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Fragrance oils dissolve plastic?

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dragonmoon

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I didn't realise essential oils could cause plastic to melt!

I mixed peppermint oil (the kind for soap making) with sweet fennel essential oil, coriander essential oil and citrus fragrance in a plastic cup that had the letters PS (polystyrene, I guess) on the bottom. When I was ready to pour the fragrance into the soap, the bottom of the cup fell off and melted on the table!

Have you experienced anything like this with plastics or other materials?

Also, when I put the remains of the plastic cup to a plastic bag together with the newspaper I had used to protect the tabletop, the fragrance mix dissolved the bag and the colour of the bag left a stain on the floor.

Instead of the fragrance I had prepared for the soap, I just threw in some fennel oil and peppermint oil. I didn't have time to measure the other ingredients in the original concoction, neither did I have any desire to use them after I saw what they did to the cup.

But how can I be sure the peppermint and fennel won't have this kind of reaction? Do you think the soap is safe to use?
 

Genny

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Yep, with plastics that are thin, eo and fo's eat right through them.
 

newbie

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Yes, that's why EO almost always come in glass bottles. Occas they will come in heavy plastic bottles, but then the advice is always to put them in glass ASAP. Some FO's eat plastic as well, but it doesn't seem to be a problem as often as with EOs and the plastic bottles the FO's come in are heavier, I would bet, than the plastic cup you used. That's why they always advise diluting EOs, with a few exceptions, and FO's before putting then on your skin! In soap, they are diluted and safe for use as long as the manufacturer has said "safe for skin application". It does seem a bit scary though, doesn't it?
 

lauramw71

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Yup, even FO's will eat through plastic. Not only that, it will take varnish off tabletops too. I have some FO's that I got from a small store that the bottle got all warped!
 

SideDoorSoaps

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I didn't know that EOs and FOs would eat through plastic until I used some plastic ramekins I bought to measure. Now I use the stainless steel bullets. Also, once I spilled some EO on my scale that I hadn't protected and the plastic coating started to bubble up from the reaction! Crazy isn't it!
 

Genny

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I spilled some fo on our dining room wood table, not good :(
I've had a few of my bottles "bubble" & then of course there's the ones where the oil's eaten away at the threads of the cover.
I do wish more suppliers would put eo's and fo's in glass bottles.
 

Tabitha

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That is why they say do not apply directly to the skin. If it can eat plastic, just imagine what could it do to the skin when used incorrectly!

It is VERY necessary to what the max% usage rate is for it to be a safe application. You can check with your suppliers for that info as it will vary.
 

judymoody

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Yes, I made that mistake... once! Orange EO everywhere.

Now I use little glass jars to mix my fragrances - baby food containers for small batches, jam jars for larger ones.
 

carebear

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Genny said:
Yep, with plastics that are thin, eo and fo's eat right through them.
Not just thin plastics - depends on the type, not the thickness. I avoid having to remember which will hold up by not pouring into plastic at all.
 

Relle

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I used an orange EO just recently and used an old medicine measuring cup and it made it all go frosty, so threw that out and went and bought a shot glass. It works well and has a measure on the side.

Relle.
 

kellyincville

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I learned the orange EO lesson this week.

I was doing little 2oz trial soaps with different scents in solo cups; I poured the EOs/FOs in the cups and by the time I came over with my light trace soap the sweet orange/clove blend had eaten through the bottom. :shock:
 

judymoody

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kellyincville said:
I learned the orange EO lesson this week.

I was doing little 2oz trial soaps with different scents in solo cups; I poured the EOs/FOs in the cups and by the time I came over with my light trace soap the sweet orange/clove blend had eaten through the bottom. :shock:
Try the little paper Dixie cups, I think they're 5 oz. - the kind they use for little kids' snack time at schools. Work like a charm.
 

mamabear

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Yes, that exact thing happened to me....poured 10x orange oil and some anise FO into a red plastic cup, and it ate straight through the bottom of the cup by the time I mixed my base oils and lye to trace! It was a good wake up call that lye is not the only substance in the process that can be harmful and instilled in me a healthy respect for FO/EOs.
 

PrairieCraft

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It's probably better to add your EO or FO after you have poured your soap batter in the cup. The dixie cups are what I use also but I would imagine that the EO/FO added directly to those wouldn't be pretty either, some would be absorbed into the cup or melt the wax lining.
 

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