Seeking Advice on Pine Tar Recipe Gone Wrong


New member
Nov 13, 2021

I am brand new to soap making and after a bunch of research, I tried to make my first batch of soap using pine tar. I know it’s not a beginner recipe, but I mistakenly thought I’d be fine after researching it quite a bit. I was hoping I could post my recipe and maybe somebody could tell me where I went wrong.

I put it into a soap calculator and I thought It would be good, but it looks like it didn’t mix all the way (because the color isn’t uniform) and the soap stuck to the silicone mold because there were outer portions that remained wet and mushy even though much of the “soap” was solid. I tested a piece and didn’t get any lather either. I waited 48 hours to unmold.

10.1 oz water
3.5 oz lye
.51 oz Peppermint Essential oil
.5 oz Cedarwood Essential oil
1.9 oz castor oil
5.6 oz coconut oil
8.7 oz olive oil
6.2 oz palm oil
4.2 oz pine tar
1.4 oz shea butter
1.5 T kaolin clay
3 t colloidal oatmeal
2 T charcoal
1 t salt

I did take a chance and used my stick blender a little, thinking a little would be okay, then quickly switched to a whisk. I added the oatmeal and fragrance after I saw I reached trace (not sure if it would’ve been considered thin trace or thicker). It seemed fairly thick when I poured into the mold, thicker than I think it should’ve been, but I was still able to pour it.

I appreciate any advice (I already know that I should’ve tried a basic recipe for my first batch, but I can’t take it back). Thank you. 121122


Nov 4, 2019
Hello @LisaLopez,

From the first look, you took a dive on the deep end of the soapmaking pool. You started with a very complicated recipe.

The first remark, is that you did not reach a trace. But the amount of solid particles thickened it a lot. It would not be good news for your stick blender, because you risked breaking it.

So to make your life easier, I would recommend that you rebatch your soap. Cut them into small pieces and put them in a crock pot, and heat (around 60 or 70 degrees celsius should do it). Add water if the batter is too thick, but not too much.
In this case you should consider mixing them for a long time, because you have a lot of solid particles. When you feel that you have reached a visual homogeneity, put the batter in the mold and leave to cool.

But for the next time you do a similar recipe, you should optimize the process a lot. This kind of soaps is not just about pouring everything in a pot and mixing.