Thursday, July 16, 2009

Packaging: Closures!

Again, form should follow function when it comes to caps. What are you dispensing?

Disc cap: Ah, the humble disc cap. It's good for pretty much every product with its tiny opening that allows surfactants, lotions, toners, and all your other products to come out with a squish! It's not great for thick lotions - like a foot lotion - or sugar scrubs.

Good for: Thin to medium lotions, surfactant mixtures, toners, serums, shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner.
Not good for: Thick lotions, sugar scrubs, anyhydrous creams or butters.
Downside: Could be hard to get every drop of lotion out of the bottom.
Upside: Readily available, works with almost every product.
Verdict: A staple of your bottle collection as it will work with almost everything.

Pump bottle: You can generally find two types of pumps at the supply shop - the treatment pump and the regular pump. The treatment pump is intended for smaller bottles and products you might want to use sparingly - serums, facial moisturizers, expensive lotions - and you'll generally find them on bottles 4 ounces/120 ml or smaller.

The larger pumps are great for thin and thick lotions, surfactant mixtures, and anything else you want to dose out. They work well when you might be going back for more - for instance, for foot lotion - because you don't get the container incredibly messy! They are simply not suitable for something like a toner - something primarily made of water - because they won't pump it out properly.

Good for: Lotions, creams, surfactant mixtures, hair care products.
Not good for: Watery creations, sugar scrubs, anhydrous butters.
Downside: More expensive than disc caps. Not suitable for thick scrubs.
Upside: Get out every last drop.
Verdict: Pump bottles are great, but can add up to $1.00 to the cost of a bottle.

Spray cap: I do love the spray cap. It's ideal for thin, water creations like summer or cooling sprays when you want to cover a larger area or don't feel like rubbing something in all that well. I love it for toners and other facial products - spray on, wipe off, you're done! If you want to monitor your dosage of the product - leave in conditioners, for instance - it's a great way to ensure you don't use too much as you get a little tired pumping the spray! They're great for products using oil or cyclomethicone bases (like perfumes or body sprays) as well.

Good for: Water creations, like thin lotions, leave in conditioners, anti-frizz serums, perfumes, all liquid oil creations (like an after bath spray).
Not good for: Medium to thick lotions, sugar scrub, anhydrous butters.
Downside: Sprayers can be expensive. Not suitable for thick creations, like lotions.
Upside: It sprays!
Verdict: Sprayers are fantastic for products that contain at least 80% to 90% liquids.

You can use turret caps - the ones that you have to lift up - for various things, but I find them a little hard to find. I like to use those for very liquidy things like toner or thin lotions. And orifice bottles, which are suitable for dispensing essential oils or serums.

Join me tomorrow as we have more fun with bottles - FOAMER BOTTLES! I've been working on a foaming hand cleanser for post crafty fun and a couple of facial cleansers. I love these things! I guess it doesn't hurt that I found a lime green one, eh?


Marina Jones said...

Hi Susan, Could you share any tips on how to make sure those regular pump closure works properly. I notice sometimes the pump head just turns round and round and won't pop out. How do you prevent this? I've tried cutting the tube inside shorter which makes it worse but leaving it longer on some container also does not work. Thanks.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Marina! I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions for you. I think sometimes we just get defective pumps that won't work well. I would say that out of every pack of 24 I get, at least one is defective in some way.

Robert Simmons said...

Hold onto the screw cap with ONE hand, and turn the pump in the direction the arrow indicates, and that should cause the pump to pop up so you can use it. Sometimes you have to also push down on the pump while doing this, BUT do this only if just rotating the pump, in the direction the arrow indicates, does not make the pump pop up. Make sure the screw cap is firmly screwed onto the bottle or else the pump might not pop up, that happens sometimes, if the screw cap is not really well screwed on.