Yesterday, I shared a link to an old fashioned black pine tar salve recipe that I wrote about on HobbyFarms.com. (The link is HERE, if you missed it.)
By request, I’m sharing the recipe & directions for making pine tar soap as well. In the past, this soap was reputed to help with psoriasis, eczema, and other skin afflictions. I’ve also heard of people using it for treating flaky scalp and dandruff. Some years back, the FDA stepped in and “unapproved” pine tar as a health treatment. So, if you plan to sell Pine Tar Soap, steer clear of making any health claims.
Another important thing to note is that some types of pine tar may contain small amounts of creosote, depending on if it’s burned in an open or closed kiln. (Closed kiln is the creosote free type you want to look for.) One popular brand for soaps and salves is Auson, though it’s quite pricey because it’s imported.
(This article may contains affiliate links to Mountain Rose Herbs, Bramble Berry and Amazon. If you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. This costs you nothing extra, but helps support this website and lets me keep doing what I do. Thank you!)
Old Fashioned Pine Tar Soap
Liquid & Lye Portion:
- 10 ounces cold water
- 3.8 ounces lye (sodium hydroxide)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Oil & Pine Tar Portion (30 ounces total):
- 18 ounces olive oil (60%)
- 7.5 ounces coconut oil (25%)
- 1.5 ounces castor oil (5%)
- 3 ounces pine tar (10%)
This recipe includes 30 oz oil + 10 oz water + (almost) 4 oz lye so equals 44 oz (or 2 lbs 12 oz), meaning you’d need around a 3 pound mold.
The mold I used is a homemade wooden one – inner dimensions are 8″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″
Pine tar soap is different than many others in that it sets up FAST. You don’t want to use your stick blender for this recipe. You should have everything organized and the mold prepared before you start mixing.
Another thing to remember when creating your own recipe with pine tar, you should include it in the lye calculations as you would another oil.
Stir the 1 teaspoon of salt into the cold water. This is to help the soap release from the mold easier and is especially helpful if you’re using silicone molds. Once the salt is stirred in, pour in the lye. Make sure you’re wearing proper safety gear of goggles, long sleeves & gloves. This mixture gets hot fast and for a few moments will give off strong fumes that you should avoid breathing in.
Set the lye solution aside to cool. I left mine sitting for several hours until it reached room temperature. (In my house, that’s around 80 degrees F.) Normally, I work with higher temperatures, but pine tar soap needs cooler ones than normal, to help prevent it from setting up too fast.
While the lye is cooling: Prepare your mold and measure the oils in a stainless steel, heat proof plastic, or enamel container. (I used the liner of an old crockpot.) Melt the coconut oil just until it turns liquid and mix with the other oils. Set the oils aside until ready to mix. (They can be around room temperature/80 degrees Fahrenheit too.)
When you’re ready to make your soap, add the pine tar to the oils and stir until blended.
Pour in the lye solution and stir with a heavy duty plastic or silicone spoon or spatula. You’ll notice the soap batter get thicker fairly quickly. Within four or five minutes of hand stirring, my soap batter looked like this:
Pour the thickened soap batter into the mold and set aside. You don’t need to cover or insulate this soap.
In 48 hours, you can try unmolding. Pine tar soap starts off a little soft but firms up as it cures in the air. If you added salt to the lye water, it should unmold a lot easier for you than if you didn’t.
Slice into bars and let cure for at least four to six weeks.
If you enjoyed this Circling Taiwan Soap (with Activated Charcoal) recipe, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get my best herbal projects, soap ideas, and DIY body care recipes sent straight to your inbox, once per month. (No spam ever, unsubscribe at any time.)
You may also like: