too, and do lots of mail-order business as well as classes and walk-in retail.
Their website isn’t great, but it’s definitely worth calling them if you want great products at decent prices: http://www.earthues.com/
Thanks so much, Diana! I have been pretty appalled by the price of indigo here o_O
rice bran oil! Interesting, and a new soaping oil ingredient. Significance?
It’s inexpensive and I saw it recommended as an alternative for olive oil, so I thought I’d try it!
I tried making a peppermint and menthol soap for TTITD, for tingly relief on hot desert days. However, the scent broke down during saponification. Hopefully yours stays better than mine did. I still think my soap smells ok and looks ok, but the peppermint shivers certainly aren’t there. Good luck!
I find this one is cooling (I used it to wash my hands about five minutes ago), but not tingly, sadly. But I’m glad the cool sensation stuck, that’s a first for one of my soaps! 😀
Do you use the same weight of menthol crystals as you do of menthol essential oil or sightly less?
I just use the same weight, though be sure to give the crystals a chance to dissolve before proceeding 🙂
Love this recipe! Just got my pumice and indigo so I can make it. I have a couple questions. If using menthol crystals do you think I should melt them prior to adding or will they dissolve on their own in the batter just by stirring? But my main question is about oxides. I used them to color my last batch of soap and I hated hated hated the process of getting them incorporated. It seemed like no matter how much I stirred and mashed I still kept finding thick streaks at the bottom of my bowl. It took forever. Do you think if I put the oxide in a few drops of oil first that it would help disperse them easier? And would the added tiny but of oil negatively impact the soap since we would be adding after trace? Thanks in advance for any advice on this you may have!
Hey Maggie! With the crystals, I’d recommend putting them in a bit of oil to dissolve them first—just scoop out a tablespoon or two from your oil mixture before you add the lye water, and use that 🙂
You can definitely blend your oxides with some oil first for easier incorporation—that little of a difference won’t impact the final bars. Are you using an immersion blender? If you are, you should be able to use that to blast up any bits and chunks and avoid the eternal streaking and stirring dilemma. The pre-mixing with oil thing is definitely easier if you don’t have a blender, though!
I’ve got two questions for you. First, is there any particular reason why you chose to make this batch with hot lye water instead of soaping at room temperature as you have in the past? Second, I made a batch of basic soap last year where I had a 1/2 tsp of red oxide in a rather small amount of soap, maybe 1/4 cup of it (in a 1200 g oil recipe). I swirled it into the rest of the batch when putting it into the mold, but every time I used the bars I would see pink runoff that would stain whatever residual scum my tub had since its last cleaning, and the curtain too. Since then I’ve been careful to limit color to 1/2 tsp per 1000 grams of oil and to avoid deep colors so that there would not be any color runoff. But you often use blasts of color in your soap (like the indigo seam for this soap) that make me think it will bleed when in use. I’m tired of pale colors in my soap though, so I’m wondering what your general experience with this issue has been? Do many of your soaps create color runoff and you don’t mind it, or is a rare occurrence? Do you have any rule of thumb to avoid it? thanks very much!
Hey Laura! None whatsover haha. I just like to experiment and try new things, and write about them (as you may have guessed).
1/2 tsp of oxide in 1/4 cup of batter is a LOT. Like, waaaaay to much. 1/2 tsp of oxide is a lot for most things; that’s more than I use in an entire lipstick! So yes, some runoff and bleeding is not surprising 🙂
I do usually tend to stick to pastels with my soaps these days to avoid bleeding (some of my earlier soaps were very bleedy… one was red and a giftee told me a story of thinking they were hemorrhaging in the shower!), especially if I’m working with pure oxides. Micas afford more leeway for vibrant colours—even though the top of this one is very turquoise, the lather is only faintly bluish, and it doesn’t tint or stain my hands or sink. The seam also doesn’t cause any sort of bleeding, likely because there is so little of it—there’s probably only 1/4–1/2tsp throughout the loaf, and the amount that you can access at any time is very small. I imagine it would be very different if you sprinkled it across the top!
I hope that helps! 🙂
Hi Marie, quick question: I just received the indigo powder on Amazon (at the link you provided), but it is green color and not blue like yours. Is that workable or do I need to look for a blue color? Green color probably will not make color as nice as yours. I am just not sure why I got green. Thanks
Hmm, that is very odd indeed. Since I’m not American that’s not the indigo I ordered, I just tried to find something similar… but looking at that link now I’m super confused as it doesn’t even say indigo powder… just henna?! I’m thinking the seller must’ve updated/changed the product and the URL stayed the same 🙁 This looks much more like what you want. I’m sorry, I don’t know what happened there!
Thank you. Yes, I did order that one already (the new link you provided just now)and returned the other order. Can’t wait to receive the right powder. 🙂
Awesome! Sorry for the bother, it’s frustrating when other parts of the internet change haha 😛
Hi Marie, I have watched your videos and read your book all of which contain warnings about not using food products in cosmetics or skin care products. Does this not hold true with soap as well or is it not such a big deal because of the ph of the soap? I am considering using oat milk in a liquid soap but am not sure if I am better off using colloidal oatmeal.
Soap is a wonderful little exception—the very high pH and low water content make it the only thing we DIY that we can put stuff like milk and veg puree into and not experience disgusting moldy messes a day or two later. You could incorporate oat milk easily with no spoilage concerns for at least a year or two 🙂