Suited Up and Suitable for Soaping (and Candlemaking)
How do you dress to make soap or candles? Are you covered head to toe in protective gear or are you be found in a t-shirt, shorts, and bare feet?
If it’s the former, you’ll want to read on to feel good about yourself or to make sure you’re doing things the right way. If the latter, well, consider this a lecture.
Making soap and candles comes with inherent dangers, mainly pertaining to heat and caustic substances. We’ve all heard stories about people being burned by lye, caustic soap getting in the eye, burns from a forgotten pan of wax. To be sure, things happen. Soap gets spilled on the floor, unnoticed. A pot volcanoes, sending soap lava out of the pot and all over the surface it’s sitting on. The candle wax heated up faster than you thought it would and flames appear. A properly suited up person is in a better position to react quickly and safely than one who isn’t.
If it seems like overkill, think about it as if you were an employee of a company or that one of your loved ones was. What if that company allowed its workers to be barefoot, making soap? What if your child or other loved one were put to work in that environment without access to safety gear? I can predict that you would rightfully expect that both you and your loved ones would be properly protected, so offer the same to yourself.
Chandlers, think you’re off the hook? Not so fast!. Hot wax is dangerous and cannot be removed easily, so as with soapmaking, shoes and socks and a heavy apron are essential equipment for protecting from splashes. Long sleeves and eyewear are also important.
Even in creating bath and body products, certainly safety rules must be obeyed. The first one that comes to mind is a mask to filter out particulates from powders such as cornstarch and powdered herbs. The second is to protect the skin from scent by wearing gloves.
Finally, wearing a respirator mask when working with scent, whether fragrance oils or essential oils, is just plain smart. We often worry about scent in regards to our customers, but tend to forget that we are exposed to much stronger scents, more frequently and for longer time periods than the average user and thus, are more likely to develop problems with scent than the general public.
My advice: get yourself suited up so you can safely pursue your craft!
Until next time,
May your days be filled with bubbles & wax.