I’ve wanted to try making my own soap for a long time. Actually, real soapmaking involves making the soap base from scratch, using lye, oils, and precise measurements. But melt-and-pour soap couldn’t be much easier. It’s all in the name: melt the base, stir in additives like essential oils, herbs, colors or scrubby bits, and then pour it in a mold and wait for the soap to solidify. It’s so simple and satisfying that his coffee mint soap definitely won’t be my last semi-homemade soap.
The idea for the scents in this soap came from Philz Coffee, in San Francisco. They’re a small chain we used to go to when we lived there, and if you’re ever near one I highly recommend a cup of my favorite brew, Philtered Soul. They serve their coffee with a sprig of fresh mint, which is a great counterpoint to the coffee flavors. So I figured a mint coffee soap would be a nice invigorating way to clean up, and it totally is. It’s very scrubby, though, so if you want something more gentle, you’ll want to use more finely-ground coffee.
Ground coffee, 1 Tbsp – I used medium-grind coffee I had already brewed, and then I let it dry out on the counter for a day or two.
Soap base, 8 oz by weight – I used this Goats Milk Glycerin Soap.
Mint essential oil
Soap mold – I used a tofu container, but plastic or cardboard containers of many shapes and sizes could work. Lots of people use milk cartons.
1. Cut up about 8 oz of soap (a bit less than a cup, melted) into chunks, and place it into a microwave-safe container.
2. Melt the soap according to the directions on your package. I melted mine in 30-second increments, stirring between heating, until it was fully melted.
3. Stir in 1 tablespoon of dry ground coffee, and about 10 drops of the mint essential oil.
4. Quickly pour the melted soap into the container you’re using for a mold. Let it cool for several hours.
5. Unmold your soap, and cut it into two bars.