I clean my bathroom(s) once a week, and I do a pretty good job. But it takes a while to do, and I know that in a few months I am not going to have the time and energy to do as thorough a job every time. So I’m preparing in advance for laziness. These DIY bathroom wipes are a nice quick way to tidy up your bathroom on the fly and a much cheaper version of the ones you buy in the store. Experiment with the cleaning mixtures that float your boat, because everyone’s different and everyone has different things they want to clean up in their bathroom, like hairspray or toothpaste or, in my case, dog hair (there are some links to other versions below).
To make a handy dispenser for these lovely quick and disposable wipes, I turned to the Art of Doing Stuff for inspiration. Start with a milk or juice carton, the kind that has the little screw top in it, and a roll of shop towels. You can go with regular paper towels, but pick something like Brawny and go for the extra strong – shop towels are designed to hold together well when wet and you need these things to hold up to being wet for, like, ever. You can pick up shop towels at pretty much any hardware store.
Clean out the juice/milk carton and measure the roll of towel so that it comes up to the part in the carton where the cardboard starts to bend. Use a serrated knife or saw to cut through the towels at that point. It’s going to take a little while so be patient.
Now you have a roll of shop towels that has roughly a third of it cut off. Feel free to use the wee roll to clean up really tiny paint spills (which is what I plan to use it for – I only make wee paint spills when I paint).
On the bigger roll, start working the inner cardboard tube free of the towel and pull it out.
Once you’ve done that, pull out the corner of the towel that starts in the middle of the tube. The roll of towels will dispense much easier if you go from the centre as opposed to from the outside. There’s less resistance in the middle.
Now shove that whole roll into your carton. Your dispenser is ready!
As for the mix, you have a bunch of options (again, see below for different mixes, or make your own). Here I used a combination of about 2 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons baking soda, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 3 tablespoons Castille soap, and then about 15 drops each tea tree, rosemary, and grapefruit essential oils.
Give it a good stir.
Then pour it carefully over your towels. You’ll need to let that sit for a bit to get thoroughly saturated.
You can pull the little loose end of your paper towel through the spout of the carton and use a set of binder clips to seal the top of the carton. Don’t forget to screw the lid back on to keep things from drying out.
It’s not super pretty but you could paint it or paper it or something. I’m keeping this in the bathroom closet so I’m not too fussed about what it looks like, but you can do with it what you will, or find a prettier container. I just liked the ease with which this one came together.
After use, the towels can be handily dropped into my bathroom compost bin – in our city the compost handles tissue and paper towel so it makes sense to have one in the bathroom where we dispose with most of our Kleenex and Qtips and the like.
If you would prefer a non-disposable version, then that’s easy, too. Find a nice pretty jar that you can handle having in your bathroom, maybe on the counter, and find some cheap washcloths. I picked these up at XS Cargo before they went out of business – they’re crap as washcloths but handy for wiping and dusting things. The jar is an old one I have from IKEA that is currently without a purpose.
Roll or fold the towels (or cut up old t-shirts or rags and use those instead) and shove them in the jar.
Make up a batch of your cleaning mixture and pour it slowly over the cloths until they’re all nicely saturated. This jar was pretty big so I doubled my previous mix and it was a goodly amount.
The convenience of the cloths is if you flub your mixture and add too much soap (which I may have done for the cloth version), you can rinse out the cloth afterwards and rinse off your soapy surfaces. Then the cloth can be wrung out and tossed in the laundry hamper (which is conveniently located right outside the bathroom door).
I just spent the weekend hanging around in Chel’s living room, eating her food and lolling about on her couch. So before I did that, I whipped up a cute little beauty of a wee giftie for her and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.
Start with a clean (and cute) jar. Glue a nice long candle wick to the bottom of it and stuff fresh woody herbs like rosemary around the sides.
Grab a decent amount of soy wax, enough to fit your jar, and melt that sucker up.
Add some essential oils. I added lemon along with the rosemary oil because it works well with rosemary and I love it.
Pour your wax into your jar and poke the herbs down so they don’t float.
Let solidify and garnish with a pretty ribbon. Gift away!
October hit Ottawa with a sudden drop in temperature and we were forced to turn the heat on for the first time this year, which made me sad. I don’t like the way a sealed-in house gets musty over the summer or winter, and with our massive piles of sad-looking carpet (which, no matter how much I steam clean it, still retains essence of smoker and large smelly dog, the previous tenants), our house gets musty – fast.
I’m not a huge fan of artificial perfumes or masking smells with other smells, but sometimes my cleaning regime needs a bit of a boost. I picked up these pine cones while walking Gren out on the Farm. You’ll note the dog poop bag I used to haul them home. This is often how I bring home my dog-walking finds.
Wash them carefully in warm water to get rid of dirt and bugs and whatnot.
Look at the fun colour they turned the water! Tannins are an interesting scientific thing.
Shake them off and lay them on a baking sheet (if you like the baking sheet, line it with parchment paper to prevent any sap from sticking) and bake them for 1 hour at about 200°F so that they can dry out completely. Wet pine cones = mouldy pine cones, and we don’t want that.
While that was going on, I quickly zested a lemon and an orange that had seen better days and tossed the peel into the oven as well to dry out. Waste not!
When the pine cones are fully cooled, sprinkle them liberally with the essential oils of your choice. I went with clove and orange oils.
Seal them (and any other scented objects you have, like the peel) in a plastic bag for 1 week to meld the scents together.
Then display in a nice bowl and give them a good sniff as you walk by.
I’m posting this here today because Wednesday’s post is a sticky one, and you’re probably going to need this by then. This is a quick way to make an effective all-purpose spray for a fraction of the cost of the ones you buy in the store. In my first mix I made the mistake of using lemon juice (a solid antibacterial agent), but the mixture curdled when I added the Castille soap and smelled terrible. So don’t do that.
Leave the lemon juice out of the picture (though you’ll be able to see its curdling effect in my pictures below).
Start with about 2 cups water. Add in 4 tablespoons Castille soap (this one is orange-flavoured, to go with my citrus theme).
Now tip in about 40 drops essential oils. I used 10 tea tree, 10 lemongrass, and 20 sweet orange.
Give it a good stirring and pour it into an empty spray bottle.
Don’t forget to label it carefully and with style!
I like to learn one big major skill in DIY every holiday season and turn it into my showcase gift for friends and family. This year, the Pie and I learned how to make soap, from scratch. There are four main methods of soap preparation:
Melt and pour: basically you get a kit containing a block of solid soap, goat’s milk, glycerin, whatever, and some nice moulds and you melt the soap in the microwave, mix it with pretty flowers, and pour it into the moulds. You may recall a disastrous outcome we had once with one of these kits. They are, however, super trendy right now and many DIY bloggers have instructions on making pretty layered soaps and things.
Hand-milling: more or less a fancier version of melt-and-pour, in that you grate up a bunch of super nice soaps, melt them down, add things to them, and then chuck them in a mould.
Cold process: This is the from-scratchiest way to make soap, wherein you combine specific oils with a lye solution and cause the chemical reaction that leads to saponification. SCIENCE! Of course this is the version we did. Do not do this process with small children, as it is quite dangerous. To start, I began with the very clear and simple instructions I found on Garden Therapy.
Hot process: Essentially the same as cold process, except you speed things up by “cooking” the soap, usually in a slow cooker. We did a bit of this with one of the batches that didn’t turn out right the first time.
Lye is an extremely strong chemical, and you’re using it in a pretty violent reaction in this DIY, so safety should be your number one priority. Lye can burn or blind you and inhaling its fumes is a really bad idea as well. You must, therefore, have good quality safety goggles (the kind that touch your face all around) and some strong rubber gloves with long sleeves.
Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants, and make sure to wear shoes while you do this. If you have a chemical ventilator, I recommend you use it as well. This one cost me about thirty bucks at Home Depot and it’s great.
Keep a large amount of white vinegar handy. The acid in the vinegar will neutralize the strong base of the lye should you happen to spill it on yourself.
Work in an area as well that has access to fresh air either through a window or a fume hood (the first time we did this I went outside). I do not want to feel responsible for you people if you die while doing one of my DIYs. So please behave yourselves and BE CAREFUL!
You need a lot of stuff for soap-making that doesn’t necessarily tie into ingredients and/or safety equipment.
You’ll need at least 3 heatproof bowls (glass or metal, doesn’t really matter), and at least 3 silicone spatulas. I should also note that once you use these tools to make soap you probably shouldn’t use them in connection with food anymore, so plan accordingly. I used old spatulas I was going to throw out and/or picked up at the Dollar Store, and bowls I grabbed from Value Village for a few dollars each.
You’ll need a double boiler or access to a microwave. I prefer using a double boiler because it’s easier to measure temperatures that way.
You also need a highly accurate scale and thermometer. For that reason, a digital scale and digital instant read thermometer are probably best.
If your scale is super tiny, like mine is, you’ll also need some wee dishes for measuring your oils. If you have a big one, you can measure your oils all together in one big bowl.
You need something to put your soap in when it’s ready. You can use all sorts of fancy actual soap moulds for this, but the amounts I used in the recipes below produce enough soap to fill a 1L (~1qt) milk carton, which has a nice non-stick interior. Just make sure you wash and dry the carton carefully first.
Also handy will be a set of old towels or blankets for wrapping the soap cartons.
Not shown, but that is more or less necessary, is an immersion blender (again, you can’t use it again for food, but you can buy a new one off Amazon for twenty bucks). I dedicated my old one to the cause and bought a shiny new one for myself.
You may also need a wide mouth canning funnel, for pouring your soap mixture into your cartons. You might not need it, depending on how steady your hand is, but I found it very useful.
Now we’re getting down to business. Soap at its most basic is composed of oil/fat and lye. That’s it. How you put those together is up to you. So you’ll need assorted oils (vegetable, castor, olive, coconut, etc.) to get you started. I recommend doing a little bit of research into the different properties of each oil and what they do before you make your selections. I found this article to be particularly helpful.
To “flavour” your soaps you will also need an assortment of essential oils and some dried and ground herbs. The essential oils will add your desired scent while the dried herbs will add texture, and ground herbs will contribute to colour. Here is a handy list of ingredients that will change the appearance of your soap.
Very importantly, you’ll need some distilled water. Use distilled over filtered or tap water simply because the varying mineral compositions in undistilled water will make your results unpredictable.
Equally important is lye. That’s what makes the magic happen. For solid soap, you want to get yourself sodium hydroxide (potassium hydroxide is used for liquid soaps). Get the lye that comes in free-flowing crystals or pellets – they’re easier to measure and less likely to get everywhere.
And the final magic ingredient you will need is a LYE CALCULATOR. I found the SoapCalc to be helpful and easy to use (and it’s free). There’s also a handy link in the top menu that explains all the calculations. Basically, you begin by figuring out how much soap you want to produce – for our purposes, 700g soap fits in a 1L milk carton. From there you calculate what percentages of oils you want to go into your soap, and then the software will do the calculations to tell you the exact measurements of oil, lye, and water that you will need. And then it tells you the quality of soap you will produce with those numbers. And it does it in metric AND imperial. Then you can print it out and keep it handy. I love things that do math for me.
The Cold Process Process:
Once you get the hang of this (i.e., like me, you do it five or six times in a row), it’s super easy – you just have to pay attention so you don’t hurt yourself and make sure your measurements are accurate. One of the most important things you need to do first is measure out your raw ingredients as accurately as possible.
You’ll notice in this, our first batch, that we used olive oil as one of our ingredients. Olive oil, we learned later, is hard to make into soap because it doesn’t always form a trace (you’ll see in a little bit what we mean), so we actually had a lot of trouble with this first batch. But that’s good for you guys, because I can show you how we fixed it. And we had no problems with any subsequent batch. Anyway, keep measuring out your ingredients. Accuracy is key.
When all your ingredients are ready and laid out (this includes the water for your lye solution and all your flavourings), then you can put all the oils together (except for the scented ones) and start gently heating them in your double boiler with one of your heatproof bowls.
A note on temperature: Always, always, ALWAYS make sure that your oils and your lye solution are the same temperature when you mix them together. This is very important. Every recipe differs, as will the humidity levels and relative temperatures of your environment, but generally you are aiming for an ideal temperature of between 110° and 120°C for both your oils and your lye solution. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but in that range would be best.
So, once your oils reach about 120°-125°C (I like to get them hot and let them cool a bit while I do the next step), you can work on your lye solution.
Take another one of your heatproof bowls and fill it partially with water and ice to create an ice bath. Set that aside for a moment. Measure out your room-temperature distilled water into your third heatproof bowl and have your lye crystals measured and at hand. Do this in a well-ventilated area. As I mentioned above, the first time we did this I sat on our balcony in the fresh air. In subsequent times I just put everything on top of the stove and did it with the window cracked and the stove fan going at full blast. But this looks way more dramatic.
When you’re ready, grab one of your spatulas and your lye crystals and ever-so-slowly pour the lye into the distilled water. SLOWLY. Stir gently the whole time.
At first it will look like nothing is happening. I feel like my neighbours were suspicious at this point.
But then the lye will start to dissolve and the water will turn cloudy and begin to steam. DO NOT INHALE THIS STEAM. IT IS NOT GOOD STEAM.
Make sure to get every last crystal into the solution.
Continue to stir the solution until it starts to clear, then take its temperature. The lye/water reaction means the liquid will get really hot, really fast. You want to cool the lye solution down to the same 110-120 range as the oils, and that’s what the ice bath is for. Feel free to use it (because we were doing this particular batch outside in November, it didn’t take long for it to cool).
When the lye solution and the oils are the same approximate temperature, you can add them together. Slowly. Stirring the whole time. And ALWAYS add the lye to the oils, not the other way around.
Now you keep stirring. Only crazy people do this by hand because it can take up to four hours for this stuff to start working. Use your immersion blender in thirty-second bursts to emulsify the mixture. There is some spatter involved, so make sure you’re still wearing all your safety equipment. I find it useful to do the blending with the bowl sitting in my empty sink. What you’re looking for – and this may take a while – is what is called “trace”. This is when the mixture thickens and starts to resemble pudding, and when you drip a bit of the mixture on top of itself (like it falls off the blender back into the bowl), you can see the trace of the drip on the surface). At this point, you have to act quickly (hence the blurry shot).
Now you add in your solids and your essential oils and blend it up again.
Pour your new almost-soap into your milk carton and tape down the top. Wrap it in a towel and put it somewhere warm (like on top of your fridge or near a heating vent) for 48 hours. The carton will feel warm and then actually hot over the next little while as the saponification occurs.
Neutralize your dirty dishes with vinegar before you wash them. And keep your gloves on while you do it, just to be safe.
Now, sometimes, you don’t get a trace, no matter how hard you try. Sometimes this means you weren’t mixing hard enough (so that’s why you use an immersion blender). Sometimes the temperature isn’t right – the ingredients don’t have the same temperature, or they’ve cooled too much. If you are having trouble achieving trace, try putting the bowl back on the double boiler and heating it up a little more again. And if that doesn’t work, then just shove it into the carton anyway, and hope for the best. You’ll know in 48 hours if it worked or not. In this case, the olive oil combo we used, combined with our inexperience and inexpert technique, meant that when I ripped open the carton 48 hours later I had a chunk of soap and then a bunch of oozy liquid. Always wear your gloves when you open a mould, just in case something like this happens. There’s no way of knowing how much of that liquid is reactive lye.
But this is fixable! Just mush it all up (newly saponified soap is very soft).
And put it back on your double boiler to melt it down.
You won’t get the same smooth texture you had before. In fact, it’s kind of weird.
And then you can shove it into a new milk carton, seal it up, and wait another 48 hours.
Now it looks a little bit weird and rough, but it’s real soap! You can always trim off the rough bits.
So after 48 hours, you can cut your soap into manageable pieces. It’s very soft, so it’s not a difficult task. Make sure to wear gloves as you do it, in case there are pockets of lye hidden in the soap, and also because freshly made soap is really drying.
Set your soap upright on a rack or in a box (you want as much airflow around it as possible) and put it in a cool dark place to cure for at least 3 weeks. After that time, you can buff it to a shine with a soft cloth and wrap it for gifting!
I made six different batches of soap in my experiments. Here are the percentages and shots of the finished product, for your edification.
Coconut Oil 34%
Olive Oil 34%
Avocado Oil 23%
Castor Oil 9%
I cut off some rough bits from this soap after we re-melted it, and saved them to use as inclusions in another recipe.
Lavender / Rosemary Mint (two separate batches with the same oil base)
Coconut Oil 34%
Castor Oil 14%
Sweet Almond Oil 11%
Avocado Oil 11%
Ground Lavender flowers and essential oil added at trace. Dried Ground Rosemary and Mint added at trace with Peppermint essential oil.
Coconut Oil 30%
Canola Oil 20%
Cocoa Butter 10%
Sweet orange essential oil added at trace. Turmeric added at trace for orange colour. Cocoa added and swirled in.
Coconut Oil 30%
Cocoa Butter 10%
Sunflower Oil 10%
Castor Oil 10%
Lye solution made with chilled coffee (to learn how to make lye solutions using other things than water, read this article). Lemongrass Oil added at trace, together with 2 tsp cocoa and 2 tsp oatmeal.
Coconut Oil 30%
Shea Butter 15%
Castor Oil 8%
Sunflower Oil 7%
Lye solution made with chilled, flat Guinness Stout. Sage oil added at trace, together with 2tsp finely ground oatmeal. Inclusions from Olive Oil soap added.
I found this tutorial for making lip balm with freeze-dried raspberries from Hello Natural and thought I’d give it a shot, with a few Ali Does It modifications, of course. I love making home-made lip balm. I find it feels much better and more luxurious on my face than the commercial brands, and I love experimenting with different oils to various effects. As long as you keep a general ratio of 3:1 oils:wax, you’re pretty much golden. The measurements I use below resulted in over 2 cups lip balm, so if you use the same ones, make sure you have plenty of containers to put your balm into.
As for the raspberries, well, those are optional, and I think next time I’d leave them out. They settled mostly to the bottom (though that looks pretty, too), and when I mixed them up in some pots they felt grainy against the skin. They taste great, though, and you can easily and quickly lick the grains of raspberry away, but I think if I’m aiming for a tinted lip balm next time I’ll start by staining the oils I’m using rather than adding any other solids and liquids to the mix. Or I’ll try this version, with Crayons. Or maybe not. Anyway, if you’re going to use raspberries, find some freeze-dried ones. Krystopf and Atlas popped down to NYC to visit Ando and Teedz so I asked them to stop into Trader Joe’s to grab a bag or two.
I shoved as many raspberries as I could into my spice grinder (it’s a coffee grinder dedicated to all things not coffee) and whazzed them up until they formed a fine powder.
Be careful not to breathe that in! One 34g bag of raspberries produced for me about 1/4 cup raspberry powder.
But look! Those seeds are no good!
So I actually sifted the powder, a wee bit at a time, through a tea strainer to get out the seeds. I think it was worth it.
Now that you’ve finished with that nonsense, get your melty bits ready. In the bowl of a double boiler, dump in 1 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup sweet almond oil, and 1/2 cup beeswax. I also had about 1/2 tablespoon shea butter in the bottom of a jar that was asking to be used so I added that in as well.
Once it’s all melted, tip in your raspberry powder as well as about 20 drops essential oils. I used grapefruit. I love pink grapefruit.
Then you start pouring. I ended up filling like 27 little pots of varying size.
As well as half a small canning jar. I later decanted this into three wee plastic pots and kept it for my own use. I like the balm: raspberries aside, it’s nice and smooth on the lips without being goopy and provides a decent shine for a decent amount of time.
As it sets, the raspberries will settle to the bottom. You can stir them up with a toothpick if you like.
But I kind of like the ombre effect. Makes a great stocking stuffer/gift!
I have extremely sensitive skin. Just looking at something wrong will cause me to break out in hives, rashes, or various forms of acne. So I’m very careful about the stuff that I put on and in my body. I also find that soaps, lotions, and all that stuff made with all natural ingredients seem to me to be more luxurious than the anonymous filled plastic bottles you can pick up at any store. Why not share that luxury as a gift? There are two high-powered executive type ladies in my family, so I thought I’d make a little “working woman’s survival kit.” Here, then, are instructions (from various places) for some little home-made beauty products with a touch of luxury. I’ll start with the hardest project first, and move to the easiest, though I wouldn’t really call any of these projects hard.
Let’s make some lip balm! It’s frightening how much you can pay for this stuff in the stores. This recipe here, which I modified from one I saw on TLC, produces about 3/4 cup (6oz) of lip balm (which filled 12 little half-ounce tubs), and cost me about $4 in supplies. BAM. If you were wondering, I got the plastic tubs from Patch on Etsy.
Start with 1/4 cup beeswax. You can get this in tiny, easy-to-melt pearls from some places, but this being Newfoundland I got it in a solid 2oz block, which is pretty much 1/4 cup. This stuff is local, from Paradise Farms.
I grated it and cut it up into little pieces. I recommend getting all your ingredients measured and containers ready to go beforehand, because once this is ready to go you will need to act quickly.
Pop the wax into a double boiler (or metal bowl set over a pot of bubbling water) and let it melt completely. It won’t take long.
Add in 1/4 cup almond oil and 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
Don’t freak out if the wax curdles — it’s just adjusting to the cooler temperatures of the oils, and will melt again. Just keep stirring. I also added a few drops of peppermint essential oil at this point, just for a nice cooling sensation on your lips and a fresh scent.
When everything has been fully liquified again, you can remove the pot from the heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons beet juice for colouring (you can leave this out if you wish and your balm will be whitish or ivory, depending on the colour of your wax). You can add more if you wish, but make sure to whisk it well, as it won’t fully combine with the wax and oil.
Quickly transfer the liquid to a cup with a spout and pour into your containers.
I worked too slowly (because I was taking pictures, which then ended up blurry, damnit) and had to re-melt my lip balm in the microwave to get it all out. Make sure to wipe out the cup and the melting bowl with a paper towel before you wash them — it can get messy otherwise. Work whatever is leftover into your hands. It’s quite nice.
I probably should have smiled for this photo. But I didn’t realize how grumpy my mouth looks this close up. 😦 But the balm is very nice, very refreshing and smooth.
Let’s make some deodorant! Store-bought deodorants are full of all kinds of gross things, and there have been studies done on the links between aluminum used in anti-perspirants and Alzheimer’s. This recipe, which I modified from the one here, has four ingredients, and each one has a specific purpose. I doubled what I will present to you below, but it produces about half a cup of solid deodorant.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup arrowroot or corn starch. The baking soda is your key deodorizer, and the starch is your moisture-wicking agent.
Melt 6 tablespoons coconut oil (your moisturizing agent and the stuff that will hold everything together in solid form) and whisk that in as well. Add in a few drops of tea tree oil (for antibacterial purposes, and to add a light scent). I also added in a few drops of lavender essential oil, just for the frivolity of it all — I know, that makes FIVE ingredients. I love the combination of lavender and tea tree.
Pour that into a container with a lid and allow to solidify. Apply it to your underarms with your fingertips. Voila.
***EDIT: So I’ve been using this for a little while now and I have to say that, at least for me, this stuff works BETTER than either the super dooper organic and chemical-free version or the regular brand-name stuff you pick up in the drug store. Sure, it’s a little grainy going on, but it lasts way longer, there’s no residue getting anywhere it shouldn’t, and in terms of actually deodorizing, it’s tops! ***
Let’s make some shower scrubs! I think that salt/sugar scrubs are the epitome of pampering oneself at home, so I decided to make not one, but two different kinds.
Orange Salt & Sugar Scrub:In a bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup sea salt.
Add in 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, 3 tablespoons almond oil, and 2 tablespoons vitamin E oil (you can get that at the drug store).
Add in a few drops of orange essential oil, as well as finely grated orange zest. Stir well.
Scoop into a container with a tightly-fitting lid, and keep in your bathroom for when you have some extra time in the shower. Just remember that those oils can make the shower very slippery when you rinse off, so be careful.
Brown Sugar & Coffee Scrub: Did you know that caffeine is a great thing for your skin? In a bowl, mix together 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1 cup finely ground coffee (not used coffee grounds).
Add in 3 tablespoons honey and 1/2 cup light olive oil and mix to combine.
Scoop that into a container with a tight lid and keep that in the bathroom as well, for when your skin needs a little pick-me-up in the morning!
Let’s make some eye makeup remover! This is so easy, it’s like not even a thing. Mix together 4 tablespoons olive oil with 3 tablespoons almond oil. To remove your waterproof eye makeup, simply moisten a cotton ball with the stuff and there you go!
Tidy up the edges of your containers before you put the lids on. Decorate your containers with a few personal touches.
Presentation is important, even though it’s what’s IN the containers that counts!