Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pine Tar Soap

An old time classic soap! This soap has been popular for outdoor-type men - it has a wonderful pine scent, and I hear it'll keep ticks away. It's often used for treating psoriasis and eczema, helps with wound healing, and is used to clear up poison ivy by easing the itch and drying out the area. It has been said to be anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial - used for smelly feet, armpits, acne, bug bites, rashes, wounds, or dandruff. Ok this stuff sounds awesome, we need it in our house. lol My husband has very flaky skin on his face and head, so I very much wanted to make some for him. We decided to use coffee as the liquid because this is a soap often used on the face - the caffeine can help with wrinkles and help to close up pores. The caffeine is also acting as a colorant for me, along with 1 oz of honey. I want a very dark soap. We're just lucky the caffeine and honey will add more benefits to this soap.

Pine Tar Soap

20 oz. Lard
8 oz. Coconut Oil
4 oz. Sunflower Oil
12 oz. Coffee (a little extra was added because pine tar soap comes to trace so fast)
1 oz. Honey
2 oz. Pine Tar
4.5 oz. Lye
Special Note: I made 2 batches - in one batch I put 3 tbs finely ground coffee, for an exfoliant - the other I did not.

  • I started by getting all my supplies out and ready. Tools, oils, lye, protection gear, scale - all of it. I took awhile doing this to be sure I had everything covered, so I wouldn't be trying to hunt something down during the process.
  • I then wanted to the the lye part out of the way, so it could be cooling while I mixed the rest. I usually do the oils first, but with this recipe I want to do it all at close to room temperature - because the the unique way pine tar soap is. It will come to trace extremely fast! The lower temperature of everything will help slow it some. I used an ice bath for the coffee and lye. 

  • Once that was done I left the lye mixture in the measuring cup in the sink while I work on the rest. (In the other half of the sink, not left in the ice bath.)
  • I measured out all the oils, honey, and pine tar.
  • I placed the hard oils in the crock pot to melt, and added the honey in with it. Warm soft honey is easier to mix in.

  • Once melted I put all the oil in a bowl. I didn't heat up the sunflower oil, since it's so soft, and I am working to do all of this at a much lower temperature - 90 or less. 
  • Then added in the pine tar, and mixed it all very well before adding the lye mixture. Do not use an immersion blender with this soap. Just mix with a wooden spoon or whisk. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
  • With my husband's help we poured the soap into our 3" pvc pipe mold. I'll take it out of the mold in 24-48 hours, depending on how it looks after the first 24 hours (if it's hardened enough). 

These are the 3 pine tar soaps we made in the picture above - 1 with coffee grounds (for an exfoliant), 1 plain, and 1 that was poured with coconut milk soap (for moisturizing).  Before we wrap them up we'll smooth out the edges a little. Makes them look a little nicer. For now we're just letting them dry out on some trays I have. They need to cure and harden for 4-6 weeks.


  1. How do you get it out of the mold? Do you make on giant long soap bar and then cut discs from it or pour a whole bunch of them that are already the right size?

  2. I have a piece of pink Styrofoam type insulation that I place in the tube, and then push on that with another piece of pvc pipe that fits in the 3 inch pipe. You need to grease the inside of your pipe though with something like Vaseline, or line it with freezer paper (shiny side in). Once we have the log out we cut into sections about 1" thick.

    1. I should clarify that you grease the inside of the pipe BEFORE you put the soap in, so it doesn't stick as much to the sides. There are several ways to line your mold if it needs it. I've tried mineral oil, freezer paper, and Vaseline. I like Vaseline best so far.