Hot Process Pine Tar Soap


I have done the hot process soap a couple of times and while I thought it worked fine, I didn’t just absolutely fall in love with the process — until today. I’ve had a few people request some pine tar soap, and I wanted to get it out to them quicker than the normal wait with the cold process, so I got out my trusty crock pot, did some checking on the Internet and away I went!! (My original recipe is here.)

I like The Prairie Homestead blog, so I searched her site and found a great tutorial for making soap using the Hot Process. Score. (If you’re interested in doing the Hot Process method, take a peak at her blog.)

Pine Tar Soap can be a bit of a booger to make. There is really a very short window of opportunity to add oils or to get the soap into molds. It can set up so fast and seize that processing it can be tricky. Today, though, through the hot process method, I was able to add essential oils and carefully spoon the soap into my silicone molds.

I bought different Pine Tar than I have used previously. Farnam Horse Health Pine Tar  turned out to be quite a surprise to me. I really didn’t like the fragrance of this pine tar at first. I mean. It was really offensive. The other stuff I used had a strong pine smell, but this, well, I’m not sure what to say about that.  I was pleasantly surprised, though, when I added the essential oils at the end of the process. The fragrance is rather appealing, I think. It’s still sitting over there on my counter all wrapped up and I kind of want to take a peek and smell it again, but I’m going to refrain. I’ll let you know if I change my mind tomorrow.

I’ve never put too many essential oils in my other Pine Tar Soaps. I may have gotten carried away, but I know that 1)no one would have wanted to bathe in that smell and 2)these oils are so incredible in what they can do for skin issues.

Here’s my modified Pine Tar Soap Recipe:

For a 4 pound batch:

  • 9.14 oz. coconut oil
  • 27.4 oz. olive oil
  • 9.14 oz. pine tar
  • 1 tbls castor oil
  • 10 oz. distilled water
  • 5.1 oz lye

Essential Oils after cooking:

  • Patchouli, 1/2 tsp.
  • Frankincense, 1 tsp
  • Rosehip, 1 tsp
  • Cedarwood, 1 tsp
  • Lemongrass, 1 tsp
  • Clove Oil, 1 tsp
  • Eucalyptus, 2 tsp
  • Lavender, 3 tsp.

Using a scale, weigh the coconut and olive oils, the pine tar  and castor oil and put into a crock pot on low. As the oils melt, put the water into a glass or stainless steel container. (I use mason jars when I do this.) I also place the jar of water in the sink. I have had jar break before. Thankfully it all went down the drain and not all over my counter and floors!!

Carefully pour the lye into the water (do as you oughter, pour the lye in the water! A special thank you to my chemistry teacher Mr. Scholtens for that little ditty) stirring carefully. Be very careful. This has horrid fumes, so you will want to have a window open and you will want to wear eye protection and rubber gloves. Lye at this stage can BURN!

After the oils have melted, stirring carefully, add the lye solution to the oils. Pour slowly and stir thoroughly.

You will need to keep stirring until you reach trace. I did use my stick blender for a short time and it worked great. You cannot use a stick blender when using the cold process method. I use this blender.

Once it makes it to trace, put the lid on the slow cooker and set a time for 50 minutes. I checked mine every 15 minutes or so and stirred. During this stage is when I almost gagged at the pine tar smell. It gets better. I promise.

After 50 minutes, I added the essential oils and stirred really well. This was lovely. After the essential oils were fully incorporated into the soap, I spooned the soap into my 2″ round silicone molds. Since I’ve been making soap the cold process way for almost 20 years, out of habit I wrap my soap molds and insulate them. I did that with these as well. A little extra cooking doesn’t hurt anything.


Let me know if you used this recipe and method. What did you like? What would you do differently?





2 thoughts on “Hot Process Pine Tar Soap

  1. JJ Menzel

    Be sure to check your crock pot temp. When I first used the hot process, I had soap boiling over the sides in about 15 min when set on low. I read that you can make hot process in your oven at 180 degrees, so I checked my crock. Now I use the ‘warm’ setting, and have great results each time. I love it! I must not be as patient for cold procees as you. 😉

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