Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Melting point for conditioner bars?

In this post on solid conditioner bars, Kenzie asks: I was wondering what the melting point of the finished bars are. I am concerned about shipping in the summer. Also, does this recipe need to be put into single molds or would I be able to make a large batch in a soap loaf and cut it after it hardens?

Melting point is such an interesting concept, and it's something I haven't addressed as often as I should on this blog.

The melting point of Incroquat BTMS-50 is around 60˚C. The melting point of Incroquat CR, if you use it, is about the same. Cetyl alcohol melts at 49˚C, while most butters melt at 38˚C or higher. (Don't use coconut oil or babassu as they melt around 24˚C, which is awesome on you skin, but not so awesome if they melt in transit.)

It's not as easy as saying that if you keep this at 38˚C or higher, it won't melt as there are so many factors that go into the melting point of a product. But what I can tell you is that I have been using conditioner bars for almost nine years. I have taken them camping many times, and they generally live in my bath tub or in my workshop, both of which can get very warm. And I have never had a conditioner bar melt on me. My workshop can get really hot, well over 35˚C, and no melting.

I don't want to guarantee that you won't see meltage, but I can tell you that I haven't. Just stick with higher melting point butters, if you include them at all, and you should be okay.

Anyone have any experience with this they'd like to share? 

Related posts:
Melting points of butters
How do we heat proof an emulsified scrub?

As for putting it into a solid loaf and cutting it - sure, I think you could do that. (I've never tried it, but I can't see why it wouldn't work!) The bars aren't super hard when they're done, so I think you could cut them with a nice soap cutting tool.

Let us know how this turns out!


Maria said...

If you are shipping to Texas, they would probably end up melted. I order supplies and they are shipped UPS or USPS and I often get melted product (such as the cocoa butter that arrived Tues--melted except in the very center--and I mean MELTED as in completely liquid, squishing around in the bag. They double bag it so I just have to wait for it to harden before opening the bags. But this is pretty typical for Texas heat. I've had cold process soap that gets soft and changes shape in the mail (these are very small samples, not entire bars.) So I'd be pretty leery of sending conditioning bars or balms or anything to do with butters in the summertime to the South. We get hot here. UPS leaves packages on the porch and doesn't ring the bell. USPS leaves packages on the porch or in the metal package boxes (or even the regular metal mailboxes). It's 100 degrees out there in POUNDING summer sunshine. This stuff not only melts items, they sizzle and burn.

electrikat65 said...

I agree with Maria. I'm in central Texas and you do not want to ship anything that can't take 80 to 105 heat here. Unless maybe there is something like a cold pack?

Kenzie Fox said...

Thank you so much for the thorough response :)