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April 2016 Soap of the Month

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Cold Processed Pine Tar Soap

 

 Pine tar soap is a humble addition to a soap makers line.  An old fashioned soap that is loved by people with sensitive skin, lovers of earthy fresh scents and even by hunters who wish to not carry human scent into the woods.  I personally like to cure my soaps for 8 weeks or longer regardless of cold or hot process, so I do not bother with making pine tar soap by the hot process method.  Early Spring to the start of Summer is the perfect time of year to make pine tar to tuck away and have the soap cured in time for fall hunting season as well as the dry months of Winter. 

 

Even though it sounds simple, the addition of pine tar accelerates the soap batter and without careful planning it can easily get away from you, turning from fluid to thick spackle within minutes.  Careful planning and attention to detail with a distraction free window of time can see you through the process smoothly. 

 

 

My recipe is my own formulation, a family favorite with readily available grocery store oils in a common 32 ounce(900g) of oil formula.  With the addition of pine tar outside of the oil weight it will overflow a usual 32 ounce mold, so have an individual bar mold on stand by for any left over batter.  I have the recipe in grams, but refer to the soapcalc photo provided for the translation to ounces.  I do not add any fragrance, for the pine tar has its own scent and many essential oils would just be lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

363 grams distilled water divided into 100g and 263g

 

124 grams sodium hydroxide (formulated for 5% superfat)

 

 

 

 

318 grams Wal Mart GV brand Tallow based shortening with palm

 

136 grams coconut oil

318 grams olive oil

 

91 grams avocado oil

 

45 grams castor oil

 

 

 

25 grams sodium lactate

 

 

 

182 grams pine tar (formulated to 20% of oil weight)

 

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Equipment needed:

Vessel large enough to hold a 32 ounce oil batch of soap

Silicone spatula

Three plastic containers for lye, water and pine tar mixture

Accurate working digital scale

Soap molds.  I prefer the HDPE molds that come apart with individual silicone molds for back up

Freezer paper if needed to line your mold, I line for the insurance aspect of it

Thermometer

Stick blender

Chop sticks for stirring lye water

Distilled water, lye and recipe oils

100% pine tar, usually found at farm and feed stores.  It is used on horses hooves and in liniment formulations

Saucepan to melt hard oils on the stove

 

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I start with mixing the pine tar with the 100grams of distilled water.  The can is like a paint can and needs pried off with a flat screwdriver, and like paint it makes a mess of the rim.  In very cold weather it will be thicker in consistency.

 

Next, weigh your distilled water and lye, ALWAYS combine the lye into the water and stir with your chop stick until the mixture is clear.  Set aside to cool.

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With a small spatula I stir until the pine tar and water are combined.  It will look separated, but a good stir will bring it together.  Set aside until needed.

 

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Keep the rim tidy by wiping it inside the groove with a paper towel or wet wipe and your screwdriver. 

 

Weigh the liquid oils into your soap bowl and set aside, then weigh the hard oils into your saucepan, break up any chunks with a heavy spatula and melt on low heat until completely melted.  Allow to cool.

 

I documented the cooling time to be between 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes in my 68F(20C) kitchen the day I made this batch.  You can easily prep your ingredients, keep the lye water in a safe place and walk away until everything is cool enough to proceed.  When the lye water was 90F (32C), my hard fats were hovering about 98F (36C), once I combined them with the liquid oils, the whole temperature fell to 78F (25C), which was perfect to proceed.  Be sure to prep your molds if needed before you start or at this time when you are waiting for the fats and lye to cool.  You need everything ready because the actual process goes very quickly.

 

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Slowly pour the lye into the oil mixture, stick blend ONLY until you see a light trace.  As long as the mixture is fully emulsified and it reaches a light trace, you can proceed.  Do not use the stick blender again, you will finish with only the spatula to mix the pine tar into the batter.  Scrape it into the soap batter and then stir until the color is even. 

 

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Once the color is even its time to pour, work steady because as you pour into the mold, you can see by the photos that the mixture will thicken in front of your eyes.  In the four photos the time that went by was a mere 2 minutes between the first and fourth photo. 

 

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While the beginning of the pour is quite liquid, the end of the pour is more thick, like cooked and chilled pudding.  Take your spatula and help the batter into the corners of the mold. I trim the top of my loaf mold, so I overfill just a little to have a smooth cut top in the end.

 

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The thick scrapings of the bowl are pressed into the individual mold and smoothed as much as I can. 

 

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I do not insulate my soap, I just allow it to set on the counter.  The individuals were warm, but the loaf mold was obviously gelling, though not to the edge and the feel of the mold was also warm, but no cracking or movement at all. 

 

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I made this soap in the evening, and the next morning, about 14-15 hours after it was made it was perfect to remove from the molds and to cut.  I start by slicing the top level before taking the mold off the soap. 

 

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I pull off the sides of the mold and then peel the liner off. 

 

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The individuals pop right out with a gentle hand I just turn the mold upsidedown and gently press on the back.  The one on the right was made with the very first pour of the batter, before the loaf mold.  And the one on the left was the thick left over batter scrapped out of the bowl. 

 

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I usually use my wire soap cutter, but this batch is for my husband, who travels for work.  I cut these bars to last a little longer at 1 1/4-inch thick (3.5cm).  For basic cuts I prefer using a quilters grid ruler, it comes in handy for many uses around the house and craft areas.  It is easy to lay on top of the loaf, line up with the grid marks and make tic marks with the knife where I want to cut.  I sliced off a thin slice as the first end cut, and cut those in half for hand washing or sample sizes.  The rest were cut according to the tic marks. 

 

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This photo is of a freshly made bar of pine tar and one that is 6 months old.  There is very little difference between the two bars, the older one is just a touch smaller, and just a touch darker in color…but not by much. 

 

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The finished bars are set on a cardboard pad and will cure open air for one week, then get packed away in their cardboard box.  I prefer to cure in boxes on a shelf in my basement.  While 8 weeks is my standard cure time, I really love this bar after a solid 6 months cure.

 

The trimmed bits of soap are chopped up and then mixed into another batch of soap to make Hodgepodge or Confetti soaps.  Nothing goes to waste!

 

While pine tar can be added to any working soap recipe as an addition in any amount up to 20% of the oil weight, I have personally only made pine tar soap with this recipe.  I can not say with any experience if the process is changed with a different base formulation.  I think the key to success though is cool working temperatures and working quickly as soon as the pine tar is added. 

 

I hope this tutorial helps those that have not tried pine tar soap or those who have tried and run into snags along the way.  It’s a classic soap for a reason and worth making for yourself. 

Good Luck and Get Soaping!!

 

  

 

 

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I gotta make me some of this! What a great recipe Chefmom! Thanks so much for sharing.

 

Where do you get your pine tar?

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5 hours ago, Candybee said:

I gotta make me some of this! What a great recipe Chefmom! Thanks so much for sharing.

 

Where do you get your pine tar?

I buy mine at my local Tractor Supply, in the horse section.  You just have to be sure that it says pine tar and not linament.  The cans look alike.

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Wow...this was great!! I love the dark color of the soap and I see it makes some great suds! This was so interesting! Thank you Chefmom! :)   

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What a great tutorial! I can only hope when my month comes up I'm half as good as yours and Candy's has been. I'm so looking forward to the next one! :)

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This soap has got me thinking....question for ya Chefmom.....do you think a person could add a scent to this soap or would the tar smell overwhelm any other scent you think? I COULD so see a soap called Tar and Dirt on my shelf with activated charcoal added in there somewhere....what do you think? Did I just ruin my soap? :) 

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30 minutes ago, puma52 said:

This soap has got me thinking....question for ya Chefmom.....do you think a person could add a scent to this soap or would the tar smell overwhelm any other scent you think? I COULD so see a soap called Tar and Dirt on my shelf with activated charcoal added in there somewhere....what do you think? Did I just ruin my soap? :) 

I'm not sure if a fragrance would come through or not.  When I first started researching making pine tar soap I found that many people added tea tree to it, which is a strong scent on its own.  Your best bet is to make a small batch first and then smell the soap after a couple of weeks with your fragrance to make sure they are compatible.  The scent is very strong for a short while, but tames with cure time.

 

A dirt fragrance would most likely go with it tho, pine tar soap is a fresh and earthy scent.  You either love it or you hate it.  I live in the woods, so I love the fresh turned earth and fresh air type scents, with a whisp of pine needles.  The activated charcoal would be a good addition as well. 

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4 hours ago, Chefmom said:

I'm not sure if a fragrance would come through or not.  When I first started researching making pine tar soap I found that many people added tea tree to it, which is a strong scent on its own.  Your best bet is to make a small batch first and then smell the soap after a couple of weeks with your fragrance to make sure they are compatible.  The scent is very strong for a short while, but tames with cure time.

 

A dirt fragrance would most likely go with it tho, pine tar soap is a fresh and earthy scent.  You either love it or you hate it.  I live in the woods, so I love the fresh turned earth and fresh air type scents, with a whisp of pine needles.  The activated charcoal would be a good addition as well. 

The tea tree is very strong and maybe it would take a very strong EO like it to add just a little something extra in the scent mix, but I do like it in my soap. Hmmm, I have got to get to the Tractor Supply Company and get a can of that pine tar and play. Thanks Chefmom! :) Maybe a dirt/activated charcoal layer and a tar layer of soap... :)

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On 4/2/2016 at 10:29 AM, Chefmom said:

I'm not sure if a fragrance would come through or not.  When I first started researching making pine tar soap I found that many people added tea tree to it, which is a strong scent on its own.  Your best bet is to make a small batch first and then smell the soap after a couple of weeks with your fragrance to make sure they are compatible.  The scent is very strong for a short while, but tames with cure time.

 

A dirt fragrance would most likely go with it tho, pine tar soap is a fresh and earthy scent.  You either love it or you hate it.  I live in the woods, so I love the fresh turned earth and fresh air type scents, with a whisp of pine needles.  The activated charcoal would be a good addition as well. 

 

Chefmom I love your ideas for a fragrance. I'm thinking a christmas tree, mistletoe type, maybe patchouli, or grass types. Could go with a few EOs like patch, rosemary, basil, sage, lavender, peppermint, etc. Maybe I'll try making one in a lavender and tea tree. I get requests for tea tree soap a lot in the summer.

 

Question: from your soap pic I am assuming the lather comes out white and not a tannish color as in some dark vanilla soaps?

Edited by Candybee
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22 hours ago, Candybee said:

Question: from your soap pic I am assuming the lather comes out white and not a tannish color as in some dark vanilla soaps?

 

Candybee, yes, for the most part the bubbles are white.  I have a few pucks that were the left overs from the last batch.  I keep them at my kitchen sink to wash my hands with and when I first used them the lather had a slight beige/off white color.  But once it was used the lather is white.  For the photo I had a bucket of warm water and a nylon bath poof to make a pile of bubbles to play with.  It was a windy day and the bubbles were breaking down kinda quickly.  I honestly was expecting brown or tan bubbles when I first made it, but they are mostly white to white. :)

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This is absolutely gorgeous!  Thanks SO much for sharing this Chefmom!  

Edited to add...what exactly does pine tar smell like?  My husband is a hunter....I'm wondering if he would like this for hunting 

season.  Is it piney smelling?  We both LOVE the smell of woodsy pine tree.

Edited by debratant

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1 hour ago, debratant said:

This is absolutely gorgeous!  Thanks SO much for sharing this Chefmom!  

Edited to add...what exactly does pine tar smell like?  My husband is a hunter....I'm wondering if he would like this for hunting 

season.  Is it piney smelling?  We both LOVE the smell of woodsy pine tree.

Pine tar smells like....earth, smoke with a far off essence of pine.  It's not pine like freshly cut Christmas tree pine, but more of if you are walking among pine trees and you dig at the base below the pine needles to the earth.  Not just "dirt" but rich organic earth with pine.  And it's smokey since it is a refined product.  The day the soap is made it's pretty strong, it fills the room.  But it does settle to a nice fresh scent in my opinion.  If you want more piney smell you could add tea tree oil (I think tea tree smells piney anyway).

 

I have read that hunters like the soap because if it leaves any scent on your skin it will be a outside type of scent. 

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I was wondering if I made this soap to sell to hunter's would it be best to leave it unscented? I think the pine tar scent is what they are buying right?

 

I might try a batch with tea tree and lavender and one unscented if hunter's prefer it.

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On 4/14/2016 at 9:26 AM, Candybee said:

I was wondering if I made this soap to sell to hunter's would it be best to leave it unscented? I think the pine tar scent is what they are buying right?

 

I might try a batch with tea tree and lavender and one unscented if hunter's prefer it.

Yes, I would think that hunters would prefer unscented pine tar.  I recently made a batch of lavender soap and it went next to the pine tar, I have a feeling that lavender and tea tree would do well with the scent, however it will be a balance to figure out how much scent to use and not get lost.  The pine tar scent does tone down during cure tho, if the added scent sticks it should all blend well.

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Thanks Chefmom. I think I may try using 100% tallow or maybe lard instead. I like to tweak recipes so they are my own. Does the pine tar soften the soap or does it take a while to harden? I'm asking because I only add SL to my castile soaps so I can unmold them the next day. I prefer not to add SL unless the soap stays really soft for days.

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On 4/18/2016 at 4:53 PM, Candybee said:

Thanks Chefmom. I think I may try using 100% tallow or maybe lard instead. I like to tweak recipes so they are my own. Does the pine tar soften the soap or does it take a while to harden? I'm asking because I only add SL to my castile soaps so I can unmold them the next day. I prefer not to add SL unless the soap stays really soft for days.

 

In theory I would say yes, it will soften the soap.  Simply because you are adding 20% on top of the recipe and that is a lot.  I have not made this recipe with pine tar without sodium lactate, so I can't say for sure.  If you make it without please post your findings because it would be good to note what happens.  I don't usually line my molds for this recipe, they come out cleanly, but for the sake of the tutorial I lined them, it's a good "insurance" habit to be in, especially when making a new recipe or using new additives etc.  

 

This recipe was an existing recipe before I used it for pine tar, and it sets up well.  If your 100% tallow or lard set up well on their own, then I would think only a little more time might be needed with the addition of pine tar. 

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Thanks Chefmon. Going to give it a try when I have time. I'll let you know how it turns out if I decide not to use the SL.

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I have been without internet for a week....and was dying to know the answer....thanks Chefmom!  

When I make my batch...I won't be using sodium lactate...don't have it....but I do always add salt to my lye water

Now I just need to go get pine tar lol.

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I was able to get the pine tar.   I'm going to attempt your recipe this weekend.  

I do not have sodium lactate....is that part necessary?  

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WOW ! Just beautiful - i love the dark natural color of the soap. You mentioned that the recipe is good for sensitive skin - do you think its conditioning 

enough for say, dry or mature skin. Im not sure what pine tar smells like though lol !  gotta try this one out ! Thank you for sharing :) 

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