packaging rant

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kc1ble

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I know that I am new to making soap, but am I the only one that is not pleased with the way it seems all of the retailers package their oils and some other ingredients. I received my fourth order today, from a fourth different supplier because I haven't been happy with the way oils are packaged and sent. Why would hard oils be packaged in a bottle. If I need 4 ounces of oil, I have to melt the whole bottle to get what I want. So far I've gotten coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil this way. I also got some stearic acid and bentonite today in a thin plastic bag with a tie on it. As a consumer, I feel I deserve better than this. I want to take out 4 ounces and pop the lid back on. Am I the only one? Fragrance oils are bugging me too. I tried to pour 1 ounce from a four ounce bottle the other day and half an ounce ran down the edge of the bottle and onto the counter. This stuff is too expensive for that. Are plastic squeeze bottles too much to ask? Are all of the suppliers packaging the same or is there one who works to make my life a little easier.

Ok, that's the end of my rant, but I'd like to know your feelings on this.
 

dixiedragon

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Re: solid oils in bottles. Coconut melts at 72 degrees, so there re a lot of places where it would be liquid when it arrives. So while I don't care for that, I understand why they ship it that way.

FOs - that's why I measure by volume and not weight. I put my stainless steel measuring spoon or small glass measuring cup (size of a shot glass) to the mouth of the bottle and pour, so none is wasted.

Squeezy bottles - I think the general preference for FOs and EOs among buyers is glass bottles. It "feels" like a more high-quality product. Also, some plastics melt with contact to certain eos and fos.
 

LazyUmbrella

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coconut is the most frustrating for me, but as dixiedragon says it melts at 72 degrees, so while i work in the cold basement, i keep it upstairs the night before so it softens a little.

for the FO/EOs I first pour into a measuring spoon (i.e. tablespoon) and then pour that into the oil mixture. I find I can better control the quantity of FO/EO I am adding and I minimize lost oil.
 

dixiedragon

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I don't like the dry products in the bags with a twist tie. I put mine in a gallon Ziploc - which, honestly, I don't get why they don't do that in the first place. I buy gallon ziplock bags for my job and also non-Ziploc - the price difference is negligible.

Checked my prices at work:
1000 12x12 zip loc (2 mil) - .073 each
1000 15x20 non-zip (2 mil) - .079 each

Brambleberry sells their oils in squeeze bags with a screw-on top. they are microwave safe.
 

TBandCW

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I like the brambleberry bags for oil. Very convenient! My pet peeve is the EO's that come in the aluminum bottle with the pull top on the bottle. It is hard for me to get it off and when it does, what a mess!!:???:
 

newbie

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I prefer FOs and EOs in glass because the plastic bottles warp over time, which makes you wonder what is dissolving into the FO. I get all my oils bulk so they are easy to get to in the tubs they send but I can understand frustration of 7 pounds of oil in a skinny-mouthed jar. Pays to melt once, stir well, then pour into gallon freezer zip locks to portion it off.
 

RobertBarnett

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TBandCW I know what you mean about the aluminum bottles. I don't mind the bottles per say but those tops my god I hate them.

For my oils I have buckets with gama seal lids that melt them and pour them in to. Then I can just scoop out what I want.

As for FO and EOs I make batches that either use 1 oz or 2 oz bottles and that is what I buy. If I really like and FO then I buy in bigger bottles and pour from them. I haven't bad much trouble with them.

Robert
 

mzimm

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Try this for pouring the fragrances. That annoyed me too when I first started but I figured someone must have found a solution :)

http://www.modernsoapmaking.com/pouring-essential-oils-without-spilling-a-drop/
That's a neat trick, thanks for sharing. I thought the FO or EO might soak into something made of wood or bamboo, and I'm kinda OCD about not losing any of that fragrance, so I'm thinking maybe use a plastic swizzle stick.....or then again, maybe not---I suppose the plastic could melt a little? Hmmm, but it's certainly better than having it dribble down the side as you pour. I hate that.
 

cmzaha

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Like Newbie my oils are in bulk, but my coco butter always comes in a wide mouth plastic jug. It is pesky and I usually just cut down the side of the jug and repackage the coco butter. As for fo's I prefer aluminum. More than one bottle of eo has hit the cement floor and busted, aluminum does not break :). Since I am usually not pouring small amounts of eo or fo's out of the bottle it is usually not an issue with drips. I really dislike EO's and FO's being packaged in plastic other than heavy jugs.
 

dibbles

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I'm with the group on EO/FO packaging. If I get one in a plastic bottle, I transfer it to glass. I don't like the wide mouth bottles since they are harder to pour from.

As to the oils, WSP - and I'm sure others, sell coconut oil in a pail. I've saved some empty ones, and if I get coconut oil that happens to come in a jar, I just melt it all and pour into the pail. Then I use a stainless ice cream scoop to take out what I need.

I keep hearing that it is important to melt palm oil completely and stir before using, so that's what I've done. I melt down my bucket and then put it in mason jars for ease of melting when I'm using it in a batch. But I keep wondering - how important is it to melt it and stir each time? What happens if you don't?
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Hard fats in bottles are a annoyance, but whenever I receive them that way, I just cut the bottle open and transfer all the contents to a bucket or tub-container w/lid. I have plenty of empty ones on hand from using lard, etc...

I'm fine with stearic acid or clays shipped in plastic bags with twist ties. For whatever reason, it just doesn't bother me.

FOs in plastic are an annoyance to me, but I understand why they are shipped that way (extra shipping costs/chance of breakage, etc..). If I had my way, they would all be delivered in amber glass with phenolic closures. lol They keep better that way. As Newbie said, FOs don't always play nice with plastic (shrunken bottle syndrome), especially with HDPE, I've noticed. PET bottles seem to hold up better, but nothing can hold up to FOs as well as glass.


FOs - that's why I measure by volume and not weight. I put my stainless steel measuring spoon or small glass measuring cup (size of a shot glass) to the mouth of the bottle and pour, so none is wasted.
That would be fine if all FOs weighed the same and all volumetric measuring devices were created to standardized specs, but the truth is that FO weights can vary greatly due to their different densities, and volumetric measuring devices can be wildly 'off' from another (which I shockingly found out one day when I put all my measuring utensils to the test against my calibrated scale)...... which means that although you may not be losing any due to drips, you could unknowingly be losing it another way, namely by using too much volume-wise, since one teaspoon of FO A can sometimes weigh twice the grams of FO B.....and measuring device A can sometimes actually hold more than measuring devise B. This is a very important matter (especially as it relates to skin irritability), because safe usage rates of FOs are based on their weights, not volume.


IrishLass :)
 

nikkisessence

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I sometimes masterbatch and store that in large jugs. Then stick the jug in warm2hot water and swirl to mix. Not sure if it's the best way. But it works well when I've made a lot of one recipe.
 

Navaria

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That's a neat trick, thanks for sharing. I thought the FO or EO might soak into something made of wood or bamboo, and I'm kinda OCD about not losing any of that fragrance, so I'm thinking maybe use a plastic swizzle stick.....or then again, maybe not---I suppose the plastic could melt a little? Hmmm, but it's certainly better than having it dribble down the side as you pour. I hate that.
I use the spatula I stir my batter with. Put the edge against or just behind the lip of the fo bottle and pour down the spatula. No drips and anything on the spatula gets stirred into the batter.
 

topofmurrayhill

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I keep hearing that it is important to melt palm oil completely and stir before using, so that's what I've done. I melt down my bucket and then put it in mason jars for ease of melting when I'm using it in a batch. But I keep wondering - how important is it to melt it and stir each time? What happens if you don't?
It's less important than it's made out to be. Melting the whole lot once before using it is okay but repeated heating will contribute to the degradation of the oil. If it's soft and liquidy in warm weather, stirring it up a bit is fine.

There's surprisingly little difference between the stearin and the olein in the whole palm oil you buy. You start to get into more of a difference when the oil is commercially fractionated, meaning they try to separate the two intentionally, with the help of chilling, filtering and such.

Even then, the first fractionation is typically geared to produce a product called palm olein 56 (referring to the iodine value of 56-59). It's cooking oil, liquid at room temperature but close enough to whole palm oil that you could use it and not notice much difference.
 

ca_soap

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Most all of my solids are ordered in buckets or other large containers. Most are 5-6 gallon buckets which when stacked two high are perfect for working out of. I use steel ice cream scoops for the solids such as Coconut Oil, Shea Butter Etc. They are very durable, easy to handle and work perfect for my batch sizes of appx 6lbs. I understand not everyone uses enough oils to order in bigger buckets and those that don't go to your local hardware store or other like supplier and buy some buckets with lids. Melt once as others have said and pour them into the bucket.

As for FO/EO, I prefer glass. I know with glass I am not getting any transfer from the plastics or aluminums. We call them aluminum but how do we know they aren't some type aluminum blend from China that are made with things we don't want to store our oils in?? Just a thought. With that for pouring issues get a quantity of plastic pipettes, they are cheap and reduce spillage and they work perfect with smaller containers such as 2oz and 4 oz for those that are ordering in smaller quantities.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Why would hard oils be packaged in a bottle. If I need 4 ounces of oil, I have to melt the whole bottle to get what I want. So far I've gotten coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil this way. I also got some stearic acid and bentonite today in a thin plastic bag with a tie on it. As a consumer, I feel I deserve better than this. I want to take out 4 ounces and pop the lid back on. Am I the only one? Fragrance oils are bugging me too. I tried to pour 1 ounce from a four ounce bottle the other day and half an ounce ran down the edge of the bottle and onto the counter. This stuff is too expensive for that. Are plastic squeeze bottles too much to ask? Are all of the suppliers packaging the same or is there one who works to make my life a little easier.

Ok, that's the end of my rant, but I'd like to know your feelings on this.
Compared to Soaper's Choice with its packaging for processing efficiency and economical insta-shipping, more functional hard oil packaging will cost you a convenience fee in the form of 30-50% higher price for the oil, more expensive shipping, and they will get around to processing your order ANY DAY NOW. :)

I think that glass FO bottles might be helpful if you keep the stuff around for a long time, but I agree that they're mainly about suppliers who want to project a high end image and charge more. You pay for the bottles and the shipping and they can still charge enough to make extra profit.

You can get small plastic bottles and dispensing caps from suppliers like candlechem on eBay and transfer portions of FO to them as you use it.
 
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galaxyMLP

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I keep hearing that it is important to melt palm oil completely and stir before using, so that's what I've done. I melt down my bucket and then put it in mason jars for ease of melting when I'm using it in a batch. But I keep wondering - how important is it to melt it and stir each time? What happens if you don't?

FWIW, I don't melt my palm when I use it. I get it in a big pail and portion it out into 5 lb increments. I stir the big pail a lot all the way to the bottom with a big stick (plastic, cleaned with alcohol broom handle). I ladle out the mix into containers from the dollar tree.

When I go to use my palm oil for a batch, I just mix up the 5 lb container well. Never had to melt the whole thing and I've never had an issue. Unless you have palm oil that you can't mix up, I would say you'll be just fine. :)

I use these:

https://m.dollartree.com/h5/r/produ...tainers-136-oz-/1149c512c512p352177/index.pro

They are also great for making the actual soap in because they are low profile and can go in the microwave to melt a whole batch. I can do up to 6 lbs in them at a time which is perfect for my regular batches.
 

snappyllama

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I've complained about it before, but here's a new thread that I can gripe once again! Yay! :D

My biggest pet peeve is receiving powdery supplies (like SLSA or Citric Acid) in super thin plastic that rips as soon as I open a bag to transfer it into something semi-robust (like a zip lock). I actually do not order anything like that from BB anymore. My measly orders might not amount to much, but they've lost probably 5 orders from me over the years when I needed something powdery. An alternate supplier with better packaging got to sell me that - along with FOs, butters, oils, whatever else I needed right then.

I really prefer (and will happily pay more for) FOs in glass. I like to buy really small amounts (2oz) of a lot of them so they might hang around for a while.

I also hate when suppliers sell by volume instead of weight. I've sized most of my batches to use the entire 2oz bottle (or 4oz for one of my molds) so I can just dump the whole thing in. When suppliers sell by volume, I have to weigh out the contents of a little bottle and almost always have to adjust my recipe down. If I'm lucky (never happens), there will be a little more than in the bottle and then I have a splash of FO that I don't want to waste but really have no use for... Buying by weight also helps me keep track of how much I have on hand.
 

kc1ble

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I've complained about it before, but here's a new thread that I can gripe once again! Yay! :D

My biggest pet peeve is receiving powdery supplies (like SLSA or Citric Acid) in super thin plastic that rips as soon as I open a bag to transfer it into something semi-robust (like a zip lock). I actually do not order anything like that from BB anymore. My measly orders might not amount to much, but they've lost probably 5 orders from me over the years when I needed something powdery. An alternate supplier with better packaging got to sell me that - along with FOs, butters, oils, whatever else I needed right then.

I really prefer (and will happily pay more for) FOs in glass. I like to buy really small amounts (2oz) of a lot of them so they might hang around for a while.

I also hate when suppliers sell by volume instead of weight. I've sized most of my batches to use the entire 2oz bottle (or 4oz for one of my molds) so I can just dump the whole thing in. When suppliers sell by volume, I have to weigh out the contents of a little bottle and almost always have to adjust my recipe down. If I'm lucky (never happens), there will be a little more than in the bottle and then I have a splash of FO that I don't want to waste but really have no use for... Buying by weight also helps me keep track of how much I have on hand.
It just makes me wonder what happened to the days when retailers bent over backwards to satisfy their customers. To me it just doesn't make sense to have to repackage my supplies when I get them to make them more manageable. I'm not trying to figure out how to use these improperly packaged items, I just wish a little more thought was put into packaging in the first place. If I have to repackage everything when I get it, the least they could do is include labels for me to put on my new containers.
 
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