how to factor in pine tar?

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I'm looking for my peeps who've made pine tar soap. The interwebs give me conflicting information that pine tar saponifies, does not, does too, etc. I'm gathering from this Forum that pine tar does NOT saponify. Say I want a recipe with 20% pine tar. Do I then calculate a recipe volume at 80% of my mold, and just plug in my normal oil mixture and lye solution? Thanks for your help.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I'm gathering from this Forum that pine tar does NOT saponify.
That's true. I use SoapCalc for this type of query. Enter Pine Tar at 100%, click "Calculate" and the info comes up all zeros. Pine Tar is listed as just a place holder in SoapCalc. It's essentially an additive.

Screen Shot 2022-04-08 at 9.00.31 PM.png

Say I want a recipe with 20% pine tar. Do I then calculate a recipe volume at 80% of my mold, and just plug in my normal oil mixture and lye solution?
So plug in your recipe with pine tar at 20% with the rest of the ingredients as you normally do. :thumbs: ;)
 

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I can't answer the question whether pine tar actually makes soap when it reacts with lye, but I do know it consumes a fair bit of lye. Every gram (or ounce) of pine tar will eat up about 1/3 the lye (NaOH or KOH) that the same amount of lard will consume.

Pine tar is slso an accelerant in soap, which means it is reacting right away with the lye. That means the fats and fatty acids get what's left over to make actual soap. Don't short your soap!

You should always include pine tar as if it is a "fat" in the recipe, just as Zany showed, so your recipe has enough alkali to react with the pine tar as well as the fats/fatty acids.
 
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Don't be silly, of course pine tar saponifies. Pine tar is technically NOT an additive in cold processed soap because it can be saponified, but very informally I do consider ingredients like pine tar and beeswax to be additives, however i also realize the importance of understanding that these ingredients ARE absolutely saponified and you would need to therefore calculate your recipe for pine tar soap by including pine tar just like any fat subject to saponification.
That is why pine tar is in the section under oil, fats, and waxes.
Anything in that section saponifies; for example, beeswax.
I know, it's weird to think that beeswax saponifies or reacts with lye to form soap and glycerin, but that's my understanding.
When lye reacts with pine tar or beeswax it will obviously have different characteristics than soap reacted from say olive oil. That's the magic.

Zany from CO, interesting proof!!!
SoapCalc says it only takes 6 ounces of KOh to saponify 100 ounces of pine tar, but to saponify the same amount of coconut oil would require in excess of 400% more lye, or 25.6 oz.
To me that suggests pine tar likely can't be completely saponified and that the remaining un-saponified ingredients from the pine tar could be considered an additive. That missing weight is where pine tar's magic healing drugs hide out from the lye monster and the fda.
 

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Don't be silly, of course pine tar saponifies. Pine tar is technically NOT an additive in cold processed soap because it can be saponified, but very informally I do consider ingredients like pine tar and beeswax to be additives, however i also realize the importance of understanding that these ingredients ARE absolutely saponified and you would need to therefore calculate your recipe for pine tar soap by including pine tar just like any fat subject to saponification.
That is why pine tar is in the section under oil, fats, and waxes.
Anything in that section saponifies; for example, beeswax.
I know, it's weird to think that beeswax saponifies or reacts with lye to form soap and glycerin, but that's my understanding.
When lye reacts with pine tar or beeswax it will obviously have different characteristics than soap reacted from say olive oil. That's the magic.
I have to disagree with you. Just because something reacts with lye doesn't mean it saponifies, e.g. vinegar, citric acid.

Also, on the soapmakingfriend lye calculator, you will find "Pine Tar, lye calc only, no fatty acids." If there are no fatty acids, there is nothing to saponify.

My guess is that all the calculators list it in the oils, fats, and butters section because when those calculators were originally designed, people thought it did saponify. There are all kinds of things in the soap calculator (like the default 38%-water-as-percent-of-oils setting) that would not be set up that way today, but people are so used to them that no one bothers to change them.
 
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Not to quibble, but citric acid doesn't saponify because it isn't a fat, oil, or lipid, nor does it react with lye to turn into soap and alcohol.
The definition of saponification on WIkipedia is the 'the conversion of fat, oil, or lipid into soap and alcohol by the action of aqueous alkali, like NaOH.'

If your point is that pine tar can't saponify as completely as coconut oil for example i know you're right. Somebody showed me earlier how it only takes 6 ounces of KOH to saponify 100 ounces of pure pine tar, whereas it would take about 26 ounces of KOH to saponify the same amount of coconut oil.

For purposes of creating recipes this just confuses people. Pine tar should be considered a fat like any other oil for purposes of recipe creation. Or maybe I'm wrong, i dunno, i only made pt soap once, but i figured in the pt @ 10% just like the cocoa butter and no problems.

I'm about to make some more pt soap for Xmas 2022 tho in the next couple of days tho. I'm pretty sure we're just supposed to figure in the pt like a fat.
 
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Yes, you do add it to the list of oils, fats and butters. But once again, that's only because that's how the original folks built the lye calculators. And honestly, it's convenient to have it listed that way, since we usually measure out pine tar with our oils.

However, pine tar has no SAP value, because it does not saponify. It doesn't saponify because (like citric acid, vinegar, lemon juice), it does not have fatty acids.

Pine does use up lye because (like citric acid, vinegar, and lemon juice), there are substances in the pine tar that react with the lye to form other (non-soap) substances. Here is an article that explains that pine tar mixed with water produces an acidic substance. Anything acidic (like citric acid, vinegar, and lemon juice) is automatically going to neutralize some lye.

Calculators that list the supposed SAP value for pine tar are actually misleading. What the calculator is really doing in that instance is figuring out for you how much lye the pine tar will eat up (just like citric acid, vinegar, lemon juice do). That's all.
 
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these two articles list a saponification value for pine tar
yet i see pt has zero fatty acids so I'm not sure what could be saponified
isn't the SAP value and the SV number the same thing?

 
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Think of it this way:

Oils, fats, and butter (things with fatty acids) will react with lye to create a salt we call soap. The SAP value tells you how much lye will be used up in the process of making that salt.

Other acids will also react with lye, but that process creates something other than soap. For instance, citric acid reacts with lye to create sodium citrate.

We know how much lye is used up when those products react with the lye to create the new non-soap substance. Technically that isn't a "SAP value" because we aren't creating soap. But it's the same kind of mathematical calculation. One could just as easily include citric acid and vinegar in the list of oils, fats, and butter, and assign a "SAP" value to them. They aren't actually being saponified, but it's a way of referencing how much lye will be used up by each gram (or other measurement) of that substance.

That's my understanding of the inclusion of pine tar in the soap calculator. What is called a "SAP value" for pine tar isn't truly that. The calculator is just recognizing how much lye the pine tar will use up.
 
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Ah, ok. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Ali. I'd been under the impression that the lye was actually turning my beeswax into soap, but I stand corrected.
So are we sure the lye is merely being neutralized by the acidic tar or beeswax, rather than reacting with some of the more complex elements in the tar to create new substances, which are admittedly not soap?
Can lye react with anything except fatty acids to create new substances?

The NIH link you kindly showed me regarding the medicinal uses of pine tar states that pt, "is extremely complex, containing several thousand chemical components, primarily aromatic hydrocarbons, tar acids and tar bases.8 The principal constituents of pine tar include turpentine, resin, guaiacol, creosol, methylcreosol, phenol, phlorol, toluene, xylene and other hydrocarbons.

So there's turpentine in the pine tar soap? That stuff is part of Merck's 1899 Manual and given to patients internally for a very wide range of ailments. See link below if interested and ctrl+f for turpentine... sorry to get off-topic but i did research on this once when my friend told me he was taking turpentine and chlorine dioxide for health reasons... Merck's 1899 Manual, by Merck & Co.—A Project Gutenberg eBook
 

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"...So are we sure the lye is merely being neutralized by the acidic tar or beeswax, rather than reacting with some of the more complex elements in the tar to create new substances, which are admittedly not soap?

An acid-base neutralization reaction produces new chemicals, whether soap or other chemicals entirely. There's no "merely" about this.

"...Can lye react with anything except fatty acids to create new substances?..."

Absolutely it can. NaOH is a common industrial raw material that's widely used in industry to produce a wide variety of chemicals.

"...So there's turpentine in the pine tar soap? ...."

There might be trace amounts of turpentine in pine tar, but I would not expect it to be a major component. Turpentine is a highly volatile chemical and it should be mostly evaporated by the time the pyrolysis reaction used to produce pine tar is complete.
 
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Ah-ha! So it's a MYSTERY! I knew it!

"...Can lye react with anything except fatty acids to create new substances?..."

Absolutely it can. NaOH is a common industrial raw material that's widely used in industry to produce a wide variety of chemicals. An acid-base neutralization reaction produces new chemicals, whether soap or other chemicals entirely.

That's fascinating. Thanks, DeeAnn, and btw I read your treatise on pt on your website last nite and found it very helpful. I'm not separating the fats & lye in half, but as a result of reading that I will cut the pt from 20% to 15% for that harder bar, change sf from 7% to 3%, increase coconut oil to 40%, decrease olive from 40% like waaaayyyyy, & add 5% more cocoa butter plus the rest of my palm.
Thanks for writing that, I didn't consider the pt changing hardness of the bar. That was you wrote that, right?

2% beeswax always fixes my bar hardness beautifully, but you think I should up the beeswax to 3%? Maybe some palm kernel oil even tho it doesn't have any stearic?
I really want to do a 20% pt batch but after reading your article I'm scared to go above 15%, so like maybe...

pine tar -------15%
olive-----------8%
coconut oil-----40%
Palm------------20%
Cocoa butter----15%
Beeswax---------2%

... and if i run out of palm i'm going to sub w/ olive bc don't want to go any higher on the coconut
 
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SoapCalc says that recipe gets a max score on hardness so i'm thinking about swapping out 5% of the olive to make room for 20% pt, bc I was underwhelmed with my first batch of 10% pt soap a couple years ago- it was a total yawn, i thought

thanks for your article that prompted me to re-write that recipe for a harder bar... and Ali thank you for the enlightenment reg sap, eocalc.com, & particularly the NIH article you shared with me on, 'Topical pine tar: History, properties and use as a treatment for common skin conditions,' which has me thinking about trying to add some pt to the beeswax-based healing balm i make for my dad for his myriad of skin condition.
Anybody here ever tried a ever tried a pt topical?

That NIH article talks about stuff like, " pine tar lotion @ 0.1% pine tar, pine tar baths , 10% pine tar in ointment, topical application of 12% pine tar to the skin, topical pt available today in various formulations including gel, lotion, oil, soap‐free bar and solution containing up to 2.3% pine tar."

That's super interesting.
 

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Enjoy your pine tar experimenting. I do want to clarify that my statements about SAP not really being SAP were only applicable to pine tar, not beeswax.

My understanding is that beeswax actually does have approximately 8% free fatty acids. Thus, approximately 8% of the beeswax in a soap recipe will saponify. Ergo, beeswax does have a true SAP value.
 
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I'm looking for my peeps who've made pine tar soap. The interwebs give me conflicting information that pine tar saponifies, does not, does too, etc. I'm gathering from this Forum that pine tar does NOT saponify. Say I want a recipe with 20% pine tar. Do I then calculate a recipe volume at 80% of my mold, and just plug in my normal oil mixture and lye solution? Thanks for your help.
I don't know enough about soap making to give advice but I made a batch of pine tar soap a little while ago that turned out pretty nice if you would like the recipe I can post it I only tried 10% though for my first try. 😊 I have no idea if pine tar sponifies all I know is that all you need is a wisk for it to Sponify so maybe the pine tar helps the oils sponify quickly.
 
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thanks CLMP, sure, what's your recipe? Did you scent it?
I think I'm only going to scent it the pt soap at like about 0.25oz eos ppo like cedarwood & grapefruit mostly but I'm going 20% pt this time. I pretty much have my materials already and am about to type final recipe into lye calcs now. Also want to make some pt liquid soap before I put my materials back in the garage for the next six months to a year.
This article has a section about halfway down I found very helpful for designing the pt recipe... Pine tar soap | Soapy Stuff
edit: dangit I don't have enough lye to make the 220oz batch i need, & i only have enough pt for 14.5%.
So now I have to wait for lye to arrive from Amazon... sigh. I also got the Swedish Auson "Kiln Burn" pine tar the author of above article recommends and that might take longer to arrive bc it wasn't Prime shipping.
Sheesh that stuff's expensive but author's right, last time I used Bickmore and didn't love it.
 
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thanks CLMP, sure, what's your recipe? Did you scent it?
I think I'm only going to scent it the pt soap at like about 0.25oz eos ppo like cedarwood & grapefruit mostly but I'm going 20% pt this time. I pretty much have my materials already and am about to type final recipe into lye calcs now. Also want to make some pt liquid soap before I put my materials back in the garage for the next six months to a year.
This article has a section about halfway down I found very helpful for designing the pt recipe... Pine tar soap | Soapy Stuff
edit: dangit I don't have enough lye to make the 220oz batch i need, & i only have enough pt for 14.5%.
So now I have to wait for lye to arrive from Amazon... sigh. I also got the Swedish Auson "Kiln Burn" pine tar the author of above article recommends and that might take longer to arrive bc it wasn't Prime shipping.
Sheesh that stuff's expensive but author's right, last time I used Bickmore and didn't love it.
Sure I used bickmore because that's all I could find here in town. I choose not to scent it cause my dad wants to smell the PT on its own but I like what you have with the cedar and grapefruit sounds good my recipe is 5% caster oil 25% coconut oil 60%olive oil and 10% PT. I'm sure you could change it to 20% PT.
 
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I made mine back in April. I used pine tar at 15% and have in my notes to use 10% next time because I found it to be too soft.
Zing, there are other options for a harder bar (other than using disgusting sodium lactate) rather than cutting your pt, such as adding 2% beeswax using $20 aluminum mixing bowl off Amazon hung off side of larger pot as a double-boiler. Run recipe thru SoapCalc to check / tweak hardness by replacing unsaturated fats w/ saturated ones as per:

Designing a pine tar soap recipe

When designing a pine-tar soap recipe, I suggest using more stearic and palmitic acids than you might normally use. They will add hardness and reduce the solubility, both of which will offset the softness that pine tar adds to soap. These fatty acids are found in tallow, lard, palm oil, and butters such as shea butter and cocoa butter.

Use only a moderate amount of soft (liquid) fats such as olive, soy, canola, avocado, safflower, sunflower, etc. These oils tend to make soap softer and/or more soluble in water.

Fats high in lauric or myristic acid make soap that is physically hard and lathers well. On the downside, a soap high in these fatty acids will dissolve quickly in water and may be overly drying to the skin. I recommend using them in small to moderate amounts in a pine tar recipe. These fatty acids are found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and babassu oil.

Use a low to moderate superfat to minimize the softness of the soap. I recommend up to 5%.

If you are normally a "full water" soaper, consider using a slightly higher lye solution concentration such as 30% or 33%. Slightly less water in the recipe will help the soap firm up faster. Some will say to use "full water" to slow how fast the batter comes to trace, but frankly, pine tar batter is going to trace really fast. I recommend using a little less water to get a firm soap that can be unmolded and cut quicker and easier.

Sure I used bickmore because that's all I could find here in town. I choose not to scent it cause my dad wants to smell the PT on its own but I like what you have with the cedar and grapefruit sounds good my recipe is 5% caster oil 25% coconut oil 60%olive oil and 10% PT. I'm sure you could change it to 20% PT.
I like to scent my soaps sorta like a thai cook flavors their food, by balancing salty, sour, sweet, spicy and creamy, except for scent rather than flavor.
Spicy, sour, woodsy, medicinal is more expensive base & middle notes, 70%, which always need sweet from cheaper top note. For my pt ls I hope to accentuate the woodsy scent of the pt w/ the base note cedarwood, and then add some sweet top note w/ the grapefruit. EOs are the only preservative i ever use.

Yesterday I was reverse engineering some of Dr Bronner's liquid soaps esp for scent- Dr B's Peppermint uses peppermint EO plus 'Mentha Arvensis', a USP food-grade peppermint crystal available for sale on Amazon that sounds really amazing. Dr B makes me feel so inadequate.

Anybody smelled Br B's ls rose scent? Is that stuff amazing, or what?
I emailed Dr B to ask if this was fragrance oil bc I was well aware rose otto costs $100 tsp n figured maybe he was using concrete, but Dr Bronner replied back to me:
"The natural rose fragrance is made up of a blend of essential oils, like Geranium, Davana, Eucalyptus, rose otto and Orange, plus components of other essential oils that have been fractionated. There is a minimal amount of rose essential oil in our rose fragrance, since rose essential oil costs about $5000 a pound. However, everything is natural and has not been adulterated or synthesized in any way

Please rest assured that we do not use fragrances or perfumes in our products."

I think it's absolutely amazing how Dr B blended those EOs together to make such a perfect copy of a true rose scent.

My soap would smell so dope if I mixed some peppermint EO in w/ this methol crystals like Dr B uses: https://a.co/d/e5ujzeB
<-----(amazon link to Mentha Arvensis USP food grade crystals, anybody used this stuff?)


DrB's lavender liquid soap uses lavender and lavendin EXTRACT (NOT essential oils). Lavender and lavendin extract (organic) are also found on Amazon. I am not aware if any of my normal suppliers sell these menthol crystals or lavender/lavendin extracts.

I ran my ls recipe thru SoapCalc and noticed I scored a 0/24 in cleansing w/ my 100% olive ls recipe I've been using in the bathtub for years, but when I add 30% coconut my 'cleansing' score went way up, at which point I noticed my recipe needs castor for ricinoleic, sunflower for linolenic, flaxseed oil for linolenic whenever I'm not soapin' w/ lots of olive, and i might consider seeking out more cost-efficient non-hydrogenated sources for stearic besides the raw, organic cocoa butter i love dearly. Sigh.
My very simple liquid soaps have been standing me in very good stead for many years now, but thru SoapCalc i see they could be better; however; SoapCalc's 0% score on cleansing for my 100% olive oil soap is not right.
100% olive ls is a very powerful but gentle cleanser that's perfect for hair / skin.
I love olive oil.

Another thing I noticed- you know how everybody always says not to go above 30% coconut on any soap recipe? Dr B is a $350mn/year S-Corp who uses coconut as his #1 ingredient for both bar and liquid soap- this coconut value for both liquid and bar soap is almost certainly above 30%...

Anybody else use palm kernel oil in their liquid soap, like Dr B?
I don't understand why Dr B uses palm kernel oil in liquid soap.
Isn't palm kernel oil primarily used for making bar soap harder?
 

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