Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Do we need to use product-only equipment?

In this post, Equipment for newbies, Nerium asks:  I have been a long time reader and finally took the plunge and made my first solid shampoo and conditioner today using your recipes and tutorials for guidance. Thank you so much for sharing all of this excellent information. Unfortunately, it's not feasible for me to have a separate workshop, so I did it in my kitchen using my regular kitchen utensils and dishes. Do you think it's necessary to keep a separate set of equipment for making cosmetics? I don't see a problem as long as things are well washed afterwards, but would love to hear what you think.

I think in some cases yes, and others no. For example, I have a fondue pot I use as a double boiler for making products. I have trashed it beyond belief - I've left it running without any water in it (so bad!), melted things directly in it, and so on - so there's no way I'd use it for food. There are other things, like my Kitchenaid stand mixer, that I use for both food and products, like sugar scrubs. I have a metal container that I clean vigourously after every use regardless of product, but a beater I use just for bath & body products.

In general, I think anything wooden or plastic should be reserved for cosmetic making, while metal or glass could do double duty. Wooden spoons or plastic spatulae should be single use, while a Pyrex jug cold do both.

Having said this, I do think having cosmetic exclusive equipment is a good idea as we do put our things through so much! When I compare my husband's food scale to my cosmetic scale, I can see the damage I've done to it with loads of grease in the form of oils and butters, acids like citric or lactic, and general goopiness from surfactants. I'm not saying I wouldn't measure food in a container on it, but it looks pretty awful! The same goes for my Pyrex jugs. I abuse the heck out of these compared to those I use in the kitchen, and I definitely have them separate.

If you're looking for bits and pieces, the dollar store is an invaluable resource when we're looking for things. Spatulae, spoons, forks, plastic jugs, funnels - so much is so cheap there!

In reality, almost all of our products are safe enough to eat. They'd taste terrible, but it's possible. (No, I'm not going on Jimmy Fallon to dip chips into my lotions. You'll just have to trust me on this, or try it at home yourself. I have no desire to use my kukui nut & babassu body butter as a sauce!)

Which ones aren't safe to eat? I'd argue that anything with a low pH that contains AHAs, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid probably aren't. 


elegantsheep said...

Personally I found some transfer of taste on my silicone spatula, which I now use exclusively for my lotions. It also took me a while to track down another soapy taste source - there is a silicone component to the head of my stick blender. I now use a separate one of those too. never had a problem with pyrex or metal.

Missy Wehling said...

I try to keep my utensils separate. But there have been times that I have used metal utensils from my kitchen without any issue. I would never use a porous utensil for my creations because of the possibility of transfer (such as silicone, plastic, wood, etc.) I also like to "sterilize" my utensils with 91% alcohol before each use.

Nerium said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post, Susan!