I created an abomination—help!

Don’t fret—it happens! Chances are you should learn from your mistakes and throw it away.

If it is an emulsion (especially a failed one), you cannot re-jig it. It likely needs to be binned.

If it includes a preservative you likely cannot expose it to any heat (different preservatives have different maximum temperatures) or add any more ingredients without throwing off the preservative balance; I’d recommend just chucking it.

If it needed a preservative and you didn’t include one and it’s been more than a couple of days, it’s probably a good idea to stop using it (you could keep it and observe it and see how it goes over the following weeks/months/years, though!).

If it already has essential oils, exposing it to heat will damage them. That’s not a deal-breaker, but please don’t add more to try to compensate as you may over-do it and create something irritating or sensitizing (or just plain stinky).

If you want to write for troubleshooting help…

Imagine somebody sends you the following message:

Help! I combined flour, water, salt, yeast, mustard, ham, lettuce, sunflower seeds, cheese, and then I didn’t have mayo so I used whipping cream. It was supposed to be a sandwich but it’s awful! What did I do wrong? How do I fix it?

Think about all the questions you will have to ask this person to have any sort of idea what they’ve done to even start to offer troubleshooting advice. How much of everything did they use? What did they actually do? Did they actually bake the bread before trying to turn it into a sandwich? Why did they think whipping cream was a good alternative to mayonnaise? Were the following a recipe or did they just make this up?

If you want to write to me for troubleshooting help you need to tell me exactly what you used (in percentages by weight, NOT volume measurements), and exactly what you did. If you just send me a giant list of ingredients and a loose description of whatever you ended up with I can’t even begin to guess what you’ve done, let alone what you should change.

Also, please know that providing troubleshooting advice for formulations that are not my own is a very low priority for me. I always have more correspondence than a single person can reasonably handle at any given time, and I prioritize helping people make my formulations.

Posted in: Troubleshooting & Adjusting