Lab Tips - Cleaning Fats From Beakers

Any product requiring a large percentage of melted butters and waxes both can and will leave a layer of product on the inside of your equipment that can be a major chore to remove. Fats and waxes don't just magically melt away with a bit of detergent and water.

Lately, I've been testing a lot of different butters, and the clean-up after my latest test: 5 different butters in 5 different lotion bars in 5 different containers, reminded me to share this little tip with you.

This is a simple and effective way to clean your containers after making lotion bars, lip balms, or any other anhydrous products.

Be sure the container is warm (either work immediately after pouring up your product, or gently re-heat the container).

Wipe the inside of the container with paper towel to remove as much excess as possible. Don't skimp on the paper towel. Do your best to remove everything. I usually use between 3- 5 sheets of paper for each beaker.

When your beaker (or glass container) looks like this, it is relatively easy to clean with detergent and hot water.

If you're a stickler for cleanliness (she said, raising her hand), finish with 2 passes of boiling water before drying and storing your equipment.

Two reasons this method is useful

  1. clean-up is pretty quick and easy
  2. your water pipes will thank you for not trying to pour semi-melted fats and waxes through them that will later harden into a cloggy mess and cause all kinds of plumbing hell that costs a fortune to repair

You're welcome.


Anonymous said…
Alcohol at 70 percent breaks down the fat for cleaning.
LisaLise said…
Great tip, Anon! Thanks!
Unknown said…
I like to use baking soda when working to clean grease and butters off of containers. Especially effective when cleaning off beeswax, too.
LisaLise said…
Hi Becky - I must give this a try - thanks for the tip!