Pine Tar Soap Tips and Technique

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But I am a great-grandma & I prefer using a calculator to doing it all by hand. Some folks like doing it by hand and it's a valuable piece of knowledge to know how to do it that way,
I have never learned how to do it by hand and never really thought about it in terms of no internet. Good point and something I will now endeavor to learn! :)
 

pjj

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Pine Tar soap does NOT require you to buy multiple oils.

You only need the oils you have on hand already, but you do have to get some pine tar to add to the recipe, of course.

I wonder why you think you need lots of different oils to make pine tar soap? You can certainly make pine tar soap with the recipe you already use by adding 5% or 10% pine tar (as percent of oils) to the current recipe. I have not made a Castile Pine Tar soap, but it is certainly possible. The lye calculations do change however, so you would end up with a slightly higher superfat if you don't calculate to determine the correct amount of lye to add.

You can make your recipe on paper like you learned, but obviously you do need to know the saponification numbers of the different oils in order to know the correct amount of lye to add. If the grandma taught you how to make an adjustment to the lye based on saponification numbers of the different oils, you can do it without using an online [email protected] calculator.

But I am a great-grandma & I prefer using a calculator to doing it all by hand. Some folks like doing it by hand and it's a valuable piece of knowledge to know how to do it that way, particularly if the internet ever goes off-line or you don't have access to it for an extended period of time (which can happen.) There are some stand-alone calculators out there (I have used a couple of them in the past) that do not rely on the internet. But if you don't want to learn to use one, you really don't have to do so.

If, however, your grandma only taught you how to make one particular soap based on a written recipe without any involvement of the math involved to change out oils and doing the calculations that different saponification values require (different oils can change the amount of lye needed to make safe soap), then it's just as easy to learn to use a [email protected] calculator as it is to learn to do it all by hand (easier, in my opinion).

If you do depend on written recipes without doing the calculations yourself, here is a simpler recipe using Olive oil, Coconut oil & Castor oil, plus pine tar. Castor oil is optional in soap, but it does support/enhance bubbles. I've made several soaps without it and it is still soap and it still bubbles & lathers enough to satisfy me, so you don't have to buy it if you don't want. If you want to try Castor oil, it is often available in the area where laxatives are sold. If your grocery store does not carry it, I used to buy it at Walmart, but any drugstore near yosemite should have some on the shelves and so do some grocery stores (in the Health & Beauty section). If you want to make this recipe without Castor Oil, then you should adjust for the lye calculation without the Castor. For that recipe, you would need 5 grams LESS of NaOH, if you made it without Castor Oil and made no other changes. But I would not take my word for it, if I were you; I'd use a lye calculator to verify the altered recipe and lye amounts needed.
great grandma only showed me how to make the soap her mother taught her to make, one with tallow for cleaning and laundry and one with olive oil, for bathing, the olive oil soap she started making after she emigrated from Belgium, 1920. she was un educated, not even sure if she could read, so, no sapfonification calculations in her soap making, just a big old scale.
my local drug store near Yosemite did NOT have castor, neither did the store in next town
so i will continue to search for a pine tar soap recipe with 2-3 oils, in weight, not %. thanks for all the info, though
 
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FA ? what is FA ? or SB ? my secret decoder ring is broken...
Fatty acid/s and stick blender

While at first it might seem annoying that a lot of acronyms are used here, it's more annoying over time to have to write everything out all the time. There is a stickied acronym thread somewhere which will cover the majority of them which helps a great deal in decoding things. It's not a cool as a decoder ring, I know, but it works
 

pjj

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Pine Tar soap does NOT require you to buy multiple oils.

You only need the oils you have on hand already, but you do have to get some pine tar to add to the recipe, of course.

I wonder why you think you need lots of different oils to make pine tar soap? You can certainly make pine tar soap with the recipe you already use by adding 5% or 10% pine tar (as percent of oils) to the current recipe. I have not made a Castile Pine Tar soap, but it is certainly possible. The lye calculations do change however, so you would end up with a slightly higher superfat if you don't calculate to determine the correct amount of lye to add.

You can make your recipe on paper like you learned, but obviously you do need to know the saponification numbers of the different oils in order to know the correct amount of lye to add. If the grandma taught you how to make an adjustment to the lye based on saponification numbers of the different oils, you can do it without using an online [email protected] calculator.

But I am a great-grandma & I prefer using a calculator to doing it all by hand. Some folks like doing it by hand and it's a valuable piece of knowledge to know how to do it that way, particularly if the internet ever goes off-line or you don't have access to it for an extended period of time (which can happen.) There are some stand-alone calculators out there (I have used a couple of them in the past) that do not rely on the internet. But if you don't want to learn to use one, you really don't have to do so.

If, however, your grandma only taught you how to make one particular soap based on a written recipe without any involvement of the math involved to change out oils and doing the calculations that different saponification values require (different oils can change the amount of lye needed to make safe soap), then it's just as easy to learn to use a [email protected] calculator as it is to learn to do it all by hand (easier, in my opinion).

If you do depend on written recipes without doing the calculations yourself, here is a simpler recipe using Olive oil, Coconut oil & Castor oil, plus pine tar. Castor oil is optional in soap, but it does support/enhance bubbles. I've made several soaps without it and it is still soap and it still bubbles & lathers enough to satisfy me, so you don't have to buy it if you don't want. If you want to try Castor oil, it is often available in the area where laxatives are sold. If your grocery store does not carry it, I used to buy it at Walmart, but any drugstore near yosemite should have some on the shelves and so do some grocery stores (in the Health & Beauty section). If you want to make this recipe without Castor Oil, then you should adjust for the lye calculation without the Castor. For that recipe, you would need 5 grams LESS of NaOH, if you made it without Castor Oil and made no other changes. But I would not take my word for it, if I were you; I'd use a lye calculator to verify the altered recipe and lye amounts needed.
all the wieght recipes i have found online require 5 to 9 different oils, i don't know why, but it should not be that complicated
 

pjj

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Fatty acid/s and stick blender

While at first it might seem annoying that a lot of acronyms are used here, it's more annoying over time to have to write everything out all the time. There is a stickied acronym thread somewhere which will cover the majority of them which helps a great deal in decoding things. It's not a cool as a decoder ring, I know, but it works

Pine Tar soap does NOT require you to buy multiple oils.

You only need the oils you have on hand already, but you do have to get some pine tar to add to the recipe, of course.

I wonder why you think you need lots of different oils to make pine tar soap? You can certainly make pine tar soap with the recipe you already use by adding 5% or 10% pine tar (as percent of oils) to the current recipe. I have not made a Castile Pine Tar soap, but it is certainly possible. The lye calculations do change however, so you would end up with a slightly higher superfat if you don't calculate to determine the correct amount of lye to add.

You can make your recipe on paper like you learned, but obviously you do need to know the saponification numbers of the different oils in order to know the correct amount of lye to add. If the grandma taught you how to make an adjustment to the lye based on saponification numbers of the different oils, you can do it without using an online [email protected] calculator.

But I am a great-grandma & I prefer using a calculator to doing it all by hand. Some folks like doing it by hand and it's a valuable piece of knowledge to know how to do it that way, particularly if the internet ever goes off-line or you don't have access to it for an extended period of time (which can happen.) There are some stand-alone calculators out there (I have used a couple of them in the past) that do not rely on the internet. But if you don't want to learn to use one, you really don't have to do so.

If, however, your grandma only taught you how to make one particular soap based on a written recipe without any involvement of the math involved to change out oils and doing the calculations that different saponification values require (different oils can change the amount of lye needed to make safe soap), then it's just as easy to learn to use a [email protected] calculator as it is to learn to do it all by hand (easier, in my opinion).

If you do depend on written recipes without doing the calculations yourself, here is a simpler recipe using Olive oil, Coconut oil & Castor oil, plus pine tar. Castor oil is optional in soap, but it does support/enhance bubbles. I've made several soaps without it and it is still soap and it still bubbles & lathers enough to satisfy me, so you don't have to buy it if you don't want. If you want to try Castor oil, it is often available in the area where laxatives are sold. If your grocery store does not carry it, I used to buy it at Walmart, but any drugstore near yosemite should have some on the shelves and so do some grocery stores (in the Health & Beauty section). If you want to make this recipe without Castor Oil, then you should adjust for the lye calculation without the Castor. For that recipe, you would need 5 grams LESS of NaOH, if you made it without Castor Oil and made no other changes. But I would not take my word for it, if I were you; I'd use a lye calculator to verify the altered recipe and lye amounts needed.
it just never occurred to me that making a different kind of soap would be SO COMPLICATED. ;ooks like i mght be better offf buying it
 

pjj

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Fatty acid/s and stick blender

While at first it might seem annoying that a lot of acronyms are used here, it's more annoying over time to have to write everything out all the time. There is a stickied acronym thread somewhere which will cover the majority of them which helps a great deal in decoding things. It's not a cool as a decoder ring, I know, but it works
it has all gotten way too complicated !
 

pjj

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It’s really easy to learn SoapCalc. There are several videos on YouTube. My favorite is Teri’s from TreeMarie Soapworks.
i would like to make a simple soap, not interested in science and math courses...it just does not to be this difficult.
 
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Why not? Depending on how you want to make your soap, it will need this sort of calculation and such.

If you just want to follow a set recipe handed to me to the letter and not deviate from it, then I just need to weigh accurately and that's about it. Although few people here will give a lye amount when giving recipes as any typing errors can mean some nasty results for the person following the recipe!

If you want to make changes to a recipe and still have the correct amount of lye, you'll need a calculator of some sort. Or you can look at the older methods like salting out or testing the lye strength etc, but that's a whole different rabbit hole.

I look at it like cooking - following a recipe is one thing, but knowing why a recipe works and being able to change it or to take aspects of it and apply that to another recipe .......that's something else. And in soapmaking, the latter does require some very basic (and it IS basic, even if it doesn't seem it) mathematics
 
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Strong agree with @The Efficacious Gentleman , it’s worth it to spend a few minutes understanding how to use a calculator, I use soapcalc. Also, I read through this thread and didn’t see that anyone mentioned @DeeAnna ’s excellent blog post about pine tar soap - Pine tar soap | Soapy Stuff. It’s very helpful. DeeAnna’s method is to split the oils and add the pine tar to one half. Mix the non pine tar half with the lye, and let it get to a trace (it will go quickly because it will be lye heavy) and then add the half with the pine tar. Stir and then BE READY to pour.
 

earlene

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Ah, okay, what you really want is a canned recipe with only olive oil and other grocery store oils, but you don't want to do the math. You want to trust that what someone here puts up is accurate and safe and that they made no typographical errors when they posted the recipe. I'm sorry; we cannot guarantee no errors are made on any public posting online nor even in a printed book. I have made typos myself, both here on SMF and in my soapmaking notebook (caught later, but they were still printed with the error at first) and I have found them in printed published books as well. No one is above the making a mistake when typing or writing something out. It just happens. That's why we strongly suggest learning to use a lye calculator.

But, hey, if all you want is a canned recipe with only grocery store oils and you live in yosemite (I am from California and spent a lot of time there, so I know the surrounding area), it would help if you Identify what oils you currently have access to. I travel a lot and the oils in any given grocery store varies greatly from one place to the next, so what you currently have access to and what I currently have access to in my grocery stores may be drastically different.

This is what I can generally find in a well-stocked grocery store: Olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil (in the area with OTC health supplements & upset tummy type things), almond oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, corn oil, Crisco with palm, avocado oil, Spectrum palm shortening, safflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil. But in smaller out-of-way grocery stores like in small towns or small neighborhoods, the selection is much much less diverse.

So what have you got available? You already mentioned Olive oil.



Or do you want it even easier? If so, how about this:

Have you made soap already? If you have an all vegetable oil recipe you use and are happy with already you don't have to change anything but add a little bit of pine tar. Do you have access to pine tar? Feed stores often carry pine tar in the area where they keep things for horses. For your purposes I'd suggest you use 10% of the oil weight of your current recipe in addition to what you already have in the recipe and add that to the oils. Mix the oils & then slowly stir in the lye solution. If you already make soap you know how to do that and don't need me to explain how to create a lye solution.

If you don't want to do that much math, I can give you an example, of how it's done.

Example of how to figure out 10% of oil weight:

Say your recipe calls for a total of 1000 grams of oil. 10% of 1000 grams is 0.1 x 1000. Or just remove one zero from 1000 and you have 10% of 1000. So 100 grams is 10% of 1000. If you have a calculator on your computer or tablet or phone, use it and you don't have to worry about 'doing the math'. The calculator will do it for you.


If you current recipe calls for 500 grams of oils, what is 10% of 500 grams? Following my example above, the answer is _______. (answer: 50 grams)


How is your current recipe written out? Is it written out in grams or in ounces or in pounds or what? Just use the same formula and take 10% of that weight, and do what I said above.

Just add 10% of the oil weight that you already have of pine tar and don't change anything else.

I know the majority of the community will probably cringe at me telling you to just add 10% pine tar and change nothing else, but there you have it, a canned recipe and a minimal amount of math, almost cheating on the math, in fact.

But a caveat, if you don't already make soap, then buying already made pine tar soap might just be a better option. I suspect it's not cheap in the Yosemite area, though.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Here's a link to my favorite calculator and the one that shows up on soapmaking videos and the one that most soapmakers outside of SMF use : SoapCalc

Just like anything else, it takes time and effort to learn how to use it -- but the time spent is well worth it!

Use the Search feature in the upper right corner to learn more about how to use it. Or use Goodgle or YouTube.
 
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Zany_in_CO

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i would like to make a simple soap, not interested in science and math courses...it just does not to be this difficult.
It won't be difficult at all if you just take the time to learn to use a calculator. Next to lye, you need it if you're serious about making soap.
If you want to make changes to a recipe and still have the correct amount of lye, you'll need a calculator of some sort.
it’s worth it to spend a few minutes understanding how to use a calculator, I use soapcalc.
That's why we strongly suggest learning to use a lye calculator.
 
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pjj

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Ah, okay, what you really want is a canned recipe with only olive oil and other grocery store oils, but you don't want to do the math. You want to trust that what someone here puts up is accurate and safe and that they made no typographical errors when they posted the recipe. I'm sorry; we cannot guarantee no errors are made on any public posting online nor even in a printed book. I have made typos myself, both here on SMF and in my soapmaking notebook (caught later, but they were still printed with the error at first) and I have found them in printed published books as well. No one is above the making a mistake when typing or writing something out. It just happens. That's why we strongly suggest learning to use a lye calculator.

But, hey, if all you want is a canned recipe with only grocery store oils and you live in yosemite (I am from California and spent a lot of time there, so I know the surrounding area), it would help if you Identify what oils you currently have access to. I travel a lot and the oils in any given grocery store varies greatly from one place to the next, so what you currently have access to and what I currently have access to in my grocery stores may be drastically different.

This is what I can generally find in a well-stocked grocery store: Olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil (in the area with OTC health supplements & upset tummy type things), almond oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, corn oil, Crisco with palm, avocado oil, Spectrum palm shortening, safflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil. But in smaller out-of-way grocery stores like in small towns or small neighborhoods, the selection is much much less diverse.

So what have you got available? You already mentioned Olive oil.



Or do you want it even easier? If so, how about this:

Have you made soap already? If you have an all vegetable oil recipe you use and are happy with already you don't have to change anything but add a little bit of pine tar. Do you have access to pine tar? Feed stores often carry pine tar in the area where they keep things for horses. For your purposes I'd suggest you use 10% of the oil weight of your current recipe in addition to what you already have in the recipe and add that to the oils. Mix the oils & then slowly stir in the lye solution. If you already make soap you know how to do that and don't need me to explain how to create a lye solution.

If you don't want to do that much math, I can give you an example, of how it's done.

Example of how to figure out 10% of oil weight:

Say your recipe calls for a total of 1000 grams of oil. 10% of 1000 grams is 0.1 x 1000. Or just remove one zero from 1000 and you have 10% of 1000. So 100 grams is 10% of 1000. If you have a calculator on your computer or tablet or phone, use it and you don't have to worry about 'doing the math'. The calculator will do it for you.


If you current recipe calls for 500 grams of oils, what is 10% of 500 grams? Following my example above, the answer is _______. (answer: 50 grams)


How is your current recipe written out? Is it written out in grams or in ounces or in pounds or what? Just use the same formula and take 10% of that weight, and do what I said above.

Just add 10% of the oil weight that you already have of pine tar and don't change anything else.

I know the majority of the community will probably cringe at me telling you to just add 10% pine tar and change nothing else, but there you have it, a canned recipe and a minimal amount of math, almost cheating on the math, in fact.

But a caveat, if you don't already make soap, then buying already made pine tar soap might just be a better option. I suspect it's not cheap in the Yosemite area, though.
easy for you to judge, i "don't want to do the math" ! i did not know i had to give my past history of 2 brain injuries, just to find a recipe/"canned", as you call it. enough of the unhelpful tough love. thanks for nothing, but proving you are more capable than i am. i don't 'visualize, either. i was a food service manager and now i make up new vegitarian/diabetic meals aand deserts, all on my own, with simple math and mostly experience and a touch of science, but it all makes sence i can touch feel and taste. as far as trusting other people's recipe's, , yes, like i trust Betty Crocker...then adjust to taste. we aall learn and comprehend in a different way, sorry you disapprove of the best i can do
 

Zany_in_CO

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easy for you to judge,
Oh my. If taking our best guess as to how best to help you is the same as "judging" then you are sadly mistaken. Please don't take offense. We don't know you so, until we do, we can only assume certain things in our responses.
thanks for nothing,
Again, you seem unable to grasp the best of intent on @earlene's behalf. Put yourself in her shoes, or mine for that matter. It probably took the better part of an hour to thoughtfully write and edit all that she wrote -- just for you!!!

I'm sure you didn't mean to, but you've just insulted one of the most experienced, knowledgeable, kind and generous members of the Forum. She isn't always around, and not always available to share her wisdom. Consider yourself lucky. I would. ;)
sorry you disapprove of the best i can do
Whoever is responsible for that burr under your saddle, has a name and it isn't us. Think about it.

We are all very familiar with "that's the best I can do." Trust me. All responses are the best we can do as well. How you accept the advice given is up to you. It is offered with the best of intention. Be grateful.
 

earlene

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easy for you to judge, i "don't want to do the math" ! i did not know i had to give my past history of 2 brain injuries, just to find a recipe/"canned", as you call it. enough of the unhelpful tough love. thanks for nothing, but proving you are more capable than i am. i don't 'visualize, either. i was a food service manager and now i make up new vegitarian/diabetic meals aand deserts, all on my own, with simple math and mostly experience and a touch of science, but it all makes sence i can touch feel and taste. as far as trusting other people's recipe's, , yes, like i trust Betty Crocker...then adjust to taste. we aall learn and comprehend in a different way, sorry you disapprove of the best i can do
I am sorry that I offended you.

The recipe you found on the NerdyFarmWife site should fill the bill. I checked it via soapmakingfriend.com calculator simply because that is what I always do when giving feedback on a recipe.

There is nothing wrong with a canned recipe (that is simply a term, not meant as an insult.) I used them when I was new to soapmaking. I was advised by my soapmaking instructor (went to a class about a year after I started learning on my own) to always double check recipes found online or in books to make sure there were no typographical errors. So that's what I do.

No, you don't have to give your entire lifetime history, but as @Zany_in_CO said, without a little more information up front, we don't always know the best way to help someone asking for help.

We do have things in common, you and I. I am also a vegetarian and I also use my sense of taste when cooking.
 
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