Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creating products: Filling our bottles

Original post from July 13, 2009, modified today...

Filling containers can be such a huge pain in the bum! Here are a few things I thought I'd share...

Since I'm a surfactant junkie, I make a lot of bubble baths, body washes, and shampoos that need bottling. I find the easiest way is to get a funnel and pour it in. With a tottle or malibu bottle, I put the bottle into a Pyrex container and then pour it into the funnel. This keeps at least one hand free to clean up messes or get another bottle ready. (I try to have quite a few ready at a given time because once that funnel's full, I gotta move on very quickly!)

I find the bane of my existence is filling lotion containers. I always wait until the lotion has cooled completely before filling the bottles, and it's always a huge mess. I've taken to using piping bags - I have disposable and canvas ones - and I find these work well. I did try to use the cut-a-hole-in-a-sandwich-bag method, but I found I made a huge mess. (But then again, I am a very messy person, so it's not a surprise!)

I've tried using a syringe (sans needle) to fill the bottles and it worked very well. Syringe into container, suck up product, squish into bottle. The only problem is that the largest syringe I could find was 60 ml or about 1/4 cup. Fine for smaller bottles, not so much for larger ones as I found myself going back for more four or five times! It was great for topping off a container, like adding that extra teaspoon to a bottle! 

Again, line up the containers so you're ready, fill your piping bag, and go down the line. I usually fill them up about 3/4, then bang on the table to get the air out, then top it off. This is the annoying part - just as I think I've got a full container, I find another air bubble and have to top it off again!

If you're selling your products, you might have to weigh them before you cap them off. As I'm just giving mine away or keeping it for myself, I'm not that picky about bubbles or weights! 

I like filling jars...it's so easy! Scoop, bang on the table, and cap. If you want your jars to be very fancy, you can put these jar disk liners (also called dust covers or jar liners) on top of the product, then put the cap on it. When your friend/family member/customer opens it, she'll see this white cap making the product look very fancy and proper! 

If you have any suggestions, please comment! There are so many ways to fill bottles poorly, any ideas for doing it well are always welcome! (There are some great ideas in the original post, so I encourage you to check that out! But please comment as we're always looking to share great ideas!) 

3 comments:

Kathy said...

Susan - one lotion bottle filling method I found works is by using a large cookie press/cake decorator tool. The barrel of these usually holds about 6-8 ounces. You fill the barrel by using a narrow spatula, add an elongated nozzle which usually comes with the set and squeeze the lotion into the bottles. There is very little waste and cleanup is not that bad. There are many of these for sale on auction sites and you can get one for around 10-15 dollars.

Sara @Osmosis said...

Can I ask why you wait until your lotion is cool before filling?

Dawn said...

Kathy - I do the very same thing to fill bottles with lotion. It's really quick and painless :)