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I just had a problem with 3 gallons of lotion separating.

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Conchita

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I was returned 3 gallons of lotion due to separating. This has never happened. Can I reheat, mix again for an extended period of time and hope the problem will be solved?
 

cmzaha

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Have you added in your preservative? Did it come together before it broke? Chances are it still may not come together, just by reheating. Did you do anything different than normal? I would not let even the broken lotion sit with preserving it until you can fix it.

I have fixed 2-gallon batches of lotions that broke on me a couple of years ago. One night I had a really bad run with recipes I always use but tweaked them a titch and both broke. Let's see if we can figure out what you did and I will tell you what I did and did get them together.

EDT: Three gallons of lotion is too much to scrap without trying to fix. But do preserve it if you have not at this point.
 

Conchita

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Thanks. I have no idea what went wrong. My employee made it as she always does. She said she did not do anything different. We actually delivered this to a hotel and they returned it to us. Not good. We tried to reheat and mixed it for hours, but it did not work. She then added more water and borax, thinking that maybe she forgot to put in the borax, but no, did not work. She then added more beeswax, and that failed too. I am at a loss and do not want to waste it. It has such great ingredients. Any suggestions on how to preserve it?
 

cmzaha

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What always worries me is killing the preservative while reheating. I was going to recommend taking out a small portion and trying to fix the small portion by adding more water, emulsifier, etc, and keeping track of the percentages. But dealing with Borax and Beeswax I have no clue. I will only say if this lotion was taken past the temp allowed for the preservative I would dump it.
 

Conchita

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You're using borax and beeswax as your emulsifier???? Yikes. o_O

I hope you are using a good broad spectrum preservative. Please tell us you are doing this.
HI.......why yikes? And no....we are not using a broad spectrum preservative. What am I doing wrong? What is best to replace borax and beeswax as the emulsifier? I am open to help/suggestions/criticism.
 

cmzaha

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What are you using as a preservative? I use dual preservatives. One low temp tolerance and one higher temp tolerance one is better for bacteria one is better for fungus. but my lotions have been lab-tested and I know my preservative is stable with my formula. If you are supplying a hotel or even just selling in open markets you need to have your lotions challenged tested in my opinion especially supplying a hotel. There are many self-emulsifying emulsifiers. You just need to do some studying and testing. Here are a couple of links.
Point of Interest – The home of SwiftCraftyMonkey! Join Susan as she obsesses about cosmetic chemistry and other things (some possibly related to monkeys). Often strange, occasionally useful, and always worth a stop as a point of interest on your journey through the Intertron.

Preservative Reviews
 

DeeAnna

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I don't make large batches and I don't sell lotion, so I don't have the experience so I can help you.

What I do know is the beeswax and borax combination is a finicky emulsifier system. When it works, it work okay, but when it doesn't, it's a mess. You should test some commercial all-in-one emulsifier systems such as e-wax, BTMS, Soft 'n Silky, LotionPro, etc. and see what works best for you.

As far as the preservative goes -- The reason why I said "yikes" is that most people who use beeswax and borax as their emulsifier are focused on totally "natural" ways of making lotion, and this means they often don't want to use effective preservatives. Anyone with this mindset should stick to anhydrous products, not lotions, because anyhdrous products are much easier to keep sanitary without the use of preservatives.

A good broad spectrum preservative is optional if you're making lotions and other water based products for yourself. But a good broad spectrum preservative system, sanitary manufacturing processes, and careful product formulation are all mandatory for products that unsuspecting consumers will be using.

It would be wise to stop selling lotion until you know how to make a safe and stable lotion.

One good and inexpensive book to learn more about what it takes to make a safe, stable lotion is Anne L Watson's Smart Lotionmaking --http://www.annelwatson.com/books/Lotionmaking.html
 

justjacqui

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Unfortunately I think you need to discard this batch. If reheating and mixing didn't work I am not sure anything will. Now you have added extra raw materials you have no way of making sure this is safe to use even if it did stay together.

Is this the first time you have made a batch of this size? It might be a scale up issue.

I would be moving away from borax as part of the emulsification system entirely. It is restricted in cosmetics in Canada and the European Union due to potential reproductive toxicity issues.

Going forward you need to look at your manufacturing process to ensure that there is a way to record what has been added to a batch (e.g. a checklist).
 

Quanta

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I was returned 3 gallons of lotion due to separating. This has never happened. Can I reheat, mix again for an extended period of time and hope the problem will be solved?
What is your formula, and what is your step-by-step method for manufacturing it (equipment, temperatures, amounts, etc.)?
Are you avoiding using traditional emulsifying wax and a preservative for a reason, or did you just not know about them? We can help you find ingredients that will make your life a lot easier, if you are open to it.
 

Conchita

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What always worries me is killing the preservative while reheating. I was going to recommend taking out a small portion and trying to fix the small portion by adding more water, emulsifier, etc, and keeping track of the percentages. But dealing with Borax and Beeswax I have no clue. I will only say if this lotion was taken past the temp allowed for the preservative I would dump it.
Thanks....yeah. too far gone to try to use it.
 

Conchita

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Thank you for the information. Appreciated

What are you using as a preservative? I use dual preservatives. One low temp tolerance and one higher temp tolerance one is better for bacteria one is better for fungus. but my lotions have been lab-tested and I know my preservative is stable with my formula. If you are supplying a hotel or even just selling in open markets you need to have your lotions challenged tested in my opinion especially supplying a hotel. There are many self-emulsifying emulsifiers. You just need to do some studying and testing. Here are a couple of links.
Point of Interest – The home of SwiftCraftyMonkey! Join Susan as she obsesses about cosmetic chemistry and other things (some possibly related to monkeys). Often strange, occasionally useful, and always worth a stop as a point of interest on your journey through the Intertron.

Preservative Reviews
 

Conchita

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What is your formula, and what is your step-by-step method for manufacturing it (equipment, temperatures, amounts, etc.)?
Are you avoiding using traditional emulsifying wax and a preservative for a reason, or did you just not know about them? We can help you find ingredients that will make your life a lot easier, if you are open to it.
Thanks. And good question. No, I am not avoiding using any of this. I actually purchased some emulsifying wax a few years ago but have never used it as every time I read about it I got confused. I have been wanting to move away from borax. I would love help and yes, I am open for suggestions. Thanks.
 

Quanta

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Thanks. And good question. No, I am not avoiding using any of this. I actually purchased some emulsifying wax a few years ago but have never used it as every time I read about it I got confused. I have been wanting to move away from borax. I would love help and yes, I am open for suggestions. Thanks.
What kind of lotion do you want to make? A thin general purpose lotion, or something more like a thick cream? How do you want it to feel? What ingredients do you have readily available?

What was the emulsifying wax you bought before? Some emulsifying systems require several ingredients to work and there's some math you have to do to calculate how much of each you need for the amount/type of oils you're using (called the HLB system). Does that sound familiar? Is that the kind you have? If you go to swiftcraftymonkey.blog, there is a lot of detailed information on emulsifying waxes of all kinds, even the ones that you have to calculate. However, I recommend starting with the ones you don't have to calculate. These are called "complete emulsifiers". Most of them I have not used myself, but Susan knows what she's talking about. I highly recommend her site, she does charge money to access it but it's well worth it. She doesn't charge much. Start here to learn about lotion making: Back to the very basics: Defining our terms for lotions (updated) – Point of Interest That post has links to her series on lotion making for beginners, which should make it easy to learn how to use a complete emulsifying wax.

For a preservative, a lot of people like Germall Plus because it's easy to use and you don't need much. I'm allergic to it myself so I use either Phenonip or Optiphen Plus in anything that needs a preservative (anything that has any amount of water in it at all MUST have a preservative). I would advise you stay away from "natural" preservatives because a lot of them don't work, and those that do are so weak you have to use a lot. Some preservatives work better with other additives, like EDTA. Susan has a lot of very detailed information on preservatives as well. Preservatives! – Point of Interest

I hope this is helpful. If you have questions, please ask.
 

cmzaha

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The HLB system has actually gone by the wayside these days since most emulsifiers are self-emulsifying, and it is very confusing for most new lotion makers. While Susan's Blog has a wealth of information it can be an overwhelming site and now is a site you have to pay to join. The site I listed above is a free site with lots of info. If WSP ships to Mexico this I list some e waxes that work well. You could even try their sampler pack, do some testing and find what e wax you like. Sometimes using a lesser amount of one as a co-emulsifier makes a nicer feel to a lotion. I personally always use two. Back to the HLB system this was used when manufacturers were not blending waxes to make self-emulsifying so we really only need to use one emulsifying wax. When I make lotion I do use a small percentage of Cetyl Alcohol in my formulas. Hope this helps you a little.

Preservative Reviews

Crafters Choice™ Emulsifying Wax - Conditioning Plus - Wholesale Supplies Plus this is the same as BTMS 25. It is usually nice mixed with a traditional e-wax.
https://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/products/emulsifying-wax-soft-silky.aspx This makes a very nice feeling lotion.

I almost forgot about Polawax also found under the Inci name Emulsifying Wax NF it is a very reliable emulsifying wax that has a very nice feel.
It will make a creamy smooth lotion. Usage is 3-6%. Brambleberry carries it under the label of Polawax but it is easily found on Ebay Actually this is close to Polawax. The difference to the trademarked Polawax is one additional ingredient. This e-wax also works well and is a dependable e-wax at a decent price.
https://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/products/emulsifying-wax-traditional.aspx#tab2
 
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