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Is a $25 slow cooker any good for melting cosmetic waxes?

March 27, 2012

Worried that your cosmetics will give you cancer???? Well inhaling smoking hot fat is most probably a gazillion times more risky than rubbing a little paraben preserved cream on your hot little hands and so when you spot a 5Kg slow cooker for $25 you just HAVE to buy it!

Having had my fill of the gut wrenching aroma of burnt oils and waxes caused by leaving my brew ‘cooking’ for too long on a hot plate I was hungry to find a safer, cleaner and more sensible option. So, was it any good?

slow cooker for melting waxes when you make cosmetics

In a word NO.  Maybe it was because I was impatient to get emulsifying and my water phase was already hot, thick and ready to go.  Maybe it was just that I don’t like watching waxes slowly melt or maybe I have attention deficit disorder but man the slow cooker was slow.  Yes, I know that there was a massive clue in the name but I didn’t think that slow meant ‘no’ as in ‘no I won’t ever melt those need-to-reach-70C waxes. Ever……

Anyway, after 20 minutes I took the temp and found it to be a slightly warm 65C but not enough to cook my stuff.  After 30 minutes I’d given up, put the wax phase in a pan and had a quiet cry about my wasted $25.

Melting waxes needed for a creamy emulsion

Verdict:  If you are the type of person that is easily distracted when cooking up your cosmetics – ie: you have small children or pets around or your phone goes often then I’d advise you to give a slow cooker a go as there is no way on earth your oils will get burned before you remember them!

After 40 minutes my waxes had melted and looked like they could sit there happily for at least another hour without burning – this would NOT happen with a pan-on-electric-hob.  However, if you are a paid-by-the-hour-or-batch manufacturer you probably won’t want to spend your days staring at a pan of quietly melting waxes so don’t do it.

I don’t know if a more expensive one would work better but if you like the idea of this it may be worth the investment especially as you can usually set the temperature parameters better with the better brands meaning that even if you are totally distracted your house won’t burn down and that HAS to be a good thing.

Have fun experimenting!

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 21, 2013 6:28 am

    Sorry to hear about that. I use my slow cooker for hot process soap so perhaps that’s another use for it.

    For alternative heating methods you (or your readers might consider) – for my lotions, you can see in this video I use two different types of heating methods to do the 20 min heat and hold at 70c – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHP121xGvL8

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