Are you looking for a natural soap that only relies on a select few ingredients? If so, then you’ll want to stick around and read our full review of The Grandpa Soap Co. Pine Tar Bar Soap.
We will examine the packaging, value, and performance of their flagship soap.
Let’s take a look:
Quick Note: We paid for the product out of pocket – it was not complimentary. This article contains affiliate links. This means we earn a small commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost – this helps to cover product and operational expenses.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty performance details, let’s first look at the packaging:
There are a few things to note right away here:
First, the Grandpa Soap Co. makes their soap in the USA.
Second, the Grandpa Soap Co. has been in existence for nearly 150 years. However, when doing just a little digging, this claim is somewhat misleading. To spare the history lesson, the company changed ownership a few times. You can read more about the history here.
The ingredient list in this particular bar of soap is short, with only eight in total. However, the list of ingredients is nearly identical to that of the Duke Cannon Big Ass Brick of Soap we recently reviewed. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two labels for reference:
Regarding the safety of the Pine Tar bar of soap, the EWG Skin Deep database gives a hazard rating of one out of ten (source).
A few other quick notes are that the soap relies on certified palm oil, is vegan and cruelty-free, and is 3.25oz in size (they do also make a slightly larger 4.25oz variation).
The bar of soap should fit comfortably in your hand. For comparison, here’s how it looks next to a bar of Dove soap:
As you can see, it’s not too big and in line with a traditional soap size.
Specifications aside, here’s how the soap performs:
I found the soap bar not too unwieldy to wash the body; the performance was standard when cleaning tight contours and broad areas.
Sometimes with natural soaps, the lather can be lacking. However, when using this particular soap bar, I found it develops nicely and provides a bubbly and cushioned lather.
Here’s how a quick hand lather looked:
For completeness, here’s a short 12-second video demonstrating how the lather develops:
Slickness Then Sickness
When washing with this bar of soap, the experience was unique. When first lathering, the skin felt silky smooth. Then, even when initially rinsing, the skin retained that smooth texture.
However, after rinsing a little further, the skin took on a sticky or tacky texture. This may be the result of the hardness of the water or simply how my skin is.* While not necessarily a deal-breaker by any means, it is an important aspect of the experience should you decide to try out this bar of soap.
Note: Water hardness varies from one area of the country to another. Your results may vary here.
To put it simply, the soap is incredibly potent. In fact, before doing this review, I had the bar sitting on my desk. When walking into the room, I could instantly smell the aroma it was emitting.
While the fragrance for this particular review is pine tar, it didn’t smell exactly like pine needles as you would expect. There was definitely a woodsy fragrance, but there was also a noticeable smoky undertone to it.
In short, it smells like a campfire. If that’s what you want to start your day smelling like – then who are we to judge.
For staying power, the scent continued to linger on the surface of the skin about 30 minutes after exiting the shower.
For this review, we purchased the bar of soap at a local Whole Foods Market. The retail price, excluding any promotions, is $4.49 per bar. For value, it’s fair – here’s a quick comparison with other pine tar soaps:
|wdt_ID||Brand||Price||Ounces||Price per Ounce|
|1||The Grandpa Soap Co.||4.49||3.25||1.38|
|7||The Yellow Bird||9.99||4.50||2.22|
If you like natural pine tar soaps, then this bar by The Grandpa Soap Co. is worth considering. It’s much more potent than some of its competitors and delivers a fair value with a simple ingredient list.
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.