Are Kitchen Hotplates Any Good?

natzam44natzam44 Member
edited May 2019 in General
Are kitchen hotplates which you can buy on Amazon any good for cosmetic chemistry?
This is for home use and not for lab use.
I'm assuming the main problem with these is that they have horrible heat accuracy but I could be wrong. 

This is one of the hotplates that I am referring too:


  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited May 2019
    I use a similar one. It overheats and you must keep your eye thermometers. It’s ok if you are a hobbyist but I wouldn’t use it in a lab. So the answer is, it does the job but it’s not great.
  • I still use magnetic stirrer hotplates using fleas, but then I am from the Jurassic period. I guess anything that works go for it.
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    I have had seen issues with even and accurate heating with "kitchen" hot plates. I use mainly Precision Water baths for most applications and use a digital, calibrated Hot Plate occasionally and they are affordable. The magnetic stirrers pretty quickly will become useless as the viscosity of the product increases. Two good quality (IKA) laboratory stirrers will do most of what you need at your bench. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Thanks all for the replies.

    I think I will try a cheap hotplate since I could afford to break it or dislike it.

    I can't seem to find any digital hotplates for anything under $200USD which translates to over $260CAD without taxes (I would need to buy two of them as well).

    If I need to, then I will buy digital but for the meantime, I shall try my luck.
  • GuntherGunther Member
    They work fine.
    Remember you never heat anything in the beaker directly. Always use a water bath.

    If you must warm something above water boiling point, or if you're working with an anhydrous product, use oil instead of water to prevent water vapor from contaminating the formulation.
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited May 2019
    @Gunther why you can’t heat directly in a beaker? I put thermometers and keep an eye on it.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ngarayeva001 - because you don't get even heating. The part of the container that is in direct contact with the heating element can get hotter than boiling water. Using a water bath is a better, more controlled choice. 

  • Good to know. Thank you Perry. 
  • Another option might be going to a restaurant supply place and checking out professional restaurant hotplates.  There are some really good options out there for these kinds of things.  I have a hotplate that I bought in one of those places that I have had for at least 10 years!  Find a nice, big store and take a trip in to see what they have.  You may find some other things there like stainless steel tables that you can use in your "lab"!  My workroom is full of things purchased at a restaurant supply place!
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