This pine tar soap recipe is my version of Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap. It is manly, rugged, and smells absolutely amazing!
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My 18-year-old son loves Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap. When he first brought it home I was so impressed, I thought, I have to learn how to make a soap like that! When I found out he was paying $6 per bar, I knew I should come up with a pine tar soap recipe! It really is great soap with natural ingredients, if you aren’t interested in making your own soap you should definitely buy a bar or two it feels and smells amazing!
While this soap is amazing, it is also a bit of a challenge to make. It took me three batches to get it just right! I’ll share all the details and all of my mistakes with you so that you can successfully make this soap!
There is also a video with this post, so it would be worthwhile to watch it as well! I take you step-by-step through the whole process!
Pine Tar in Soap
Pine tar is actually an age-old soap ingredient, known for its healing properties, it is the liquid from pine trees. Interestingly, it is great for treating psoriasis and eczema! Pine tar is antibacterial which is beneficial in keeping down body odor! Who knew?
Make sure whatever pine tar you purchase is creosote free. Check your local farm stores or get it on Amazon.
Tips for Avoiding Seized Soap When Using Pine Tar
The downside of using pine tar in a soap recipe is that it accelerates the process tremendously! My soapmaking friend warned me of this and I took precautions with my first batch of soap. For whatever reason on my second attempt, I didn’t take the same precautions and my soap seized. What is seizing? Well, it means the soap batter turns hard before you even get it completely mixed or in the mold. No fun! I am however glad it happened because I learned from the mistake!
The main thing to do to prevent your soap from hardening too quickly is to work at a low temperature and to mix by hand. No immersion blender is necessary for this recipe.
To keep the temperature low, I freeze the water before mixing it with the sodium hydroxide. This does the trick! Also, only melt the solid fats and butters, don’t heat the rest of the oils. Make sure the oils are cooled to around 85-90 degrees.
There is a lengthy list of additives for this soap, don’t be alarmed, it’s fun to add some grit to the soap! Measure out each ingredient and have it ready to go in little dishes. I know it’s a lot of dishes to dirty up, however, you will be glad you have everything ready and at hand.
Ingredients for Pine Tar Soap
- 10 oz coconut oil
- 7 oz olive oil
- 9 oz lard
- 2 oz shea butter
- 3 oz pine tar
- 1.5 oz castor oil
- 10.5 oz distilled or filtered water
- 4.5 oz sodium hydroxide (lye)
- 2 oz Essential oils (pine, cedarwood, and orange)
Pine Tar Soap Recipe Additives
- 1-1.5 TBS Pumice
- 3 tsp activated charcoal powder
- 2 tsp kaolin clay
- 2 TBS oats ground super fine
- 2 tsp sea salt
The pumice gives the soap that gritty feeling that exfoliates so nicely. The charcoal helps to pull out dirt and impurities and clear out pores. The kaolin clay is mixed with the fragrance and it anchors it making the scent last longer. This was my first time using kaolin clay in a recipe and I will say it definitely works! The oats are very nourishing for your skin. The sea salt helps the bar to harden.
Steps for Making Pine Tar Soap
- First, measure the 10.5 oz of water and pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it.
- Next, measure out each of the ingredients listed, and have everything ready
- Once frozen pour the measured sea salt over the ice, next sprinkle the sodium hydroxide on the ice as well. Gently stir while the ice melts, and set aside.
- Melt your hard fats and butters, remove from heat, and pour in the liquid oils and the pine tar, mix well
- Once oils are combined, add in the pumice, and the charcoal
- Then add the kaolin clay mixed with 1 tsp of water and the fragrance oils
- Test the temperature of the lye and the oils, each should be 90 degrees or under
- Pour the lye solution into the oils and add the oats
- Stir until you reach trace
- Pour into your prepared mold
- Cover and let sit overnight
- Unmold the next day, cut into bars and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks
Cost of Making Dr. Squatch Knockoff Soap
I’m not a math person, so this is my best estimate based on the cost per ounce of each ingredient. There are obviously a lot of ingredients in this soap. However, you will be able to make many batches of soap from most of the ingredients. Your initial cost of sourcing all of the ingredients could be quite high depending on what you have on hand.
I calculated the cost per loaf. My mold holds approximately 32 ounces and if I cut it properly I should get 8 bars of soap from the mold. If my math is correct the cost per bar is approximately $2.50. So there is actually quite a savings if you make this yourself versus buying the bars at $6 each!
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