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Need tips for master batching lotion


Candybee
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I want to start making large master batches of lotion to store in large plastic buckets. I currently make my lotion in 4 scents and its a pain in the butt to make a separate batch for each one.

 

I'd prefer to make enough to fill a  couple of gallon buckets or even 5 gallon buckets if possible. When I make lotion I tend to use about 2 gallons of lotion base at a time and split it between my 4 scents. That means I go through a lot of lotion each time I make it.

 

Anyone do this? What equipment do you use to heat your water/oil phases in? Trying to gauge what equipment I may need to buy. I will be working in my home kitchen so any industrial sized equipment is out of the question. It needs to be something I can heat on a typical kitchen stove so it can't be too large for standard size stove burners. Thanks.

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2 hours ago, TallTayl said:

I store in gallon zip lock freezer bags.  This way I can squeeze out the extra air to prevent condensation and oxidation. This allows me to scent on demand versus keep lots of excess lotion on hand in scents that may or may not sell. 

The lotion I want to master batch would be unscented. I only scent lotion that I bottle to sell. Unfortunately I don't have room in my freezer to store bags of lotion. My freezer is always full of groceries.

 

I would like to be able to store gallon containers of unscented lotion base and open them as I need to bottle more for sale. I don't think I would keep the gallon containers for long. Probably a few days to a few weeks. I just want to make large enough batch(s) to store ahead of bottling day. 

 

Sort of like I do for making soap. I figure what soaps I need to make so I have everything in stock. This will tell me how many soap batches I need to make. I masterbatch my lye and my my oils. That same week I make my soap batches using the masterbatches on soaping day. This is the same thing I want to do with lotion. Master base the base lotion on one day, then later that same week use what unscented lotion I need to scent and bottle to restock.

Edited by Candybee
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You can purchase very large stockpots, but the pouring and tipping will be hard to do. You don’t put lotion in freezer. TT meant she uses freezer bags to store in. I would store lotion in gallon containers not larger. Too much air left inside unless you are going to use and bottle right away.

 

maybe this helpful for stovetop

 

https://www.brewinternational.com/premium-5-gallon-stainless-steel-stock-pot-with-weldless-ball-valve/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4OCT4aqB9AIVDIbICh1E7Qw1EAQYByABEgLGcfD_BwE

 

 

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@NightLightis correct, I store the lotion in gallon Freezer bags on the shop shelf, NOT in the freezer.

 

I used to contract manufacture scented lotion.  I convinced the customers to purchase gallons or 5 gallon containers from essentials by Catalina versus  making my own and learned a few great lessons. 
 

It was a messy pain in the tuckus to scoop out from the containers and into the final jars/bottles, with lots of waste. And the containers being scooped were prime for contamination. Bigger containers more easily developed mold and that weird skin on top from being exposed to the air inside the pail. condensation always forms where there is an air gap.
 

Reusing the pails will always be a vector for future contamination, even with bleaching or star San as you can’t ever get it “all” out from the last batch. 
 

the zip bags act like piping bags to quickly and cleanly fill the final containers.  I just snip a corner and precision pour into the funnel or jar opening. Sooooo much easier. And fewer storage containers to wash and sanitize. 

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Great advice! Exactly what I was looking for. I think you two have saved me from wasting lotion. I also love the idea of storing in a ziploc freezer bag then cutting the corner to squeeze out the lotion into my containers.

 

Question; can I store the lotion in the ziploc bag then later add FO to it on the day I want to fill my lotion bottles? I assume I would add fragrance oil directly into the bag with lotion base in it, zip it back up, then massage the FO all around to mix it in? 

 

Also, can I use zipper/slider bags instead of zip loc? I often have problems sealing ziploc but none sealing slider bags. Slidder bags are so much easier for me to use and I see they also come in gallon sizes.

 

Edited by Candybee
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You will need to test the fo compatibility with the bag material to make sure it does not eat through. Squishing should work well, and is kind of fun. 
 

if it is pourable all the better.

 

my creams go in a jar, so I measure in to a jar, then add scent and swirl it around for singles. 
 

Have you ever seen the boil-able spout bags like brambleberry uses? If you lotion needed heating it would be perfect! They come in many sizes. BB used to sell them, spoutpak has many now on Amazon and Ebay.

 

BD4927D3-4FAC-40E7-ADC1-3F6F14AD49C1.jpeg

 

I don’t see why you couldn’t use a different seal.  I just aim for the freezer type for the thickness and durability.  Squeezing a bag that is too thin can lead to a messy blowout. 

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I couldn't find any spout bags at BB. I did find some at Amazon. While I do like the spout for pouring lotion into bottles, what I don't like about it is filling a spout bag with lotion base. Almost seems like more trouble than its worth. Plus what I found the price comes to around $2 a bag. The bags are freezer and boiling proof and reusable and that is a plus thou. 

 

But I think I will try out slider freezer bags. Seems to me they would be much easier the fill with lotion base to store. I think when I buy them I will also buy an airtight plastic tote to store the lotion filled freezer bags in. Just a tad more insurance of preserving the lotion and also easier storage. But I think a 5-10 gallon plastic tote is about all I can heft around.

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Def get freezer bags. They are thicker plastic. Me personally I like to blend in fragrance with a beater. Even if you have to empty out on bag into bowl to blend in fo’s the manageability of your batches should be easier than one big five gallon. Slider bags are easier and less chance of bursting open. Test everything! Webrestaurant has slider bags in bulk, I have not tried theirs so cannot attest to strength.

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Those are great suggestions NightLight. I do use Webstaurant periodically for supplies and trust their products. Will check them out for bulk gallon freezer bags. 

 

Also, when you were saying you like to use a beater to blend in FO, I pictured myself using a handheld beater to mix the lotion and FO right in the bag. I think it could be done. Maybe you have already tried this. IDK but I think I should at least try it and see if it works for me. I realise it would have to be done carefully so as not to get any part of the bag caught in the beaters. That would be a mess. LOL  But if it works, it would save washing out a bowl and/or more equipment.

 

Question re thick cream as in face cream: Have either of you, TT and NightLight, used an icing bag with a tip to extrude thick cream into a low profile jar? I have a thick face cream that is somewhat problematic to get into jars. Currently I am spooning the finished cream into the jars. But it is super messy and I go through a lot of paper towels to clean the jar edges and sides. It can be exhausting and takes up my time and sweat just to clean and lid the jars! I have often thought of using an icing bag with a tip to get the thick cream into the jars.

 

Also, I am looking for jar liners that go over the top of the jar under the lid. I currently use press-on lid seals but don't like the look of them on my face cream jars but they do add a more finished touch to my product .

 

I would rather use those plastic lid liners you see on fancy jars like L'Oreal.  I have noticed that the face cream can move around inside the jar and the extra lid liner over the jar top will help to make it look better as you see the liner under the lid instead of cream all bunched up to one side. Hope you kwim, I am fussy about how the cream looks once you open the jar and thought the liners would make a nicer polished look.

Edited by Candybee
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I would not mix lotion in the bag. Just squeeze into new container by cutting corner of plastic bag. You can use a single beater standard hand mixer to mix fragrance oil in. This works better than any hand squishing method. Then yes easy two methods dispense into container with corner cut out or use piping bag. Bang container to settle cream. Containers! Only buy ones that you can get those plastic seals. Trying to hunt them down is more of a headache. I like those too for creams.


 

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