Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Question: Can I make up batches of product and scent it later?

An e-mail question came in asking this question...Can I make up batches of lotion and scent them later? What about things like body wash?

The answer to this is simple. Yes.

I'll make up a large batch of lotion with all the ingredients, except the fragrance oils, and store them in a clean ice cream container with a tight lid. When I'm in the mood for smelling more like Christmas than a cupcake, I remove the amount I want (generally 125 ml) and add the correct amount of fragrance (I like to use around 1% but you can go slightly higher or lower). I mix it with my stick blender, then funnel or pipe into my bottle. Ta-da!

As an aside, I was watching something on the Food Network the other day and thought to myself, "Hey, I could use the stick blender for cooking!" That's when you know you make more lotions than cakes! 

I do the same thing with bubble bath and body wash. I make up big batches with all the ingredients and store them in clean ice cream containers with tight lids. I take out the amount I want (generally 250 ml) and add my colour and fragrance. I mix it well, then funnel into my bottle.

I do this with conditioner, liquid conditioner, shampoo, and so on. Please only use clean bottles, jars, or containers to store larger batches of products. I like to put them in a box titled "Finished Products", which I store in a cool, dark place. Ensure you have added everything - preservatives are vital! - before storing. The only ingredient left out should be your fragrance oil.

Make sure your containers are clean - I get mine from Voyageur, and they have never been used to store ice cream - and make sure the lids are tight. If you are planning to store something, make sure that anything with oils contain some nice anti-oxidants to keep the oils from going rancid. (Here's more information on anti-oxidants.)


Celine Blacow said...

I also master batch my body butter (anhydrous) plus will be doing the same with my scrub base and lip balm base too. Great idea and saves a huge amount of time.

Birgit said...

What do you use to pipe your lotions into your bottles? I have used various grades of ziploc type bags and the essential oils always begin to separate out before I'm done getting the lotion into my bottle.
What's the deal with the plastics?? I'm truly stumped on that one. Any thoughts you wouldn't mind sharing??

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Celine! I do this with anhydrous products - especially balms, because I can just spoon my products into the containers - and mineral make-up, too.

Hi Birgit. I use piping bags from the cake store or Daiso (where I can get 20 bags for $20). I have never had success with the Ziploc type bags - I find things leak out, or I make a huge mess - which is why I use the disposable bags.

What do you mean by plastics? Plastics when it comes to bottles or other products? If you mean bottles, here's a post I wrote last year on the topic.

papi said...

Hi!!! I'm so happy 2 found u :) u have very interesting information about cosmetics and how to make them. I didn't like chemistry at all until I started making my own products!
I'd like to ask u something.. These days I made my first laundry soap (I found a recipe on Internet, from those with soap borax and washing soda),it works really well but I wanted and a fabric softener..! I used vinegar but did't satisfied enough...so, I saw the ingredients of a fabric softener from a shop with biological products etc..and I made a recipe: 30% citric acid, 15% ethyl alcohol, 40 drops of a perfume oil and the rest distiller water.
What I wanna ask is if there's any chance of a bad reaction betwen the fabric softener and the laundry soap.
And I'm asking that because I read somewhere that u should not use with homemade soap anything else exept vinegar.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi papi. I'm sorry, I have no idea what the reaction might be in a washing machine. I'm apprehensive about suggesting anything that might hurt your appliances, which is why I haven't written about laundry soap at all.

In theory, I don't think that much citric acid on your clothes is a good idea. It's going to be very acid and could alter the colour of your clothes. Try it first in a washing bin with some clothes you don't mind wrecking and see if you like the results.

Fabric softeners tend to contain cationic ingredients and they're much like hair conditioners. Some people use a tsp of conditioner to behave as fabric softeners, but I'm not suggesting you do this as I don't know what the reaction will be with your machines. You could try it in a washing bin with some clothes you don't mind wrecking to see if it works for you.

Sorry I couldn't offer more information, but I don't want to suggest anything that could ruin very expensive machines!

Birgit said...

Thanks for getting back to me! What I meant about plastics is the ziploc type bags. I've used brand-name, generic, all kinds of brands for those type of bags. I can have the best emulsified lotion and I put it in the bag and what happens is that the essential oils begin to separate out and the entire thing turns into a curdled mess. Then I have to squeeze everything out and mix it together again! I don't get it. Do you think there's some sort of chemical reaction with the plastic in those type of bags??

papi said...

Thank's for the answer! :)
the recipe for the softener was from the ingredients of a bottle from a market with bio stuff ;)
I made both, I used them and I'm very satisfied with the results. They clean very well and cloths are soft and smell great!! The recipe for the laundry soap it is used from many people without problem(as I read from the Internet..)
maybe it is a nice idea if we use once per month baking soda and vinegar for a wash just to keep the washing macine clean.
I don't think those deterahents that the use for laundry powders are better and healthier from that soap.. well I don't know, I just hope!!

(sorry for any mistake in my English, I'm from Greece :P)

Magia said...

Do you have any tips on making scents stay when you store batches? I've found that the scent on some of my soaps seems to have faded with storage.

I suspect that once someone started using the soap, the smell would come back, and it might just be the outer layer which has been exposed to the air. It does make it harder to sell things which have been stored for a while but should be fine to use though.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Magia. I don't make soap, so I don't know how well it stores and can't make any suggestions ways to do that. I do make batches of things like body wash or bubble bath, and I generally don't scent it until I need it because I like using different fragrance for different seasons (and I love to share my products with people, and custom blending's a big part of that). For something that does have scent - like a sugar scrub, scrub bar, shampoo bar - I store them in really big freezer bags with a good zipper top and I don't seem to have problems with the scent fading.

Bilalahmad Shafiq said...

I am professional making detergents and washing powder i will later post all information soon.

Anonymous said...

I make big batches of cream. I take a portion out once in a while and add different fragrance oils. it doesn't blend in with the premade cream,it separates. Can anyone shed some light as to why when I am fragrance oils to my premade cream it separates?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. Please put your name on your post, or I'll have to delete it. That's a policy we have here as it makes for a kinder and nicer community. As well, if you sign in with an account, you'll be notified when someone comments on this post. Otherwise, it's unlikely you'll come back and check when someone puts their time into answering the question, which isn't fair to the person who put in the effort.

I think your lotion is separating because you have too much oil. It works with the oils you have, but that tiny bit of fragrance oil is enough to break the emulsion. You will want to increase the emulsifier in your product and follow the heat and hold method of making the lotion to ensure a more stable emulsion.

Cespri said...

Hi Susan! I've been researching this idea I have but I'm still not sure if it's a good idea. I thought I'd make a batch of basic facial moisturizer with all the hydrating and moisturizing ingredients I already know my skin likes. Then, I wonder if I can take small portions of this base and add water-soluble stuff to it that I want to try and see how my skin likes it? For example, can I mix a extract dissolved in water into the cold lotion base? Water shouldn't break the emulsion if it is an oil-in-water lotion. I realize this will make the product thinner but I thought I could compensate for this by making a thicker cream base to begin with. If I try it and it looks like a facial moisturizer, does that mean it worked?

Thanks for any input!