Clean up, measuring and spills...

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Katie68121

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I really wanted to enjoy making my last batch of soap but I seemed to get more frustrated than anything... so I need some advice on some things.
1. Measuring oils without spilling! I’ve ordered some smaller containers to put my CO in But I really struggle to not spill when pouring from a bigger container, and my essential oils always drip down the side of the container and I’m wasting product!
2. Cleaning up, what do you use to clean your tools and equipment? I clean and clean everything with warm water and dish soap and still get oily residue on everything.
3.Plumbing? So I’ve read that when the soap goes down the drain it’s bad for the plumbing? Does this clog the drain? I’m just confused bc we use lye and that’s drain cleaner, guessing it’s the oils? Will I damage my plumbing from having a soap making hobby?
 

KiwiMoose

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My coconut oil comes in a 2 litre bucket and i spoon it out because it's solid at room temperature. For my liquid oils i always keep a paper towel handy to wipe the tops as I finish pouring to catch the last drips.
For the clean up, you should wait until the soap has fully saponified ( after a day or so), then scrape out any big bits if there are any, and then wash with your dishwashing liquid and hot water. Because it's now actual soap, so you will have less oily residue than if you wash up immediately after making the soap.
 

Zing

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In the beginning, I felt like I was wasting more essential oil than actually using it! I want to watch the video posted above which is slightly different than what I do. I lay a chopstick or skewer horizontally across the opening of the essential oil jar before I pour.
I suggest putting your scale inside a plastic bag, not that I know anything about destroying scales or anything. :swinging:

I'm anxious to get my hands on microfiber towels. Now I use newspapers (it's this antique thing where yesterday's news is printed out on paper).

And like the others have said, delaying chores here is actually okay and recommended!
 

Katie68121

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My coconut oil comes in a 2 litre bucket and i spoon it out because it's solid at room temperature. For my liquid oils i always keep a paper towel handy to wipe the tops as I finish pouring to catch the last drips.
For the clean up, you should wait until the soap has fully saponified ( after a day or so), then scrape out any big bits if there are any, and then wash with your dishwashing liquid and hot water. Because it's now actual soap, so you will have less oily residue than if you wash up immediately after making the soap.
Thank you, my CO is usually liquid since I live in a warmer climate year round. Thank you for the cleanup advice, I have such limited space to work with it’s hard to wait to clean up because I don’t have anywhere to put the equipment, maybe I could put it all in a trash bag?
 

Katie68121

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Get some microfiber towels and wipe out your containers. Then let them sit overnight for the residue soap to saponify and wash clean the next day. The microfiber towels work wonders on cleaning up soap containers and wiping up oils.
Thank you! On my shopping list now microfiber cloths!!
 

KiwiMoose

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Now I use newspapers (it's this antique thing where yesterday's news is printed out on paper).
:lol:
@Katie68121 yes an open trash bag or a big box would work - pop it elsewhere for a day or two then wash it out. You will need to let the air in so it saponifies. I usually scrape out as much as I can from my jugs and bowls after pouring and use it up in a 'leftover' cavity mold so that i can use it myself as a tester or for confetti soap later.
Have you got room for you CO in the fridge?
 

KimW

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I really like this video about cleaning up as I too don't have the space to let my containers sit overnight. Although...sometimes I do set one aside overnight just to play with all the bubbles the next day. Don't judge me.

ETA - oops - wrong video. Here's the one on how she cleans up:

Also, when we were in a warmer climate, I divided up my hard oils into sterilized mason jars. I don't refrigerate. I like the mason jars because if it gets cooler I can easily remelt, or soften, the oil by putting the jar atop a vegetable steamer inside a pot of some water and then heat up the water in the pan - creates a double boiler effect and keeps the mason jar off direct heat. If that makes sense! :)
 
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AliOop

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I use a fruit box from Costco to put all my soapy dishes and utensils in one spot to saponify before cleaning. It has handles, so it is easy to carry where it is needed. But before that, I do wipe them out with old towels, which also then sit in the fruit box till everything is saponified and ready to wash.
 

KiwiMoose

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I really like this video about cleaning up as I too don't have the space to let my containers sit overnight. Although...sometimes I do set one aside overnight just to play with all the bubbles the next day. Don't judge me.

ETA - oops - wrong video. Here's the one on how she cleans up:

Also, when we were in a warmer climate, I divided up my hard oils into sterilized mason jars. I don't refrigerate. I like the mason jars because if it gets cooler I can easily remelt, or soften, the oil by putting the jar atop a vegetable steamer inside a pot of some water and then heat up the water in the pan - creates a double boiler effect and keeps the mason jar off direct heat. If that makes sense! :)
Lol - gotta love the British, they always put a tub into their sink to wash their dishes in.
As helpful as the video is in terms of tips and tricks, I do think we are making a bit of mountain out of a molehill. It's not different to washing anything else that is greasy (a roasting pan for example):
Don't tip the excess fat down the sink - pour it off into separate container for disposal in the trash.
Use dishwashing liquid first with no water - add to the vessel and scrub around so the detergent 'eats' into the grease, then add hot water, wash some more and rinse out.
 

amd

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1. Measuring oils without spilling! I’ve ordered some smaller containers to put my CO in But I really struggle to not spill when pouring from a bigger container, and my essential oils always drip down the side of the container and I’m wasting product!
I'm naturally clumsy, so I have no advice! My best trick is just to pour with as much confidence as possible, no small tippy-tippy into the bowl. A YouTuber has a trick that she measures until she gets close and then has condiment style containers filled with the same oil and uses those to top of her measurements. I can't remember who it is, maybe TreeMarie?

2. Cleaning up, what do you use to clean your tools and equipment? I clean and clean everything with warm water and dish soap and still get oily residue on everything.
I use old bedsheets cut down to rag size to wipe everything off and out before I put it in the sink for washing. I do this immediately after making soap. My rags then go into a tote until I'm almost out, and then they go into the washing machine with a bit of good detergent (about 1/4 to 1/2 of what is used for a regular load). When washing soap dishes I use a good dish soap like Dawn. If dishes still feel a bit oily after washing, I will spray with isopropyl alcohol and wipe with a clean towel.

3.Plumbing? So I’ve read that when the soap goes down the drain it’s bad for the plumbing? Does this clog the drain? I’m just confused bc we use lye and that’s drain cleaner, guessing it’s the oils? Will I damage my plumbing from having a soap making hobby?
If you're only putting soap residues into the plumbing, it shouldn't be a problem. I live in an older house, so we do get a bit of drain clogging when soap residue from regular soap use catches in the hairballs and such. My husband regularly checks and cleans drains as needed. The plumbing in the basement (where I soap and the washer is) are newer plumbing so we haven't had problems with those drains clogging up. When I did my soap dishes in the kitchen it was a problem, so I was banned to the basement - again, this is specific to us having much older plumbing (our house is over 100 years old, and the main plumbing has been dated back to the 30's and 40's).
 
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