How Do We Use Lip Balm Waste?

I recently discussed how we end up with lip balm waste, but now it's time to find out what we do with it. 

Over the years, I’ve had a LOT of ideas for lip balm flavors, but they don’t always turn out as well as I had imagined. One way to test them out is to make a mini batch to see how the flavor oils mesh with the balm, and what the final smell will be like. It’s my favorite way to use lip balm we can’t sell.

I warm it up, and make all these little test batches in small cups and pour them all into their own tube with a quick label to tell me what I had mixed in there. I usually let them sit for a day or so, mostly to give my sense of smell a break, and then I sit down and sniff them all one by one and sort them into piles named Yum, Ok and gross! I usually have some coffee beans nearby to kind of reset my nose when everything starts to smell the same. Then, I’ll usually have a few other people smell the Ok and Yum bins to see what they think, and the winners get written up into an official formula to go into production!

Our other use for lip balm waste is a lot more fun!

We have what I like to call my “testing tray." It’s actually a lip balm tray that has a defect, and rather than throw it out, we decided to keep it for testing, training and just plain fun purposes! I loaded it up with un-saleable lip balms, like those I use to test flavors.

Since some of the holes in this tray are mis-shaped, I had to heat up the ends to jam them into the holes, but I made it work! The most fun thing we do with this is pour more waste lip balm on top and just have fun scraping it off. Mario and Erin’s jobs don’t involve lip balm scraping at all, so it was a lot of fun for them to give it a shot! It also came in handy to test a batch code printer we bought. Unfortunately, we never got it to work properly, but we were glad to find out using this tester tray rather than fresh tubes destined for our customers.