7 Safety Precautions
by Harvest McCampbell
1. Lotion should be made and dispensed from sterilized containers. Soak containers for one hour in two tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water, boil, or microwave for 30 seconds to sterilize them.
2. Also sterilize the implements used to make the recipes. These include your measuring cups and spoons, strainers, bowls, funnels, saucepans, cutting board and knives. These can be sterilized by boiling or by soaking for one hour in two tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water.
3. Make sure your fresh herbs are clean, and free from pesticides, fungicides, insects and mildew. Mixtures using fresh herbs should come to a slow boil for at least a few minutes at some point during the cooking time to kill any bacteria.
4. If you are not going to use all your lotion in a few weeks, it can be refrigerated in-between use, to extend freshness. Lotion stored in the refrigerator can be warmed in the microwave or in a container of hot water prior to use.
5. If your lotion separates, shake it back together. If you have let your lotion sit out for awhile, check it for mold or an off odor before using (the only time I have ever gotten mold was when I was not carefully cleaning my containers between batches).
6. An oil extract has gone bad if it smells rancid or if you see thicker globules of oxidized oil at the top of the container. If you use herbs that are not completely dry, your extract will not last as long.
7. When making glycerite, put the lid on shortly after removing it from the stove, while the mixture is still hot. Doing so will cause the lid to seal, and will prevent mold spores from landing on the glycerite. The only time I have gotten mold in glycerite is when it was not tightly capped, was older than six months or when there was too much water in the recipe. Mold in glycerite looks like little thick spots; when moldy, the consistency will also become irregular.