Guest Author - Cindy Jones Lantier
According to the Coalition of Handcrafted Entrepreneurs, there are at least 220,000 small batch producers of handcrafted cosmetics in the United States alone. Many of these small batch producers make their products in their homes – usually in their kitchen.
Creating soap and cosmetics in your kitchen is perfectly doable and safe – providing you take certain precautions.
The main two points to remember when making soap or handcrafted cosmetics in your kitchen are to keep your cosmetic-making activities completely separate from your regular kitchen activities, and to clean and sanitize both before and after your making session.
In order to keep your regular kitchen activities separate from your cosmetic-making activities, you should have all separate dishes and utensils and they should be stored separately. You should not use a cup to measure cake flour one day and the oils for your soap the next day. If you make hot process soap, you should have a separate slow cooker.
Another way to keep your activities separate is to refrain from cooking dinner while you’re making lotion. You should not be heating spaghetti sauce while you’re heating and holding the ingredients for your latest lotion. You also should not be snacking or drinking while you’re making.
The two activities should always be separated.
The other key to keeping your handcrafted soap and cosmetics safe when making in your kitchen is to clean and sanitize your tools and work surface both before and after each making session.
This means that you should completely clear the surface you are using. Move the toaster, blender, and the salt and pepper shakers to another counter or to the dining room table – wherever you can that they won’t be in your way. Then clean your counter with a multi-surface cleaner or hot soap and water and dry with a clean, lint-free, towel. Then spray the surface with alcohol and let it dry naturally. Also wipe all your bowls and utensils and spray them with alcohol and let it dry naturally, as well.
And don’t forget to sweep and mop your floor!
Then, when you’re through with your making session, do all of that again! This time, wash your equipment in hot soapy water and spray with alcohol before you put them all away.
Most lotion makers follow the cleaning and sanitization guidelines, but a lot of soap makers claim that because soap doesn’t mold (because of the pH), it’s unnecessary to go through the sanitization step. Think about what actions you would want the makers of the products you buy to take. Wouldn’t you feel better about purchasing a product made in someone’s kitchen if you knew that they were crazy for cleaning and sanitizing?
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be safely making your products!