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Good Manufacturing Practices: Checklists

All information in this blog post comes from Marie Gale’s excellent book “Good Manufacturing Practices for Soap & Cosmetic Handcrafters

Think of checklists as your memory. These are very handy to create for tasks you do not do frequently, such as calibrating your scale. Checklists also serve as a guide for creating all your formulas. You should have a checklist for each different formula.

Why are checklists so important? They help keep accidents or variations from happening. When you use a checklist, you have a written guide for each step of the process and a box to check once you have completed each step. This is very helpful if you get interrupted in the middle of a project or if you need someone to help you in the workroom. Using a checklist will also keep you on track when you are in a hurry or tired.

Checklists ensure consistency and serve as a control in the workroom. Additionally, they serve as records of each batch and should be retained.

Here’s an example of how a checklist could have saved the day.

Scraping up the spilled cocoa butter.

When prepping an ingredient for production the following day, a maker added a large quantity of cocoa butter into a warmer so it could melt overnight. However, the spigot on the bottom of the warmer had not been closed following the last use of the warmer.

Our maker turned on the appliance and went home for the day – and there was a big mess awaiting the following morning as all the melted oil had drained out onto the floor through the open spigot. Following a checklist could have prevented the disaster and saved time and money.

Marie Gale’s book “Good Manufacturing Practices for Soap & Cosmetic Handcrafters” has several examples of checklists and many pages of advice on how to create them. Why not get yourself a copy today?

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