A Peek Into Our Production Process (part 1)

A Peek Into Our Production Process (part 1)

Like all Handcrafted HoneyBee Co. products, our award-winning aluminum-free deodorant is 100% handmade in our warehouse in Tehachapi, California.

But have you ever wondered what, exactly, that means? We don’t use a pre-mixed base purchased from someone else, and we don’t use expensive pouring machines to fill our tubes.

Every deodorant starts in our warehouse as separate raw materials and leaves as a fully poured, labeled, and packaged product. Made by caring hands just for one lucky customer!

Over the next few weeks, I’d love to walk you through our production process and share a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes—from the moment we receive the ingredients until it’s packaged up and ready to be shipped to you.

In the Beginning

We start by receiving our raw materials in boxes, bags, pails and drums.

Our liquid oils arrive in drums which each weigh about 400 lbs. We use a forklift to get each pallet (weighing about 1700 lbs) off the freight truck. Sometimes the truck has to park on the street if our parking lot is crowded, which means the the forklift goes on a short road trip to get the load!

We use a special pump to keep the oil sealed inside away from dust and air and pump it out when we’re ready to fill our melters. Our avocado butter isn’t sold on drums, so we receive it pails that weigh around 55lbs. Beeswax, cera bellina wax, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and magnesium all arrive in sealed bags, weighing somewhere between 25-55lbs.

Often most of these raw materials are shipped in via pallet, where our essential oils, vitamin E, and clean fragrances arrive in smaller packages.

The Big Fill

We melt our product in large water-jacketed melters. These melters hold 45 gallons total, or close to 350lbs of material.

One melter is designated for our Standard Formula, and the other is designated for our Sensitive Skin Formula. We fill each melter with the oils, butters, and waxes required for that formulation, following a recipe book to ensure consistent quality for every single stick we produce.

While the melter does its work, we measure our powders (arrowroot and baking soda for our standard formula, arrowroot and magnesium for our sensitive skin formula, plus prebiotics for both). The powders are then blended into the melted oil/butter/wax base, with Vitamin E and essential oils/clean fragrance oils added just before we pour.

Next week, I'll show you what it looks like to pour hundreds of deodorant at a time!

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