Lip balm process

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dixiedragon

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What tricks and tips have you figured out to make the process easier?

I masterbatch my lip balm. I make a 1200 gram batch and pour it into a silicone pie pan and pop it in the freezer. Then I let it soften and chop it into chunks.

I tend to make several batches in one day in certain "groups". For example, I will make 4-5 batches of different fruity flavors. Then if there are little dribs left, it just goes in the next batch. A little grape lip balm isn't really going to affect the smell of a batch of pineapple, but I think minty lip balm might.

I like my EO batches to be very pure, no traces of flavored batches in them. So I will first do a batch of Peppermint EO lip balms, then follow it up with a batch of Mint Chocolate Chip.

Clean up - I don't think dishwashing detergents were meant to cope with beeswax. After I squeegee out all I can with my silicone scraper, I get a few papertowels wet, put them in the glass measuring cup I use to make lip balm, then microwave that for 2 minutes or so. Get it very hot so all the traces of lip balm are melted. I put on dish gloves and wipe the cup out with the hot, wet papertowels and throw them away.

Then I wrap my lip balm tray in wet papertowels and put that in the microwave for 2 minutes or so. That melts the traces and I can get it really clean. The heat softens the plastic tray a bit so I put it on the counter with something heavy on top to press it flat again.
 

IrishLass

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I used to make bulk batches of base to melt down later as needed, which is a great thing to do if one has need of making lots of balm on a continual basis, but being a small-scale hobbyist, that particular method ended up not working out too well for me since I oftentimes go long stretches without needing to replenish my stash. What happens during those stretches is that my base gets stale enough to the point that I end up having to toss it, which means that all those oils, butters and waxes get wasted.

So, I worked out a system of making my balms fresh in small batches using these silicone egg poachers:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3M5IBJ/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20


Each poacher safely holds enough melted base to make 6 balms at a time at the most, but when I'm testing a recipe, I can quite easily make as little as 1 balm if I desire. For what its worth, I normally make anywhere from 3 to 12 tubes at any given time, although at Christmas time I normally have 3 to 4 filled poachers at the ready to make more at a time (for gift giving).

What I do is this:

1) I use my micro-scale that weighs accurately as low as .01 grams and I weigh out my balm ingredients into the poacher.

2) I set the poacher in a pot of barely simmering water to melt the ingredients together. The poachers float on top of my simmering water beautifully with no tipping. I just need to be careful to keep a vigilant eye on things to make sure the water doesn't reach a boil, because if it does, a drop or 2 is liable to fly up into the poacher (ask me how I know! ;) ). As long as it is kept at a bare simmer, though, all goes well.

3) When everything is melted, I use a glass rod to stir my flavoring, sweetener (and coloring if using) into the melted balm.

4) When all is blended and ready to pour, I take the poacher out of the pot and set it on a cotton cloth to dab off the water droplets that have formed on the outside of the poacher.

5) As I'm gently patting the water off (which only takes a few seconds), I choose a side of the poacher that I'll pour the balm from, and then I squeeze the opposite sides of the poacher in towards each other on that side so that it forms a lip or spout of sorts, and then I pour the melted balm into my tubes. It'll take a little practice at first to figure out the best pouring angle, but once you get the hang of it, the poacher really makes for easy-peasy pouring with zero spillage. I don't use a tray, by the way- I just pour free-hand since I don't have enough tubes going at the time to fill a whole tray.

6) I pour only 3/4 of the way up my tubes at first, and then I place the poacher back into the pot to keep the remaining balm warm and melty while I stick my partially filled tubes in the freezer. I keep the tubes in the freezer for only a few minutes- just long enough until the balm sinks down and hardens to somewhat of a Vaseline-like state. You don't want it to get too hard or else the last bit of melted balm used for topping off will separate off when using the balm later.

7) Then I take my tubes out of the freezer and top off with the remaining melted balm in the poacher, making sure to pour carefully so as to keep the surface tension of the melted balm intact so that it forms a nice rounded dome on top without dripping down the side of the tubes (takes a little practice here, too).

8 ) Lastly, I let the balms cool and harden up in the fridge before covering with the tube top.

Needless to say, this procedure of mine will no doubt prove very tedious for those who are making large batches of balm at a time, but if you're making small batches like me, it works quite nicely.


IrishLass :)
 

shunt2011

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I do pretty much the same as IL but on a larger scale. I make 15-20 tubes of each flavor at a time. I do masterbatch my lip balm 1500 grams at a time and put it in a jar that I can easily scoop out and melt as needed.
 

kumudini

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Hi Ladies, I'm back after a long time. Today is also the day I made a batch of soap after nearly 8 months. I have been making body butter and lip balm occasionally, and been having some issues with lip balms. After melting the ingredients, if I add my favorite mint EO or any flavor oils immediately, I see them flashing off and not really liking the remaining scent. If I wait until the oils cool down to below the flash points of flavor oils, well not much remains liquid enough to pour. I'm thinking, two things might help. 1. cut down on the wax portion, (currently I use 20-25%) and may be increase the butters. will this work? 2. May be I could shop for flavor oils with higher flash points and ditch the Mint EO altogether.
what do you suggest?
 
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