I live in the Garden State. Yes that's right, New Jersey. The state known for it's closeness to NYC, it's stinky highways, industrial areas, and also it's beaches. What most people don't know is that we do have plenty of greenery here, as the name suggests. Folks really love to grow their veggies in our neck of the woods and when summer rolls around, we have cucumbers for dayyys.
Which, of course, is a more than enough reason for me to make some cucumber soap. And this one is a full on cucumber soap in that I replaced the ENTIRE water content with cucumber juice (seeds, peels and everything). To stay with the summery theme, I scented it with a fresh, invigorating mix of spearmint and peppermint essential oil. Oh my!
Let's take a look at this cucumber mint soap recipe, shall we?
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What you'll need:
- two heat resistant containers (non aluminum) - a smaller one to mix your lye and a bigger one (50 oz capacity) to melt your oils and mix your soap in
- stick blender
- blender (to prepare your cucumber juice)
- Crafter's Choice silicone loaf mold
- silicone spatula
- plastic fork to deck out the top (optional)
This recipe will yield around 42 oz of cucumber mint soap (8 average sized bars), you can resize the recipe to your heart's desire using a lye calculator. It is always a good idea to run every recipe you find online (including this one) through a lye calculator, just to be safe.
This recipe uses a superfat of 6% and a 35% lye concentration.
- Cucumber juice (1 medium size cucumber and the peel of another one blended): 7.7 oz. / 218 g
- Lye: 4.1 oz. / 117 g
- Tallow: 9.4 oz. / 268 g (32%)
- Olive Oil (Pomace): 8.9 oz. / 251 g (30%)
- Coconut Oil: 7.7 oz. / 217 g (26%)
- Castor Oil: 1.8 oz. / 50 g (6%)
- Hemp Oil: 1.8 oz. / 50 g (6%)
- Peppermint Essential Oil: 12 g
- Spearmint Essential Oil: 12 g
- Safety First: Put on your googles and gloves and make sure you're not soaping around children and/or pets. Keep your space ventilated
- Cut the cucumber into small chunks and add the peel of another cucumber (optional, this will give you a deeper hue with little green specks), blend until everything turns into a smooth liquid. If you end up not having enough cucumber juice or your liquid seems too thick add a little distilled water.
- Put cucumber juice in the freezer until it forms a slushy, but isn't frozen solid yet.
- Slowly and carefully add lye to the cucumber slushy, stir until lye is completely dissolved. Place the container with lye solution in an ice bath. This is important since the cucumber juice can cause the lye to heat up A LOT and you want to prevent it from scorching.
- Melt and mix the oils
- Add essential oils to the oils
- When lye solution and oils are both below 100 Degrees F, slowly pour lye solution down the shaft of your stick blender into the oils.
- Burp (gently tap) your stick blender to release any air bubbles and stick blend your soap until it reaches a light pudding consistency.
- Pour soap into your mold
- By now the soap is likely to be at thick trace (thick pudding consistency) and you can get creative texturing the top. I used a plastic fork to create sort of a checkerboard look.
- If you wish to gel your soap (I did) wrap a thin towel around it and keep an eye on it for the first hour. If you see a crack forming on top, the soap is getting too hot and you need to take the towel off.
- Unmold after 24 - 36 hours, cut cucumber mint soap into bars and cure for 4 weeks.
6 Month Soap Update:
We all know that cold process soap can change over time: the colors may fade or even worse the scent may become different or disappear all together (gasp!). That's why I like to show you how the soaps that I make here look like after some time has passed.
Here's the cucumber mint soap I made this past summer:
This little slither was all I could rescue from my family and friends that were eager to get there paws on this delightful soap - and then they came back for more. As you can see the soap didn't keep its greenish hue. The scent however stayed nice and strong, I really enjoy how the spearmint rounds out the more in your face mint scent of the peppermint with its soft sweetness. And the lather, you guys, is sooo nice and creamy (*swoon*). I will make this cucumber mint soap again in the future for sure, not that I really have a choice 😉
Until next time. Happy Tinkering!