Friday, June 19, 2015

What the F*&$? Cleaning up one of the Biggest Oil Spills in Handbrewed Soap History

Have you ever had your worst fear come to life?  I always think of that scene in the movie, "Witches of Eastwick," where the character played by Cher wakes up to find herself in a bed of snakes. Though it wasn't snakes, I woke to every soap maker's nightmare: An oil spill the size of the Exxon-Valdez (ratio equivalent of course!)
This picture doesn't give the spill justice.
The oil covered 90% of my 12 X 16 foot studio.  It went under the shelves, soaked into boxes that were on the floor, and soaked into the wood of most of my cabinets.   It was all my fault.  I used new oil heaters that were a little different than my previous ones.  My old ones were in Fahrenheit.  These new ones were in Celsius.  Slight detail.  I'm not going to harp on how pissed at myself I was. As they say, "There's no need to cry over spilt oil!" I had to concentrate on the clean up.  Surprisingly enough, an oil clean up in a soap studio is very similar to an oil spill say.... in the ocean!

Step 1:  Contain the oil with towels so that it doesn't spread any further.
Step 2: Leave the oil alone until it hardens. 
Step 3: Scrape up the oil from the floor using a trowel and put into a bucket to dispose of it properly.
Step 4: Use HOT soapy water to wash the floor.
Step 5: Once the floor is dry, use your favorite grease remover cleaner to wash the floors again.
Step 6: Repeat step 4.

Four hours later, my floors were pretty good at this point.  As for everything else, I either had to dispose of or wash in hot soapy water.

Lesson learned. Make sure you know what temperature you are working with!  I hope this story helps if this nightmare ever happens to you!!!


  1. So sorry that happened to you. I had my worst nightmare when my cooked Thanksgiving Turkey fell out of the pot and was so greasy that by the time we were able to pick it up off the floor and put it back into the pot, we had already chased it around the whole first floor of the house...we had pizza that Thanksgiving!

    1. That's hilarious! And I'm sure it wasn't fun cleaning up that mess either! Your story reminds me of a shirt that I once had of a turkey holding up a sign that says, "Eat Pizza!"

  2. Oh no! So sorry to hear that happened to you. You did a great job at cleaning up, but hopefully that's the first and last time. :)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Yes, I definitely learned my lesson!


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