Why My Shea Butter Is Grainy? How To Fix It?

Updated: January 7, 2022

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Why My Shea Butter Is Grainy? How To Fix It?

Can grainy shea butter be fixed? Yes, because getting shea butter grainy doesn’t imply that the butter has gone bad. Grainy shea butter can still be used to make homemade or DIY products and it can be fixed without giving any extra effort. Hence, to know what causes grainy shea butter and how to prevent and fix it from being so, keep on reading.

What Is Grainy Shea Butter?

A grainy shea butter lacks the typical smoother consistency and texture of the said butter and instead has formed small grains all over it. These grains are components of the butter that have cooled off faster than the others as they cool at different temperatures. It is all about the temperature that gives rise to this type of shea butter.

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Why Shea Butter Gets Grainy?

Shea butter contains various numbers of essential fatty acids— oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, and more— and each has a unique and different melting and solidifying point. If not used the right technique when cooling, some of the fatty acids with lower melting points solidify quicker than the ones with a higher melting point. This action is what causes shea butter to turn grainy.
If the shea butter solidifies slowly, grains are bound to form in it. Hence, when the butter is stored at a place of room temperature above 75 F, it melts and then cools or solidifies at that temperature for which shea butter gets grainy. In a nutshell, some fatty acids in it get separated and cool off first, then the rest, giving shea butter a grainy texture.

How To Fix Shea Butter From Getting Grainy?

To avoid the possibility of your shea butter turning grainy, preventive measures must be taken from the very beginning. You can fix it with the following process-

1. Use A Double Boiler Process To fix Grainy Shea Butter.

The best way to fix shea butter when it has already formed grains in it is to first re-melt it using the double boiler process over low heat. This process is the safest among others as it ensures gentle and even melting so that all the parts or molecules of the butter melt. Once the butter melts completely, keep it at that temperature for about 15-20 more minutes to make certain all the grains have melted since the grains have higher melting points than others.

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Next, a rapid cooling process is a key step since the cooling speed is the main cause of grainy shea butter. Put it in a refrigerator, freezer, or in ice bath to solidify it quickly.

2. Make Sure To Stir And Cool Melted Shea Butter Fast To Avoid Grainy Shea Butter.

When your shea butter gets grainy, the simple process is to re-melt it and cool it fast. To have smoother consistency at its best, use the ice bath process and stir it while cooling. And then put it inside the refrigerator. Rapid cooling and string help all the components of shea butter to solidify at the same temperature and hence this process avoid getting shea butter grainy. You can put it in a refrigerator, freezer, or ice bath to solidify it quickly.

Another preventive measure to keep shea butter from getting grainy is to store it in a cool place away from heat and moisture.  If your room temperature is above 75F, keep the shea butter in a refrigerator because the refrigerator has a balanced temperature which helps shea butter to avoid getting grainy.

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Is Grainy Shea Butter Bad? Can I Still Use It?

No, grainy shea butter is not bad and you can still use it and fix it. Grainy shea butter does not lose its effectiveness and you can always use it for making your homemade cosmetic products. Shea butter getting grainy is a normal process and it does not affect the healthy nutrients of shea butter. The graininess of shea butter happens due to the different components of shea butter, how it is cooled and at what temperature it is stored.


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