Tips for a Perfect Melt and Pour Balm
Some formulas have so few ingredients and such a simple production method it's hard to imagine they can go wrong.
But they can.
Sometimes, 'less' can feel like it equals 'more problems' and drive you to the edge of frustration.
If you make any kind of melt and pour product, you're probably nodding already.
Melt and pour balms and butters can be a joy and a curse.
I'll Bet I've Seen 'em AllI truly believe I have experienced every possible and impossible type of melt-and-pour fail it is conceivable to make.
- mixture doesn't set
- separation of ingredients – immediately
- separation of ingredients – after a short time
- separation of ingredients – after a long time
- morphing into a thick grainy porridge (after a day - 2 days - a week - 4 months)
- morphing into a thin grainy porridge (after a day - 2 days - a week - 4 months)
- setting only on the top (revealing a layer of slush as soon as you dip into it)
- Migration of ingredients to the bottom and setting only on the bottom
Why does this happen?Because of butter non-synergy-diva-ness (that's a term I just made up)
Here's what I mean:
Every melt and pour balm is different - even if it is made with the same ingredients.
(that last part is important)
I am not going to get technical about the fatty acid composition of every butter today, but here are the headlines:
- Some butters require special handling
- Some butters will only play nice with selected other ingredients
- Some butters will only play nice with certain handling methods
- Some butters will only play nice with certain temperatures
- And some butters are such impossible divas they refuse to play nice with anything else unless you sing to them and wave a magic wand over them while dancing naked
LisaLise Tips for Melt and Pour Balm PerfectionNow, I wish I could give you the be-all, end-all, ultimate guide to 100% supreme balm perfection, but there are too many factors involved to make a fail-safe cheat sheet.
I can, however, give you my best general tips for attaining melt and pour perfection, and here they are:
- Melt the ingredients with highest melt point first (waxes, then hard butters, etc)
- Melt slowly over low heat (bain marie or directly on a heat source where you can control the temperature)
- Be vigilant about keeping moisture out of the mixture if you use the bain marie method
- Know the temperature of the balm at all times (use a thermometer)
- Monitor the mixture constantly
- Cool the mixture slowly
- Stir slowly and gently as the mixture cools
- Stir until trace, then pour up
- Place lid on jar after the balm reaches room temperature to avoid condensation