There are three possibilities that can cause this issue.
- The propel-repel mechanism was adjusted by twisting before the lip balm tubes were filled. Lip balm tubes come from the manufacturer with their propel-repel mechanism set at the correct point for. Never adjust this mechanism. This happens most with the Clear Lip Balm Tubes. Why? The space under the propel-repel mechanism has people thinking they have been “cheated” on fillable lip balm tube space! This space is important for the lip balm tubes to work properly and is in all tubes, no matter their color.
- Your customer (or a child) twisted the lip balm up and then twisted it all the way back down and disengaged the propel-repel mechanism. We’ve even done it ourselves on accident!
- Your formula has a high percentage of waxes and/or oils with high stearine content. This doesn’t mean that having 20% of any wax will make your lip balm tubes stick! It will depend on your formula. Your formula may have a high percentage of wax and yet still be fine because you don’t have any brittle oils and lots of liquid oils. If you aren’t sure if your formula is causing the lip balm to be stuck in the tube, test your lip balm using the plate test.
I hope this has helped you learn more about lip balms and lip balm tubes!
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On very, very rare occasions, the lip balm tube could be missing the propel-repel mechanism altogether, LOL! I’ve had this happen! I’ve learned to give them a quick look before pouring.
Thanks for the tips and reminders! 🙂
This is true! We have seen that before. Generally it is obvious so getting to the point of filling the tube is a problem.
Are they history once they’ve been twisted all the way out?
Lip Balm Tubes are designed to be non-reusable containers. Once they have been twisted up, the tube should be discarded. I wish I had better answer!
I’m having this problem with the black tubes and even after having read this I’m a little perplexed at what could have gone wrong.
I filled 100 tubes without any problem. I had some balm left over so I ordered more tubes. When they arrived I filled about 70 more and only about 11 of those are functioning properly.
The consistency of the product in the tubes from the non-working newly filled tubes vs the working previously filled tubes does not appear of feel any different.
Shawn, Then I would expect fractionation. You may need to have an outside lab test the mixture but I suspect that the wax settled and made the left over material more stiff. I have done this before. Fractionation is a difficult problem in mixtures with waxes, especially those with candelilla or carnauba wax. Those waxes are the easiest for me to get to fractionate.
I have other issue. After I pour my lip balm and it has settled, I twist it up to use it, the. When I try twisting down the lip balm separates from the mechanism, so it doesn’t go back down. What am I doing wrong?
This is often times due to a very hard mixture in which the material breaks. If the lip balm becomes separated from the lifting disk then it can’t be brought back down unless you put pressure on the lip balm itself. A slight pressing with a finger is usually all it needs. Check your formulation. Candelilla Wax and Carnauba Wax tend to have this issue more often than beeswax.
Can the twisting mechanism be fixed by taking it apart and putting it back together, or is it an issue that cannot be fixed?
You know, if I were in this situation, I’d consider it a no loss situation to find anything that made the tubes work again. I’d probably try putting the tubes in hot (not boiling) water (140-150°F) and let them sit for about a minute. After that minute, I’d give them a sanitizing rinse and set aside to completely dry. My hope would be that the heat would encourage the plastic to reset to the original shape and functionality. Since lip tubes are designed to be a non reusable container, it may or may not work.