The Scoop on Containers
As I mentioned in a previous lesson, pure essential oils always need to be stored in glass containers. But just because you need to use glass does not mean your options are limited to boring little dropper bottles. If your essential oils are significantly diluted, the options for containers expand quite a bit. For example, you might make lotions, creams, salves, balms, bath salts, etc. using essential oils, but in these forms, the essential oils are not nearly as caustic, and containers other than glass can be safely used. So for today’s lesson we are going to look at some different types of containers, starting with glass, and then moving on to other types that can make using essential oils easier, and more fun.
Glass Spray Bottles:
Spray bottles are great for creating bug sprays, room fresheners, mouth sprays, perfumes, spot removers, or other mixes you want to easily dispense. Glass spray bottles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can get spray bottles that are smaller than your little finger that are great for your purse breath sprays, or you can get large bottles that can hold cleaners or bug sprays. If you are purchasing a tiny bottle for carrying in your purse, it is okay to go with clear glass because it will be in the dark almost 95 percent of the time anyway. For other uses it is best to buy the dark bottles that will help block any harsh light from reaching your oils. Because the sprayer part of the bottle is still plastic, you don’t want to ever put undiluted essential oils in it. Generally speaking, you wouldn’t ever want to spray pure essential oils anyway, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Glass Roll On Bottles:
Glass roll-on bottles can be purchased in a variety of sizes ranging from the size of a small tube of lip balm, to the size of a bottle of deodorant. Roll on bottles are great for homemade perfumes that use expensive essential oils, because the roller ball lets them be applied directly to the skin rather than potentially wasting some in a mist from a spray bottle. They are also great for acne solutions, deodorant, bug bite remedies, or other uses that require more precise application than a spray bottle or dropper would allow.
Glass Dropper Bottles:
Dropper bottles are great for dividing up a bottle of essential oil so you can have a supply in several locations, or for mixing blends. The bottle pictured is what I recommend for use with pure essential oils rather than using a glass bottle with a rubber dropper top. Pure essential oils will eat through the rubber cap on traditional droppers, so when mixing or storing undiluted essential oil, it is best to use the type of bottle pictured here. The bottle has a hard plastic dropper tip inside the lid, and once the lid is screwed on, the plastic dropper will stay inserted into the opening of the bottle. These plastic droppers will not be dissolved by essential oils and can last for many years. Such bottles can be purchased in many sizes, ranging from 16 oz, all the way down to tiny little bottles that hold only a few drops, and can be easily stored in your purse. When purchasing glass bottles, you will find a variety of colors such as cobalt blue, green, purple, and amber. While the colored bottles are beautiful, essential oils are primarily degenerated by the blue spectrum of light, and the colored bottles do not filter out this spectrum as well as the amber bottles do. So if your oils are going to be stored in a box or a dark place at all times, choose whatever color you like, but if your oils will be on a nightstand, the counter, or somewhere where they may be exposed to some light, opting for the amber bottles is the best idea. Also, there are several types of dropper inserts that are available. A standard orifice reducer, and the euro droppers. The euro dropper is what is pictured in the photo above, they have a plastic stem poking out the bottom. This stem has a hole in it and acts as a vent, which helps prevent the bottle from vapor locking, as well as helping easily dispense thicker oils. On the very small bottles you can’t use a euro dropper, but whenever available it will make dispensing your oils much easier if you go with the euro dropper.
Now I am going to move out of the realm of glass, and on to some other types of containers you might enjoy using for various types of lotions and potions made with your essential oils.
As pictured, slider tins can be very handy when making lip balms, salves and other balms. The lid slides back easily, plus the tin is very compact and can easily be slipped into a pocket, purse or diaper bag.
There are various other shapes and sizes of tins, but for the sake of time, I am not going to talk about all of them. For the most part, you use tins for balm and salves. Typically you do not want to put lotions or creams into metal containers, as the lotion will react with the metal, and turn your product odd colors.
Lip Balm Tubes:
Lip balm tubes are the handiest containers to use when making lip balm. They conveniently roll up and keep dirty fingers out of the way. Other ideas for using lip balm tubes: fill them with a vapor rub for dabbing around the nose during cold and flu season; make small solid perfume sticks, or a solid bug-bite remedy that is small and easy to store in your purse for on-the-go bee stings or bites. The list goes on and on, only limited by your imagination!
Lotion bar tubes are a close relative of the lip balm tubes, but are much larger. Lotion bar tubes are great for solid rich lotion bars that are great for rough elbows and knees, or other exceptionally dry or cracked skin. A word of advice when purchasing lotion bar tubes: ONLY buy the roll-up tubes, never buy the push up tubes. The push-up tubes stick, and are a lot more trouble than they are worth, so just trust me on that one! You can also use lotion bars to make solid bug-bite sticks, deodorant, or other great products.
Foamer pumps are a great thing to have around the house, even if you are really not all that into making your own skin care products. Foamer pumps allow you to add a very small amount of liquid soap, place any essential oils you might like to have in your hand soap, and then fill the rest with water. The foamer pump then blends the soap, essential oils, and water into a nice foam, which it dispenses evenly when used. This not only allows you to experiment with different oils in your hand soaps, but also is a great money saving tool because it allows you to use much less soap than traditional pumps!
Plastic jars like the one pictured on the right, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. These little jars are great for lotions, creams, balms, and bath salts. You can get them tiny enough to use for lip balm containers, or large enough to put several cups of bath salts in. What shape, size, or color is totally your choice.
Plastic bottles are great for liquid soaps, massage oils, shampoos, or other fun liquid goodies. Like plastic jars, there are a host of sizes shapes and colors to choose from. You also have a lot of options when it comes to lids as well. You can put on a traditional screw on cap, a flip lid, or a nice pump.
Airless pumps, like the one pictured, are a bit more expensive than basic bottles or jars, but can be very fun to use for more luxurious products like night creams, wrinkle serums, or other specialty products. They are also great for products like body butters or rich creams that are too thick to go through a traditional pump. Airless pumps come in a variety of sizes ranging from a few ml, to about 4 oz., and come in handy when you don’t want to use a simple jar.
Wholesale Supplies Plus
Offers a great variety of containers and also offers them in small quantities. Many container companies have fairly large minimum orders, so it is great when you find one that doesn’t. Wholesale Supplies Plus is one of my overall favorite companies, and offers a wide range of other products to help you get started mixing your own skin care products as well.
The Chemistry Store
The Chemistry Store is another great company. While it has a smaller selection than Wholesale Supplies Plus, it offers some different types of containers and other products, which is really nice. Like Wholesale Supplies Plus, the company has no, or very low, minimums.
Specialty Bottle is great for its huge selection of containers, but you must order larger amounts at a time. Often the minimum is a case. So if you are doing a big project and want cheaper prices on containers, this is a great place to shop.
And that’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed this lesson and have some great ideas for using the containers we discussed.
Essential Oils Education
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