We refer to “Low Flash Point” as a liquid with a flash point of 141F or below. It is the temperature at which ignitable fumes are formed from a fragrance oil, flavor oil, essential oil, air freshener, body spray, etc. This is basically the temperature at which vapor is given off which can be ignited with an open flame or openly combust (under the right circumstances). This would be important if you are heating a fragrance in a tart warmer, but for soap making it is not. This also does not mean your fragrance will dissipate or “flash off” at a certain temperature, that is a myth. What it does pertain to mostly is shipping regulations to prevent possible fires in transit.
Elements Bath & Body offers shipping via both USPS Priority and Fedex, so why is it some liquids can only ship via Fedex Home Delivery? It is illegal to ship low flash point liquids via air because they are potentially combustible. Air methods include USPS Priority, Fedex Next Day and Fedex 2nd Day. Low flash point liquids can only ship Fedex Home Delivery.
Some people believe if a scent is heated to the flash point temperature when making soap, it can cause the fragrance to fade. Why is “flashing off” a myth? Because once your soap batch is mixed and the fragrance oil is added, a new flash point is generated which is essentially an average of the flash points of the components in the proportions of the mixture. Think about candle scent – it still gives off fragrance as it burns and doesn’t lose potency. While is it true that some fragrances are more delicate than others, this has little to do with the flash point and more to do with the harshness of the pH changes that soap undergoes.
Some tips to prevent fading scent in CP soap are:
Using a ½ teaspoon of kaolin mixed with an equal part water per pound of soap batch. Avoiding the gel phase with delicate floral fragrances or essential oils by cooling your soap rather than insulating it or using the oven to force gel.
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