Drying Peppermint Leaves: Exactly How To Dry Peppermint Leaves

As with other kinds of mint leaves, drying peppermint leaves is always a good idea. Maybe you love using peppermint in your cooking and around your home, but buying it fresh is really cutting into your budget.

Don’t worry, drying fresh peppermint is an effective way to save money and have peppermint throughout the year. Besides, dried leaves are the best option for making peppermint tea, a yummy and healthy treat.

Sound interesting? Below, I cover exactly how to dry peppermint leaves, how long it takes, whether to wash peppermint leaves before drying them and exactly how to store your dried peppermint leaves.

Can You Dry Peppermint Leaves?

You absolutely can dry peppermint leaves and the process is rather easy. Dried leaves are great because they can do things that fresh leaves simply can’t.

Dried leaves can be used to garnish and flavor dishes. They can be used to make tea. They can be simmered on the stove with water to make your house smell nice. They can even be placed in cloth sacks or in bowls to increase the aroma in your home.

How To Dry Peppermint Leaves

Fortunately, drying peppermint leaves is really easy.

Three of the most common methods include air drying, drying in the oven, and drying in the dehydrator. Although not as common, some people also dry their leaves in the microwaves.

Microwave

This method is the least common way to dry peppermint leaves. Still, it works remarkably well, especially if you’re in a pinch for time.

For a standard 1000 watt microwave, you’re going to dry your leaves for 30-60 seconds. You’ll want to check on them after 30 seconds to ensure they don’t become overcooked.

This method is also the simplest of all the methods. All you need to do is get a piece of paper that you’ll place in your microwave. You’re then going to spread the peppermint leaves on the paper in a single layer.

Then, you’ll microwave the leaves at full power for 30-60 seconds.

Here are some step-by-step instructions:

  1. Harvest your peppermint
  2. Wash and dry
  3. Remove stems from leaves
  4. Lay a piece of paper inside your microwave
  5. Spread the leaves evenly on the paper without any touching
  6. Microwave on full power for 30-60 seconds
  7. You’ll know your herbs are done when they’re crisp and crumble at the touch
Dried peppermint leaves
Dried peppermint leaves

Air Drying

This is one of the easiest methods, but you can only use it if you live in a warm and dry climate. If you live in a cool or humid climate, air drying isn’t recommended because your leaves can become moldy.

After rinsing and drying your peppermint, your going to form a bouquet with your leaves. Keep the stems intact with the leaves and bunch them into a bouquet. Then, you’re going to use a piece of string to tie the bouquet together.

Next, you’re going to hang the bouquet in a dry, warm environment, out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the essential oils to evaporate.

From there, you’re going to let your leaves dry for 2 days to 2 weeks. How long this takes depends on the exact climate you live in. To protect your leaves from any dust or pests, you can cover them with a paper bag.

Hanging oregano to dry
Hanging oregano to dry – Mint is dried in the same way

You’ll know your leaves are done drying when they’re crumbly to the touch.

Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. Harvest your peppermint
  2. Rinse and dry
  3. Leave both leaves and stem intact
  4. Gather the herbs into a bunched bouquet
  5. Tie the bouquet together with some string at the base of the stems
  6. Hang the bouquet for drying with some string, a hanger, or a herb drying rack
  7. Allow your herbs to dry for 2 days to 2 weeks

In The Oven

Drying your leaves in the oven is very similar to drying with a dehydrator. The difference is that you need to use more caution when using an oven to prevent your leaves from becoming overcooked.

After you’ve rinsed and dried your leaves, you’re going to remove the leaves from the stems. You can always dry the stems separately if you’d like, but they aren’t very useful.

Then, you’re going to line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper. From there, you’re going to lay the leaves on the parchment paper in a single layer.

Do not stack leaves and do not let them touch each other. Each leaf should have adequate space away from the others to allow for proper air flow.

oven dry mint leaves
Getting ready to dry mint in the oven

You’re then going to place the tray in the oven. Oven temperatures vary and some won’t allow you to set them at a very low temperature. Ideally, if you can, you should set your oven between 105-102 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it doesn’t let you go that low, just avoid going above 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Above 200 degrees, the leaves no longer dehydrate, but cook instead. Cooking leaves rids them of their essential oils.

The lower you set your oven temperature, the longer it will take to dry your leaves. A temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit can dry leaves in 1.5-4 hours. A temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit may dry leaves in 1-2.5 hours.

It’s always a good idea to prop your oven door open with a fire proof utensil or pot holder. This will allow the resulting steam from your leaves to dissipate which will help your leaves dry faster. Leaves can be flipped every hour for faster drying as well.

Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. Harvest your peppermint
  2. Rinse and dry
  3. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper
  4. Lay the leaves on the parchment paper in a single layer with no leaves touching
  5. Put the leaves in the oven with the temperature below 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. Drying can take between 1-4 hours
  7. Prop the oven door open with a fireproof utensil or potholder
  8. Flip leaves every hour

Read my full guide to drying mint in the oven here.

In A Dehydrator

This is likely the best method for drying your peppermint leaves. It’s fast, getting you dry leaves within 5 hours. The best thing, though, is that the dehydrator will operate at low temperatures. Lower temperatures prevents your leaves from becoming overcooked and ruined.

After you’ve rinsed and dried your peppermint, you’ll want to remove the stems from the leaves.

Your dehydrator will come with a tray or trays. You’re going to lay the leaves on the tray in a single layer. You won’t want to stack the leaves because that will prevent proper drying. Also avoid allowing the leaves to touch. You’ll want them to be adequately spaced apart for proper airflow.

From there, you’re going to want to dehydrate your leaves at a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This is going to take you between 2-5 hours.

Of course, you’ll want your leaves nice and dry, but you won’t want to overdo it. Check on your leaves after the first 2 hours and then check on them every 15-20 minutes. You’ll know your leaves are done when they crumble at the touch.

Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. Harvest your peppermint
  2. Rinse and dry
  3. Remove the stems
  4. Layer the leaves on the tray in a single layer ensuring that no leaves touch
  5. Dry for 2-5 hours
  6. Check on your leaves after the first 2 hours
  7. Continue to check on them every 15-20 minutes

How Long Does It Take To Dry Peppermint Leaves?

How long it’s going to take you to dry your peppermint leaves really depends on which drying process you choose.

If you use the microwave method, you can have dried leaves in less than 2 minutes.

If you use the air drying method, it can take 2 days up to 2 whole weeks before you have dried leaves.

Usually, the time it takes to dry is somewhere in the middle. Most people dry their leaves using the oven or dehydrator method.

In the oven, your leaves will dry in 1-4 hours depending on how hot the temperature of your oven is.

In a dehydrator, it can take between 2-5 hours, depending on your climate.

All in all, drying peppermint leaves is a fairly quick process.

Do You Wash Peppermint Leaves Before Drying?

It’s always a great idea to wash your peppermint leaves before using them, especially if you grow them outside. They’re likely to have dirt and even pests on them that should be removed before eating.

Luckily, it’s really easy to clean peppermint. Simply fill your sink or a bowl with cool water. Submerge the plant and swish it around with your hands or a utensil. This will dislodge any stubborn dirt. It’s easiest to do this with the stems of the plant still intact because it’ll help them sink.

After washing, move the plants to a drying rack or dish towel to dry. You’ll want the leaves to be completely dry before drying them. Most people combine air drying and patting the leaves dry.

How To Store Your Dried Peppermint Leaves

Storing your dried peppermint is an easy process. Your best option is to use an airtight glass container for your peppermint. Because the container is airtight, it will prevent any kind of moisture or pests getting into your herbs.

Glass is also better than plastic because some plastics are porous. Porous products will absorb the essential oils in the peppermint so that there will be no scent or flavor left in your leaves.

The number one most important thing to remember when storing your peppermint leaves is that they need to be completely dry. Avoid storing leaves that have any moisture at all costs. If your leaves aren’t completely dry, they can grow mold which will ruin your leaves.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to prevent this. Simply check on your stored leaves every day for the first 3-4 days. If your leaves still have moisture, it will cause condensation to build up on the sides of the container. If you see any kind of condensation, you’ll want to re-dry your leaves.

Overall, your peppermint leaves can be stored for up to 12 months. Be sure to keep them in a cool, dry place. The leaves won’t necessarily expire after 12 months, but you will notice that they lose most of their flavor and aroma.

Final Words

Drying your own peppermint leaves takes a bit of effort, but overall, it’s quite simple. It certainly beats paying for fresh peppermint at the grocery store all the time.

Even better yet, anyone can dry fresh peppermint whether you only have fresh warm air, a microwave, oven, or dehydrator.

Want to learn more? Click here for specifically how to dry spearmint leaves and here for how to dry mint leaves in the oven. You can also learn how to make a great peppermint tea with your dried leaves here, how to grow peppermint from seed here or find all my guides to mint here.