It’s hot as blazes outside, but you really really REALLY want to buy some whipped shea, cocoa or mango butter. You know the risk — it might get to you melted — so you can’t decide. We’ve compiled an exhaustive guide to melting and insulated shipping to help you.
First off, why do whipped shea, cocoa and mango butter melt in heat?
Like ice cream and chocolate, whipped shea, cocoa and mango butter are heat/weather sensitive products. The melting point of raw shea butter is 89 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the melting point of raw cocoa butter is 93 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit and the melting point of raw mango butter is around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Each of our whipped butters also contain a significant amount of oil, which pulls the melting point down even lower. We estimate that our whipped butters begin to melt at around 77 degrees in direct heat, and 80 degrees in indirect heat.
Is African black soap weather sensitive?
Nope! Its melting point is super super high, so it is fine in all seasons.
So is that it then? I can only order black soap in the summer time?
Absolutely not! Summer is actually our highest sales season for whipped butter! The vast majority of our customers — between 80 and 90 percent — just select insulated shipping.
Shipping! Insulated orders are packed with between 3 ounces and 1 pound of frozen gel packs, and placed in silver cold shield mailers. They are stored in a deep freezer for 18 to 36 hours before delivery to the post office. The gel packs gradually thaw during transit, but keep the temperature cool inside the package.
That’s nice and all, but does it work? Where I live is really super hot.
Yes it does! About 95% of what we send insulated arrives in good condition — even in the hottest months of the year (July and August.) Sadly, we do have instances where insulated orders arrive melted because they are delivered outside or to a hot mailbox, processed in USPS facilities without air conditioning, or transported in an overly hot mail truck. Insulated orders that arrive melted are eligible for full or partial refund.
Why don’t you just take a break in the summer to avoid melting altogether??
We tried this twice — in 2016 when we moved our business from Chicago to New York, and in 2017 when we opened our storefront in Brooklyn. In both instances the hiatus was not well-received by our customers — like at all. Since then we’ve vowed to be a year-round business.
I checked your prices and the insulated shipping is between $2 and $7 more than regular shipping options. Why do you expect people to pay more??
There are three elements that make insulated shipping more expensive: 1. the cold shield mailers, which cost more than regular poly mailers 2. the cost of the gel packs and 3. the increased weight of the package. The gel packs often push packages into a new weight class that is more expensive to ship.
Say I want to try insulated shipping, is there anything I can do on my end to prevent melting?
Absolutely! Many of the complaints we receive about melting occur when a package has been sitting in the sun or in an outside mailbox for hours. So here are some things we recommend:
1. Watch your tracking number closely. Arrange to have your package collected by a neighbor, family member or friend as soon as it’s delivered to your mailbox.
2. Have your package delivered to your workplace. Quite a few customers do this to ensure they can collect their package as soon as it is delivered. Also, most workplaces have air conditioning and indoor mail collection.
3. Have your package shipped to a neighbor, family member or friend who is at home during the day.
4. Have your package shipped to a PO box within an air conditioned mailing facility.
So what if my butters arrive to me melted? Do I have to throw them away?
No!!! Definitely not! Many customers worry that melting causes a loss of nutrients in the butter. It doesn’t! That happens at a way, WAY higher temperature. Even in a melted state, the butters are still absorbent, fragrant, non-greasy and have all the amazing benefits for hair and skin. Remember, we use premium/top quality raw ingredients for our whipped butters, so you are still holding a jar of goodness.
We put melting into two categories — light and heavy.
A light melting will make the product look bubbly, but retain its volume. You will notice in these pictures that the butter is still really high in the container. This means that the air we whipped into it has not escaped, so this butter still classifies as whipped. All you need to do is let it cool down and solidify at room temperature and it will be good as new.
A heavy melting occurs when the product loses significant volume due to a loss of air. The butter has not evaporated — that would be physically impossible — but it has become deflated and significantly denser because the air bubbles that make it rise are all gone. (Please note: the weight of the butter HAS NOT CHANGED all that has changed is the volume.) Heavily melted butters are partially or fully liquefied.
How do I return it to its whipped texture?
Before we go any further I want to mention that if your insulated package arrives melted and you choose to keep the butters you will receive a refund on the cost of shipping. Or you may return them for a replacement (we’ll cover the cost of return shipping.)
The only way to return a melted butter to its whipped texture is to re-whip it. Take a stick blender and whip the mixture for a few minutes to add stiffness and volume. If you don’t want to re-whip there are two options;
1. Use the butter in a liquid state. Some customers just get accustomed to using the liquid butter. Just remember that since the mixture is now denser you don’t need to use as much. A few dabs will do fine for full-body buttering.
2. Refrigerate. This is the most popular option. Just pop the butter in the fridge for an hour or so and let it harden up. The beautiful thing about whipped butter is that it warms upon contact with skin. So your body heat will melt the butter as you apply it.
And there you have it!
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