Is Pine Tar Flammable? The Surprising Truth Revealed!

Is Pine Tar Flammable? – Everything You Need to Know

Pine tar is a natural, sticky substance that has been used for various purposes throughout history. From preserving wood to treating skin conditions, it has a wide range of applications. However, one common question that arises is whether pine tar is flammable or not.

The short answer to this question is yes, pine tar is flammable. It has a low flash point, which means it can ignite easily when exposed to an open flame or heat source. It’s important to take precautions when handling and storing pine tar to prevent accidents and fires.

Is Pine Tar Flammable? The Surprising Truth Revealed!


Understanding Flammability

Before we dive deeper into the flammability of pine tar, let’s clarify what it means for a substance to be flammable. Flammability refers to the ability of a material to burn or ignite when exposed to fire or heat. Different substances have different levels of flammability, depending on their chemical composition and properties.

Now, let’s explore the factors that contribute to the flammability of pine tar:

Is Pine Tar Flammable? The Surprising Truth Revealed!


Chemical Composition

Pine tar is derived from the sap of pine trees, specifically the heartwood. It contains a mixture of organic compounds, including resin acids, essential oils, and volatile hydrocarbons. These components contribute to its sticky nature and also make it highly flammable.

Flash Point

The flash point of a substance is the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize and ignite when exposed to an open flame or ignition source. Pine tar has a relatively low flash point, around 100 to 150 degrees Celsius (212 to 302 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that it can easily catch fire when exposed to heat.

Precautions When Using Pine Tar

Due to its flammable nature, it’s important to follow certain precautions when using pine tar:

  1. Always use pine tar in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of flammable vapors.
  2. Avoid using pine tar near open flames or heat sources, as they can easily ignite the substance.
  3. Keep pine tar away from sparks, hot surfaces, and electric equipment that can generate heat.
  4. Store pine tar in a cool, dry place, away from sources of heat or ignition.
  5. Never smoke or light cigarettes while working with pine tar.

By following these precautions, you can minimize the risk of accidents and ensure safe handling of pine tar.

Other Uses of Pine Tar

Despite its flammability, pine tar continues to be used for various purposes:

Application Description
Wood Preservative Pine tar is used to protect and preserve wooden structures, such as fences, boats, and cabins, from weathering and decay.
Medical Treatment In certain traditional and alternative medicine practices, pine tar is applied topically to treat skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, and insect bites.
Soap and Shampoo Pine tar is an ingredient in some soaps and shampoos known for their antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is commonly used for treating dandruff and scalp conditions.
Animal Care Pine tar is used in veterinary medicine for treating hoof problems in horses and as an ingredient in pet shampoos for controlling fleas and skin irritations.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Is Pine Tar Flammable? The Surprising Truth Revealed!

Is Pine Tar Flammable?

Pine tar is highly flammable due to its chemical composition, so it should be handled with caution.

What Is Pine Tar Used For?

Pine tar has various uses, such as in wood preservation, sealing boat hulls, treating skin conditions, and as an adhesive in traditional crafts.

Can Pine Tar Catch Fire?

Yes, pine tar can easily catch fire if exposed to an open flame or high heat, so it should be stored away from sources of ignition.

How To Safely Handle Pine Tar?

When handling pine tar, it’s important to wear protective gloves and clothing. Keep it away from heat sources and store it in a cool, dry place with proper ventilation.


In conclusion, pine tar is indeed flammable due to its chemical composition and low flash point. It’s essential to handle and store pine tar with caution to avoid accidents and potential fires. By following the recommended precautions, you can safely use pine tar for its numerous applications while minimizing the associated risks.

Updated: January 6, 2024 — 11:03 pm