Pine Tar Soap Recipe
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.
For a lighter scented soap, try my Charcoal, Cedarwood & Pine Tar Soap Recipe. Or, don’t want to make soap from scratch with lye? Try my Pine Tar Melt & Pour Soap recipe instead!
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Old Fashioned Pine Tar Soap Recipe
** 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:
- 0.75 oz (21 g) cedarwood Atlas essential oil
- 0.5 oz (15 g) lavender essential oil
This recipe will perfectly fit in a Crafter’s Choice Regular Silicone Loaf Mold.
I buy THIS Auson brand organic pine tar from Amazon as it’s been noted as safe for making soap & body care products. (source)
You can find a “100% Natural” soap stamp on Etsy.
If you’ve never made soap before, you can find more information in my Soap Making 101 post or check out my Handmade Natural Soaps eBook collection.
Pine tar soap is different than many others in that it sets up FAST. You don’t normally need 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.
Make sure you’re wearing proper safety gear of goggles and gloves.
Once the salt is stirred in, pour in the lye and mix until dissolved. 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 temps 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.
Make sure you’re wearing gloves and safety goggles for the next step.
Pour the lye solution into the oils/pine tar mixture and stir with a heavy duty plastic or silicone spoon or spatula.
You’ll notice the soap batter gets thick 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.
I have read this twice, but I still have to ask to make sure i didn’t miss something. Do you let the lye cool completely and don’t heat the oils except to mix and then let them cool back down again? Everything is cold when you mix it together?
Hi Brenda, You read exactly right! The lye and oils were both at room temperature when I mixed this. (Granted, with no central air – room temperature in my kitchen is around 80 degrees F, so you don’t want the lye water *too* cold.) Great question – thanks for asking that! I’ll try to go in tonight and clarify the wording.
Thank You for the reply. I am going to try this recipe.
Great! I hope you like it!
Ty 4 sharing this. Please, can you tell me if it is possible replace castor oïl for another vegetal oïl?
Hi Rosa! You sure can swap it out for another oil if you’d like – here’s a list of oils, the properties they give to soap, and some recommended usage numbers that might help you decide which one to go with: https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Soap-Making-Oils.pdf If in doubt, you can always just use the same amount of olive oil to take the place of the castor. Just replug in the numbers in a soap calculator: https://www.thesage.com/calcs/LyeCalc.html in case the amount of lye changes.
Thank you very much for your reply!
You’re welcome! :)
Hello Jan! When I lived in “the middle of no where” I made salve from the pine resin that bubbled and dripped from the various pine trees in my yard, great for wounds and rashes. Can you tell me how to get the pine tar? Looks like it is a purchased and not gathered item? Thank you! Have a nice weekend!
Hi Sheron, Right from the tree is an even better way to use pine! Pine tar is made from burning pine wood and maybe the stumps, I think?, in a kiln. You can buy it from your local feed store in the horse section (it’s used to treat hooves) or online at amazon. It’s thick, blackish-brown, and rather pungent. Some people love the smell, some dislike it – I think it’s a personal preference thing, like cilantro. :) I hope you have a nice weekend too!
Like or dislike of cilantro isn’t a personal preference; it’s genetic, like being able to wiggle your ears or curl your tongue. If you have the gene, it tastes like metallic soap—disgusting!
Hi Wolf, Thanks for the information! That’s interesting! I strongly dislike the smell of the fresh plant in my garden, but do like the taste of fruit salsas made with cilantro. I’m guessing the yuck (to me) factor is disguised by the fruit flavors :)
Thank you Brenda. Always looking for “the old ways”. I live down South and I hear of these things that worked so well before everyone ran off to Doctor’s Care. Happy to try this. I wonder if there is a book on the old cures. Have to look. Thanks again. Cute blog.
Thanks Susan! I would love to find a book on old cures as well. I have one that was my great-grandma’s that has a few recipes; I need to dig around for more!
Jan, is this about 2 pounds? I’m still learning this stuff, and I’m going on a recipe from another book that uses about 30 ounces of oils…roughly 1.8 pds, am I close…thank you…
Hi Rachel! The way I use to figure out how many pounds a batch of soap is, is by adding the weights of the lye, water & oils together (and in this case, pine tar too.) I round the numbers since it makes it easier, which gives us: (almost) 4 ounces lye + 10 ounces water + 30 ounces oils/pine tar = 44 ounces total. Divide that by 16 ounces in a pound and you get 2.75 or two & three-fourths pounds. So, you would want to use a three pound mold in order for it to fit.
What do you use to clean your containers after making pine tar soap?
Hi Rose! By weighing the pine tar directly into the oils (with the soap pot sitting on the scale) and then stirring in, I didn’t find it any harder to clean than other soap batches. I did use a disposable plastic spoon to help guide the amount being poured, so I could hit the correct weight. I set that down on a piece of wax paper then folded it up and around to throw away once everything was mixed and poured. For soap pot clean up, I usually set the pan and utensils aside in a safe spot for a day or two. The raw soap will have cured enough not to be a danger to drains, and the pot and utensils can then be soaked in warm water for a few hours before draining and rinsing out any residue.
Water. After you’ve made your soap the residue is 🧼
What if I want to make a liquid pine tar soap. Is this possible?
Hi Debbie, I like that idea! It seems to me that you could, but I just don’t have any experience with it to tell you for sure.
My friend has used pine tar soap for dry skin, then shampoo for several years. It is no longer in the catalog he ordered it from. I decided to look it up and am anxious to share the recipe with him. Everyone thinks he is younger than 73 . I have kidded him that he has been using a moisturizer and didn’t know it.
Hi Pat! Your friend sounds like a great guy! Thanks for sharing the recipe with him! :)
Does the finished product have much of a smell to it? I just received my quart can of Auson pine tar in the mail, and am looking forward to trying this recipe.
Hi Christa! The cured bars do smell like pine tar. It’s not unpleasantly strong or anything, but it’s very noticeable. I have one kid that detests the smell and an older relative that thinks it’s the best thing ever. :) Good luck with your recipe!
Have you tried this hot process? Also, can I add a few tbspns of ground oatmeal to this since it is supposed to be good for eczema too? Thanks!
Hi Regina, I haven’t tried this hot process, though I know you can, with some adjustments. I once heard from a lady who mixed the pine tar with some water and stirred it in well after cook time until the soap batter was smooth. I don’t have any further details of her recipe other than that, but I hope that helps if you experiment with it. Ground oatmeal sounds like a great addition!
Also, on the lye calculator, there is no place to put the pine tar. So, how would I calculate the recipe correctly? I’m in the process right now, and ended up almost adding too much castor oil. I saw the 7.5 coconut oil, and so was on my way, luckily my bottle ran out at 2 oz. Of castor oil…
Hi Regina! Brambleberry’s lye calculator has pine tar listed, so I used that one when making this recipe. And Yikes! I’m glad you caught your mix up – that would’ve been a LOT of castor oil! :)
what size mold holds this recipe?
Hi Barbara! To figure out what size mold you need for a recipe, you can add the weight of the water + lye + oils (counting pine tar in this case).
So, 10 oz water + almost 4 oz (rounding) lye + 30 oz oils and pine tar = 44 oz total or 2.75 pounds, so for this recipe, you could use a 3 pound mold.
With recipes that have around 30 ounces of just oil in them, I also sometimes use a glass bread loaf pan (9″x 5″ or 8.5″ x 4.5″) lined with parchment paper or a cheap unscented trash bag.
Does the pine tar leave any scent behind on your equipment or does it clean up easy w/o tainting future batches?
Hi John! While the finished soap smells quite a bit like pine tar, I didn’t find that it lingered on the equipment for long. I just washed everything as usual – let pots/utensils sit for a day or two, soaked them in warm water, then rinsed well. I used a wooden mold lined with parchment paper though, so I’m not sure what it would do to a silicone mold. Not sure I would chance that, since I’ve had some stronger essential oil scents hang around those for a few batches.
Jan, thank you for sharing your recipe! I want to give it a try but am wondering what percentage do you SF at?
Hi Darla! I superfat almost all of my soaps at 6%.
Hi, I made your pine tar soap a few months ago, and it was very soft. Since then, I discovered just coconut oil soap, water, and lye is so wonderful! I know I could use the lye calculator, but was wondering if you know how this soap might come out if I used coconut oil in place of the olive oil, or any of the other oils?
Hi Regina! The pine tar soap does start off soft at first, but should harden as it cures over time. It is quite high in olive oil though and I really like your idea of merging a pure coconut oil soap with a pine tar soap! My only thought with that is that both of those tend to set up really fast. So, if you combine the two, use a full amount of water and be prepared to work super quickly, so it won’t seize up on you. I think if you changed the recipe to 27 oz coconut oil and 3 oz pine tar that might be a good ratio. I would still stick with the higher superfat that coconut oil soap needs too. Since you probably will just need to hand stir the batch, you could even half that recipe, just to give it a test run. What a wonderful idea – let me know how it goes if you test it out!
I’m.doing the coconut oil processed today. I’ll keep you posted…
can it be made in to cream soap
Hi Wayland! I haven’t made cream soap yet (though I really want to!), so I’m not sure.
Hi. Thank you for the recipe, and the link to buy pine tar. I love your soap recipes and I think you have the BEST soap pictures on the Internet! They are gorgeous! My soaping buddy and I are going to try this recipe soon.
Hi Keely, Thank you! I’m so happy that you enjoy the recipes. :) I hope you like the pine tar soap too!
Pardon my ignorance – I’ve never made soap before and want to try pine tar, as I love it. Are your measurements in the ingredients list volume or weight measurements? How large of a loaf will this make, in other words, what size mold would I need it I followed it exactly? Finally, if I add essential soils, do I need to reduce any of the other oils by a similar amount?
Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you!
All soap recipe measurements are given by weight. You’ll need a digital scale (you can pick one up fairly inexpensively at your local store that sells kitchenware items.)
To figure out what size mold you’ll need, you add the weight of the oils, lye and liquid together. (Round any odd numbers for easier adding.)
So, in this recipe:
30 oz oil + 10 oz water + (almost) 4 oz lye = 44 oz
which = 2 lbs 12 oz
So, you’d want around a 3 pound mold, if you’re looking to buy one online.
The mold I used is a homemade wooden one – inner dimensions are 8″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″
You could also use a really sturdy (kind of skinny) shoe box or an empty milk carton or a plastic storage container. Make sure you line non-silicone molds with parchment or freezer paper (or an unscented trash bag works out too.)
You won’t need to adjust the amount of oils, if you add essential oils to the recipe. A good ballpark figure is starting with 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) of essential oil, but you can also use Bramble Berry’s fragrance calculator.
Pine tar soap is going to set up A LOT faster than regular soap, so it’s a bit of a tricky one to start out with, but as long as you have everything prepared and ready to go, it should turn out great!
Good luck and let me know how it turns out!
Hello Jan! Do you think I could add Pine EO to the recipe or would it be too potent? I was thinking maybe 2 tbsp.
Hi Julie! The scent alone of the pine tar is pretty strong. I had to move it to a separate room, since it was a bit overwhelming at first. I’ve heard of people adding lavender essential oil though, so there’s a good chance that the pine EO could complement the pine tar scent. Once it cures, the strong smell settles down. (My bars that are about 1 1/2 years old now smell divine & still work great!) If you try it out, let us know how it goes!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My elbows look human again after being covered in scales and cracks for YEARS.
Hi Pam, I’m so happy that the pine tar soap helped!
I have a dumb question. I have had terrible eczema for years, and so has my daughter so I really want to try the pine tar recipe.. But I also seem to always have an allergic reaction to pine sap (terrible rashes on my arms and fingers after years of cutting down, decorating, cleaning up after, and Un-decorating Christmas trees lead me to this realization). I know the pine tar is made from burning the wood… I was just wonder on how much of the components of the sap might make it through that process. I can work with pine wood in crafting and it doesn’t bother me so I am just wondering what the chances are here and what your thoughts might be
Hi Natalie, That’s a great question! I too have broken out in hives from decorating Christmas trees, since I was just a little kid. (I also have a huge allergy to cedar – just opening my cedar chest drives me to the Benadryl!) You know though, I totally didn’t even think of that when I was making the pine tar soap. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to bother me any and I’ve used the soap with no problem either. However, that might not be true for everyone so you might want to do something like buy a ready made bar and do a small spot test, before investing in the materials to make your own. (Pine tar is pretty pricey.) Thanks for thinking of that excellent point!
Hello! I made your soap, and replaced olive oil with lard, and castor oil with pine needle essential oil (fairly cheap at $6 for 4oz) and it turned out great! The soap is very firm and solid, but not brittle, and the lather is fantastic. My skin is also very smooth and soft after my shower, and it’s a great shampoo too! Call me old fashioned, but lard is my favorite fat to use in soap.
Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Patrick, I’m so happy that you like the soap! Lard sounds great. I have a ton in my freezer from our pastured pigs that I just need to render for soap soon & I’ll have to try a pine tar soap with it!
One note is that essential oils aren’t interchangeable with soap making oils, so normally you shouldn’t replace a regular oil in a recipe with an essential oil. Too many EOs can make your soap irritating, but fortunately, it sounds like you didn’t put too much!
Oh, and I smell like a woodsman all day :) I get compliments from people pretty regularly.
That’s great! :)
Hello, I am very excited to try your pine tar soap recipe. I’m just waiting on my pine tar that I ordered on Amazon, and now that people at church know that I make soap, and other natural products, I get questions about what I would recommend for different skin issues. So I will be adding this to my soap arsenal, also keeping in mind not to advertise it’s beneficial qualities..?
Hi Michelle! I hope you enjoy it! :)
“To figure out what size mold you’ll need, you add the weight of the oils, lye and liquid together. (Round any odd numbers for easier adding.)
So, in this recipe:
30 oz oil + 10 oz water + (almost) 4 oz lye = 44 oz
which = 2 lbs 12 oz
So, you’d want around a 3 pound mold, if you’re looking to buy one online.”
Hey your ingredients are measured by volume (ounces) and then you switched to weight. This doesn’t add up.
Hi Jimbo! All soap ingredients – oils, water and lye – should be measured by weight, not volume. So, for example, the 30 ounces of oil are ounces that are measured out by weight using an accurate scale, and not fluid ounces.
Jan, my May question has been “waiting moderation” for 6 weeks, I don’t know what that means…..
Do you have a thought about the horse grade vs cosmetic grade pine tar?
Appreciate your recipes and the comment section!
Hi Patricia, I’m so sorry about that! I just found a slew of comments from the middle of May that I missed seeing! I really appreciate you stopping back by to let me know so I could find those to answer. My apologies for the delayed response!
Something I’ve found with most pine tar suppliers is that they aren’t going to directly tell you that it’s safe for making soap, because their product is veterinary in nature & hasn’t been tested/approved for human use. So, I understand them being cautious and needing to protect themselves legally.
From a personal standpoint, after reading about so many people using Bickmore pine tar for soap making (in spite of the company not recommending it for human use) & that the majority of studies done on creosote was done studying coal tar, not pine tar, I tried it out myself.
The plus side is that it’s a way better price and I can run down to my local Tractor Supply store and grab some any time I need it. It worked beautifully in soap and we’ve used up all but 1 1/2 bars to date from that batch with no problems.
If I sold my soap, I’d go with the cosmetic grade. But, after reading more and trying it out, I feel comfortable using horse grade pine tar to make soap for use at home, especially since I mainly use this soap for bathing my dogs. (It’s excellent at repelling fleas & ticks!)
I can’t widely or officially recommend that though (not sure on the legalities of that); so that’s just an update of something I tried out for my own personal use. :)
Hello! I’ve been trying to reproduce the smell from grandpa’s pine tar which I love, I have been using brickworks pine tar and now belief this is the factor. I’m curious if you’ve ever had grandpa’s brand or if the sisi you make has that campfire smell?
Hi Columbcille! I haven’t had the chance to smell Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap to know for sure what its scent is, but you very well could be right about the type of pine tar used may affect the final smell!
Looking at Grandpa’s brand – their site says it’s made from “pinus palustris wood tar” – which is a long leaf pine. That sounds pretty specific compared to the other two I looked at.
Whereas Bickmore’s site says: “Our pine tar is produced in closed tanks, not kilns and is made from a blended product of a variety of different pines.”
Auson’s pine tar just says: “Genuine Pine Tar is produced from resinous pine wood. It contains all ingredients of rosin and fatty acids and their conversion products such as rosin oil, oxidized acids, esters, highboiling terpenes and fatty alcohols, etc, which characterizes a pine tar of high quality.”
Do you have a link to the Brickwork’s Pine Tar that you’ve been using? I don’t spot it right off to see if I can find out what type of pine they use to compare.
Hi Jan, Have you made a different type of bar soap with an already existing bar of pine tar soap? I’m thinking maybe shred the pine tar soap and add the shavings to a goat milk CP recipe with a complimenting EO, kind of like a Christmas partial rebatch soap? Or, rebatch the existing pine tar with an existing goat milk bar to help cut the strong pine smell? Do you recommend a complimentary EO for the pine scent?
Hi Mary! I haven’t tried that, but those are great ideas! I like peppermint & pine, or peppermint & pine plus a hint of lavender to soften the scent, but I’ve also seen people mix it with tea tree or eucalyptus.
We made the mistake of buying the non kiln burned pine tar and made soap. Everyone loves. Now we’re concerned because we see your recipe and your soap is much lighter in color. People are asking for a 20% pine Tar Soap that is more moisturizing. Any idea how to calc this?
Hi Kelly! Every time I’ve made pine tar soap, it turns out a different color. I suspect that it may have to do with the natural variations that happen in nature-sourced products like pine tar.
After I wrote this article, I later made a batch using Bickmore pine tar (in spite of the company not recommending it for human use) because I’ve seen that several other soapmakers used it in the past too. It worked out very well too!
If you want to adjust the recipe, you can put the numbers back through the lye calculator at Bramble Berry, only maybe try using a 6% superfat.
Beside the pine tar entry, put 6 ounces (20%), instead of 3 ounces (10%) and remove 3 ounces from the olive oil (making it 15 oz total) to balance out the 3 ounces of pine tar added.
So it would now read:
15 oz olive oil
7.5 oz coconut oil
1.5 oz castor oil
6 oz pine tar
You could also try reducing the coconut oil by 1 ounce (since coconut oil can be more drying than other oils) and replace it with 1 ounce of a nourishing oil like hemp, avocado, jojoba, sweet almond or apricot kernel.
Just input your new numbers into the Bramble Berry lye calculator so you’ll have the proper lye amount.
Also, I’m not 100% positive how the soap will behave with that high of an amount of pine tar, so not exactly sure what will happen! Hoping it works out well for you though!
Just wondering if you can hot process this soap? I would like to try it and would you add the pine tar in At the end when your soap cools? What would I have to do different?
Hi Dennis! I’ve seen other soapmakers make hot process pine tar soap, but have yet to try it myself. (It’s on the to-do list though, so hopefully soon!)
I found this video that looks great:
She added 3% sodium lactate to keep the soap batter fluid, which looks like it helps a lot!
I tried your recipe yesterday and everything seems to be going well. This is my first try at soapmaking. Wondering if you could add oatmeal to this recipe? I’m trying to replicate one that I received as a gift and that had a little bits of oatmeal in it.
Hi Matt, I’m glad to hear your soap is going well! Oatmeal would make a great addition to this recipe. I would grind up around 1 tablespoon of rolled oats with a coffee grinder and stir the resulting powder in at trace or before pouring into the mold.
Thanks Jan – one more question: I’ve been interested in gelling to achieve a translucent effect. Is there any reason not to try that with your recipe?
Hi Matt! You can definitely gel this recipe, just keep an eye on it for overheating. If it starts developing a crack down the middle, then move it to a cooler spot or in front of a fan, but otherwise, it shouldn’t be a problem! :)
Your recipes are wonderful and thanks a lot for sharing them with us :)
I have juniper tar on hand and would like to make juniper tar soap. Even I searched so much, I could not find the saponification number of juniper tar. I asked Brambleberry and other soap calculater web sites; but, no result. As an expert, I believe you may have an idea about this or where I can get this info from:) could you pls help me on this?
thanks & warm regards,
Hi Elif! Happy you like the recipes! :) I’ve not seen a SAP number for juniper tar before, but recall reading that it’s potentially carcinogenic, so that could be why no one publishes the information for it. (Maybe there are liability issues surrounding it??)
My information may be incorrect, this is just going from a list I read and a few studies on PubMed.
Also, there might be a difference in whether it’s treated/purified since it seems the crude oil is the issue.
I think juniper tar sounds like a lovely ingredient in theory, but I’m just not familiar enough with it to know its safety or how to use it. I wish I could help more! If I find out further information, I’ll update!
Will a regular postal type digital scale work for measuring the ingredients or does it have to be a soap scale? I have a digital scale that measures oz which I use for my packages when calculating weight.
Hi Cassie, As long as a scale is accurate and you can measure something like 3.85 oz with it, it should be good to use! :)
Thanks, I was also curious how you chose the correct type of Pine Tar to use for skin safe soap? I contacted Bramble Berry Soap and they gave me this response:
“Hi there, while you can use that, from what we found is that not any of the pine tar available on the market is cleaned up to a cosmetic industry standard. So while you can use it, we still really do not recommend it. Maybe if you collected and cleaned it yourself it would be okay, but I would still be cautious and do a lot of testing on your products if you do choose to use it :)”
Hi Cassie! Since pine tar is sold as a product for animals and isn’t tested or approved for human use, that’s the kind of response I got when asking around too.
However, if companies specifically said their pine tar was okay for soap or cosmetic or even human use at all, they’d fall under different rules and regulatory agencies & it would prove costly for them, so they aren’t going to do that.
From what I researched at the time, Auson brand is made in a closed kiln which means it doesn’t contain creosote, the component that causes concern for humans in some types of pine tar.
I feel comfortable enough with what I learned that I have no problem using it on my animals and family members, but each soapmaker will have to decide their personal level of comfort with using it. :)
Can pine resin be used instead of pine tar?
Hi JM! You can include pine resin in a soap, but it works best as an infused oil. I like infusing coconut oil, but you could olive oil as well. Include the resin infused oil as part of a regular soap recipe, just keep watch for a much faster trace. I hope to get a recipe & tutorial on the site for pine resin soap this fall! :)
Have you ever added tea tree oil or other essential oils to the soap for added benefit as well as to mask the smell a bit? I want to make this for my 12 year old daughter but have a feeling she may not want to use it because of the smell
Hi Tricia! I don’t usually do that, but I’ve read of others who have added essential oils such as peppermint and tea tree. Freshly made pine tar soap has a very strong scent that’s noticeable when entering the area it’s curing in, so essential oils aren’t able to really mask it, but they can complement it and make it more pleasing to someone who doesn’t care for the original scent. :)
Where do you get the stamp you put on the bar
Hi L! I bought it from Bramble Berry; there’s a link to it right under Recipe Notes. :)
Hello Jan….Could I do the recepie in hot process and add pine tar at the end? What do you think?
Hi Beatriz! I’ve not hot processed pine tar soap (since cold process is my favorite), but I’ve seen others do it successfully, but by still including the pine tar with the oils. Here’s one such video you might enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY1Vy41r6Nc
Instead of pine tar can I substitute it with pinon pine resin? I got it from Jenny’s Soaps on Amazon. It’s a refined organic pine resin.
Organic Pinon (Pinyon) Pine Refined Resin Incense from Arizona 2 oz. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F6EHKJS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_NiGeAb8RDAK6N
Hi David! For pine resin, I would infuse it in oil first (I like infusing it in coconut oil, but you could also use olive) and replace a portion of the regular oil in your favorite soap recipe with pine resin infused oil.
One thing to watch out for is that it can speed up trace. I hope to get a pine resin recipe on my site soon – stay tuned! :)
Can I just buy it from you?
Hi Dinah, Thanks for checking! I’m not set up to sell products, but you can find pine tar soap on Etsy.
Hi, brand new to soap making. I would like to add jojoba to this. Any recommendations on doing so? Would I decrease all the oils to stay at 100% or just replace some of the olive oil? Thanks!
Also, do you have an easy conversation to make this more of a shampoo bar? Thanks again!
Hi Nick! Yes, you could add jojoba oil to this recipe.
What you’ll want to do is replace part of the olive oil with jojoba. Also covering your shampoo bar question, you’d want to increase the castor oil amount too. Up to 15% is a pretty good amount for shampoo bars.
Whenever you’re making substitutions, it’s a pretty safe bet to tinker with the olive oil amount first, especially in a recipe where it’s over 50% of the oil amount, like this one.
So, with those changes, here’s what Bramble Berry’s calculator says the new recipe would look like:
LYE & LIQUID AMOUNT
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) 3.64 oz
Ounces of liquid 9.90 oz
OILS & FATS
Castor Oil 4.00 oz (13.3 %)
Coconut Oil (76 degrees) 7.50 oz (25.0 %)
Jojoba oil 1.50 oz (5.0 %)
Olive Oil 14.00 oz (46.7 %)
Pine Tar 3.00 oz (10.0 %)
Hi Jan, I’m new to all of this and have yet to use a soap calculator … so I follow a recipe and then add things for color or scent… lime honey.. I like adding honey and I like earthy colors …so I was thinking… could I add some pine tartar at the end of a recipe just for color or scent??, thanks Jan….
Hi Lynette! I really like that idea! I think you could add about 1 tablespoon at the end of the recipe, at trace, for a little bit of color and scent without needing to change the lye amount. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes! :)
Hello Jan, Do you know anything about Old Whipper Snapper Pine Tar Soaps. My son uses their pine tar soap and recently gifted me some. After doing some research I am a little weary of using pine tar soap since I read that it may contain carcinogens specifically creosote. The packaging does not state creosote free. Your thoughts?
Hi Patricia! I’m not familiar with that brand, but most soap sellers are careful to use the correct kind. I would send them an email and see what they say. :)
I tried this recipe about a year ago and the batch was very thin when I poured it into the mold. I waited 48 hours to unmold and I noticed the soup was super soft in the middle. I let it cure for about 8 weeks and it was usable but still a little soft.
Fast forward to yesterday….I tried this recipe again with the thought that I must have screwed something up the first time. It appears that I am getting the same results. The mixture is about as thick as used car oil and this seems too thin. I followed the directions exactly the way they were written and the soup mixture fit perfectly in the mold. Any ideas on what my issue could be?
Hi Nicholas! Have you used the same container of lye both times? Have you used that lye in any other soaps & if so, what were the results?
Super soft soap is usually related to a problem with weak or outdated lye. If you notice lumps in your lye, then that’s a sure sign that moisture has gotten into the container. When this happens, you weigh out both lye and moisture weight, which makes you run short on the lye amount you really need, so you end up with too much oil in the soap. If that’s the case, the solution could be buying a fresh bottle of lye.
Another possibility is that you might need to stir the soap more before pouring into the mold. Pine tar soap usually thickens up fast, but it could depend on the type of pine tar used. You may need to use your stick blender and mix for a longer time.
Also, just to double check – are you using a scale to weigh every ingredient? Or are you using measuring cups? (I always like to ask, since this is the most common mistake I see when soap troubles crop up.) :)
Can I use goat’s milk instead of the water in this recipe?
Hi Elizabeth! Yes, you sure can! You could either freeze the milk and use in place of water to make the lye solution, or you could make the lye solution with half the amount of water, then add the other half of the liquid as milk instead of water – just blend the milk with the oils before adding the cooled lye solution.
Hello! Yesterday I made PTS using the recipe in your book (Simple & Natural Soapmaking), and while it came to trace it took a good 15-20 min mixing alternately with spoon and blender. But it never was all one color, as though it wasn’t mixed thoroughly. I poured in a mold and this morning it was very oily and goopie. So I rebatched it in hot process for 2hrs. and it thickened right up but had some crustiness to it. At this point I’d like to know if it’s safe to use if it gets firm enough to cut into bars after a few days. Does hot process guarantee that the lye no longer exists? Any thoughts as to the crusty top it got while in the crock pot? I’m going to try again with your recipe here because it’s a little bit different in that it uses no lard. Also, after reading your responses to other comments, I think my lye may have had some moisture so I’ll replace that. So many questions!! TY for whatever info you can provide.
Hi Ann! Hot processing the soap for 2 hours should definitely work out any unreacted lye in the soap. By the time it cooks, then hardens up in the mold, it should be lye-free, as long as there wasn’t too much lye added in the first place. In this case, it sounds like you might not have had enough active lye – especially if you think some moisture was in your lye when you used it. That could cause the soap to feel soft and squishy, and to be oily/goopy/separate easily. Rebatching it won’t really help with soap that doesn’t have enough lye, but it won’t necessarily hurt anything either. It’s just going to be a softer soap in general because of not enough lye – though you can let it cure in the open air for a long (LONG) time & it has a chance of eventually hardening up! The crusty top sounds like it cooked long enough to start drying out, so probably a bit overcooked. You’ll be able to tell more once the soap has cured for a week or two. If it firms up enough to cut into bars & cure, then I’d give it a try as a soap! :)
TY for your help. I ended up throwing out the batch I wrote to you about….i decided nothing was going to help it. However, I made a second batch using your recipe here (and new lye) and it turned out perfectly! Everything about it went as it should and I’m now waiting for it to cure. Thanks again.
Hi Ann! So happy to hear that the second batch of pine tar soap worked out! :) Old lye has ruined several batches for me in the past too – It’s amazing how just a little bit of moisture in the lye container can make such a dramatic difference in a batch of soap!
Your using your essential oil rate at 4.3% isn’t that kind of high and the pine tar where did you find usage rates for that I can’t find it anywhere, but I do know that essential oils don’t stick in co soap very well so de we have to use it at that rate idk that’s why I’m asking🧐
Hi Nicole! You can use 1 to 5% essential oil in soap, depending on the essential oils used.
I used a higher rate in this one because pine tar’s scent is super strong and competes with the smell of the essential oils.
For pine tar usage rate, it was a combination of seeing other recipes in the past and a bit of trial and error to get the amount I liked best in my soaps. You can play around with the amount too! :)
I hear pine tar would get rid of some skin patches I have. I’m a little nervous about working with lye. Can I add pine tar to M&P soap base? If so what’s the recommended amount?
Hi Tyrie, That’s an excellent question! I’ve been meaning to give pine tar a try in melt & pour – thank you for the reminder! I’m going to experiment with it a bit and will update here when I do! I think you could definitely add it to the base, it would just be a matter of fine tuning the amount used. :)
I just made the Pine Tar soap for my son. I think I should have poured it in the mold a minute earlier it sure traces quickly. I got a stamp for Christmas when do I stamp the soap, I’ve never done it before I’m excited to try it out. Thanks for the recipe, Cathy
Hi Cathy! Sometimes the soap is ready to stamp when you cut it into bars, or sometimes it needs a day or longer to firm up a little more.
I have a whole article about stamping soap you may find helpful:
Happy soapmaking! 😊
I just made my first soap. I was a little intimidated at first but I read and reread directions and other posts. It was super easy. Here’s to waiting 4-6 weeks to try my finished product.
Hooray! I’m so happy to hear that! That first batch is the hardest. Now you can make all kinds of soap!
Am I able to add oatmeal and charcoal to this recipe? And if so, when would you recommend I add them? I’m also thinking about adding kaolin clay but don’t know when to add either. I have extra single soap bar molds for whatever doesn’t fit in the big bar mold.
Hi Sara, Yes, you sure can! I have another pine tar soap recipe that includes oatmeal, clay & charcoal in it – it’s one of our favorites here!
It has 1 teaspoon charcoal & 1 1/2 tablespoons ground oats, both blended into the warmed oils before you mix them with the lye solution.
The clay (I used bentonite, but kaolin or other types are fine too) is added to the lye solution while it’s still hot.
I added 1/2 tsp clay, but you could go higher to 1 tsp if you’d like.
My friend is experiencing scalp breakouts and skin lessions (abnormal spots appearing compared to the skin around it.). So far we have noted that whenever he takes eggs this tends to show even more. We are still checking what other culprits may be. He already enjoys using my soaps. I’m so excited to have found this recipe. I hope the high cleansing number (I get 17) shall be okay. Personally I always limit cleansing numbers to 12.
Ps. I just bought my first litre of Tar. So crossing fingers … while super excited.
Hi Es, I hope that pine tar soap is helpful for your friend! ❤ You could reduce the cleansing number in this recipe by reducing some of the coconut oil amount and replacing it with a favorite oil or butter. It may have less lather, but the pine tar portion will still be effective.
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