Questions on lotion bars

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With all the talk on lotion bars, I’m going to attempt some. Looking at recipes, some say to let the wax stay hot for 20 minutes or so, others just pour once melted. How do I know if I need to let mine sit or just pour?

Some say to let cure for a couple of weeks, some say use immediately. What’s that dependent on? Weather? Ingredients?

I’ll be using beeswax, mango butter, jojoba oil, and cornstarch. Is it 1 tablespoon per lb of batch weight? Should I go less? I don’t have tapioca or other powders to use but if something else is better, I can get some
 
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Happy to weigh in here. I've recently used a similar recipe, 1/3 each of beeswax, mango butter, jojoba oil, 1% vitamin E oil and essential oil according to recommended usage rates.

My process is
- combine beeswax and jojoba in double boiler, heat on high
- once melted, turn heat down to low
- add mango butter and melt with heat on low
- once melted, remove from heat and quickly add vitamin E oil and scent and quickly pour into molds

You will HAVE TO pour at once into molds -- it hardens and cools very very quickly. Just return it to the double-boiler if you need to. You can unmold in a couple of hours.

I have used brand new bars immediately as well as bars made months ago and have found no difference in them at all. Been making them for several years.

I have no experience on adding powder so can't help you there.

I love maKING lotion bars. Simple and quick. Don't like the result? Just re-melt and re-work your percentages.

Hack: my double boiler is a silicone measuring cup filled with ingredients put in a saucepan of water. The silicone cup is a breeze to clean. Before I had them, clean up was a bear.
 
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I made a really small batch, using 2 oz each of beeswax, mango butter, and jojoba oil. I got water in some of the little bars, I think from the side of the 4 C glass measuring cup that I had in the water, which I noticed when I went to pop them out of the molds and the bottom was water. Oops! After they sat for a while, we tried one out and it didn’t feel smooth, it didn’t glide easily over the skin. My first thought was that I’d try a new batch, but then I remembered what you said “just re-melt and re-work”, and that’s what I did. I stuck them all back in the cup, added 1.9oz of grapeseed oil, and wiped the water off the cup before I poured this time 😉 Now they seem a tad too melty. Not overly so but I will definitely ease up on the oil next time. I’m not a fan of the smell so I need to remedy that too. Since I have no idea what mango butter is supposed to smell like, I don’t know if I got a bad batch or if I just don’t like the smell.
 

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I just took one of mine in to a girl at work and she LOVES it! I have a weird recipe which was the evolution of lots of tweaking: Carnauba wax and Soy wax (in place of beeswax coz my stuff is all vegan), Shea butter and cocoa butter ( shea is too soft and crumbly on its own), then coconut oil, apricot kernel oil and meadowfoam, plus FO.
 
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I need to look into all the different butters and waxes, and the advantages of each. I was watching Mrs Soap and Clay and she was talking about the comedogenic properties, which was new to me. I'd like to play with those to see what difference it makes to the actual feel
 

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Melting oils in the microwave is so much faster than using a double boiler. Is there a reason double boiler is always the recommended method for lotion bars?
 
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No real reason for me. My soapy shop is in the basement and I've got my trusty hotplate there and no microwave. We recently remodeled our kitchen which has a microwave and I'm paranoid about messing the new kitchen up.
I'm not sure why it's recommended, but I do melt butters on low, everything else on high.
 
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That's amazing, @KiwiMoose! I thought carnauba was out because the melt point was too high. But it sounds like by combining it with other, softer waxes and oils, the meltpoint of the end product is suitable?
 

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Melting oils in the microwave is so much faster than using a double boiler. Is there a reason double boiler is always the recommended method for lotion bars?

Melting oils/waxes in a microwave is probably discouraged due to the potential for localized heating creating hotspots in the mixture. There is also the potential for overheating and fires.

Using a double boiler usually means that the temperature isn't going to get much above 80oC / 176F so there is less potential for overheating. You can also mix the oils/waxes easily.
 

JoyfulSudz

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Melting oils/waxes in a microwave is probably discouraged due to the potential for localized heating creating hotspots in the mixture. There is also the potential for overheating and fires.
Thank you for this explanation. I was hoping the reason was something like that and the melting more quickly in the microwave didn't affect the texture or other qualities of the oils. When I use the microwave, I am super-careful about heating in short time increments and checking the oils and temperatures often. It's just so much faster than the double boiler and oftimes my impatience wins out over slow-and-cautious.
 
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I made another small batch this morning, and I'll be darned if there wasn't water in the last mold again. I had tried so hard to not let any water in, and thought I had done a good job. Annoyed, I made another batch from scratch, except this time I microwaved it because I was determined not to have water jump out at me when popping out that last bar. Lo and behold, water again. I guess I'm going to have to send each butter, wax, and oil to the microwave separately so I can see which one is the culprit. At least now I know it wasn't me.
 

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