Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Recurring Procedural Glitch


Not long ago, I made a small batch of orange flavoured lip balms and without fail, I made the same procedural mistake I've been making for years.

After so many years of making lip balms, one would think I'd wise up and at the very least write a reminder on my formula notes in big red letters with thick underlines, exclamation points, and arrows...

...but no.

Instead, I just repeat the error.

Again.

And again.


Granted, this time was a little different, because this time, I pulled out the camera, documented it, and am now sharing it with you. (Don't you just love seeing other peoples' mistakes?)


Must be 'cuz it's Been a While

I usually make small batches of about 5-6 lip balms at a time, and it is quite normal that a fair amount of time passes between my balm-making sessions - sometimes months.

That must be why I always end up with sinkholes, overfill, and spillover.

Lip balm must be poured while liquid (read: hot). As the mixture cools, it shrinks a bit, creating an indent in the middle of the balm.

Many soapmaking forums recommend overfilling, which is fine if you're making 50 lip balms in a special filling tray where the excess can easily be scraped off and remelted, but I'm hand-pouring 5 cases most of the time...

...and they always end up looking like this.


The excess balm that has spilled over the edge has to be carefully, but completely removed. Because if it isn't all removed, the label won't stick or stay on.

How it Should Have Been Done

Fill the cases 3/4 full
Allow to cool for a minute (so the necessary sinking can take place)
Fill to the top
Voilá - perfect balm

The Ingredients

The ingredients for this balm (named Feed my Lips) are: organic cocoa butter, pesticide-free lanolin, hand-filtered beeswax from a local beekeeper, organic thistle oil, organic sunflower oil, e-vitamin and carnuaba wax. Because this order included a flavor request, orange and mandarin essential oils were added.


Do Tell

Do you have a glitch you repeatedly make in your work process? Then do please leave a comment below and tell me I'm not the only one!

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