Old-fashioned pine tar soap has traditionally been used to help with psoriasis, eczema, and other skin afflictions. Some also use it for treating flaky scalp and dandruff.
Its smoky campfire-like scent makes it a popular “manly” soap, but can be equally enjoyed by all.
Because pine tar itself has a really strong aroma, I added cedarwood Atlas and lavender essential oils to help slightly mellow and compliment the overall scent profile.
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Old Fashioned Pine Tar Soap
** Measurements are by weight. You must use an accurate scale to make soap.
Liquid & Lye Portion:
- 10 oz (283 g) cold distilled water
- 3.8 oz (108 g) lye (sodium hydroxide)
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
Oil & Pine Tar Portion (30 ounces total):
- 18 oz (510 g) olive oil (60%)
- 7.5 oz (213 g) coconut oil (25%)
- 1.5 oz (43 g) castor oil (5%)
- 3 oz (85 g) pine tar (10%)
Optional Essential Oils for Added Scent:
This recipe will perfectly fit in a Crafter’s Choice Regular Silicone Loaf Mold. (You can find those HERE.)
I purchased the “100% Natural” soap stamp HERE from Bramble Berry.
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, is that you should include it in the lye calculations as you would another oil.
Directions to Make
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 75 to 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. 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 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. It may take around 4 to 5 minutes to thicken, stirring by hand, depending on temperatures used.
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.
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