You've got one of our kits or ingredients to make something yourself. What's the easiest way to melt the ingredients?
After safety, one of the biggest things to consider is cleanup. Unused melted beeswax and oils will leave a residue in whatever you've used to melt the ingredients. As well as general melting tips, here's some ways to save on cleanup.
The options for melting are to use the microwave or stovetop. I prefer using the stovetop. When using the microwave it involves heating ingredients for a few seconds, lifting the container out, stirring, putting it back in for a bit longer. There's alot of faffing about. My options for melting ingredients use the stovetop.
Getting ready tips
Lay newspaper, cardboard or newsprint on the work area to catch any spills.
Open all bottles and containers of products to be used. Get moulds (lip balm tubes, body cream containers) ready by laying them out in a line with the lids off.
General melting tips
Melt the ingredients at a low simmer rather than a hard boil.
Add the hardest ingredients first (eg beeswax) and melt that before adding the next.
Oil is usually added last. Once the oil is added, keep it gently simmering for a few minutes to ensure the whole amount is heated through - otherwise it will start to set once taken off the heat.
A chopstick or kebab stick makes a great stirring stick.
If the liquid starts to set while pouring it into moulds simply return to the heat to reliquidfy.
Method for melting ingredients - pot straight on the stovetop
The ideal would be to use a pot with a pouring lip as this photo shows and to only use it for melting your diy products (so you don't need to get it fully clean before using it again). In reality you're using your
Use as small a pot as possible.
Keep stirring the ingredients as they melt.
Keep the heat to a low simmer - don't have the heat too high
Method for melting ingredients - double boiler
The double boiler method (melting ingredients in a container within a boiling pot of water) is great because you can easily adjust the heat on the pot and you can use a heat proof jug which is easy to pour with or a recyclable glass jar which is easy to clean.
Decide on which container you'll use to melt the ingredients. A heat proof jug (eg pyrex) works well. You can also use a glass jar or tin destined for the recyclin - if you think you're going to be doing any more melting of products this is a good option (see cleaning tips below).
Choose a suitable pot to go with the container. The pot will need to be bigger than the container. Fill the pot with water - enough so that it won't cover the container and bring it to the boil.
Add the hardest ingredients (usually beeswax) to the melting container and lower it into the pot of boiling water.
Add further ingredients and melt fully.
Use something like an oven mitt when lifting out the jug or jar of melted ingredients.
Melted beeswax and oil doesn't clean up very well.
Tip as much melted liquid out of your pot or jar as possible. If you've been using one of our diy kits, use one of the plastic containers that had ingredients in it if necessary to tip excess melted ingredients into.
Use paper towels to wipe out the pot, jug or jar as much as possible. Also wipe any utensils used before trying to wash them.
If you plan on making more products - use a glass jar or tin and wipe it out as much as possible but it doesn't need to be washed out. If you don't plan on making any more still wipe it out as much as possible and put it in the recycling.