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Old 12-24-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Suggestions Please: How to Control Embossing Powder Residue

I'm big on embossing, just love that extra dimension it gives to my cards, and I'm sure many of you feel the same. But has anyone found a way to successfully help control the powder residue?

No matter what I've tried, how many times I vacuum or dust with a Swifter, there is continually a layer of powder residue over my entire craft area. Just recently a good bit landed on an unopened ink pad and I had to junk it after many attempts to clean it. My error, I learn the hard way.

I do know that while I am stamping and embossing our AC ceiling vents are running off and on, bouncing the air flow all over and maintaining the temp. in the house and distributing the stuff. This is something I can't control other than I am not close to the vents. I prefer my embossing tray, pal, powders, heat gun adjacent to my stamping area so I can immediately emboss while the ink is damp.

So my DH and I came up with this idea this am and I thought I would run it by the forum to see if this has worked for someone. We are going to design a 5 sided box from foam board and assemble it with duct tape. This will be large enough so I can open and apply the powder to the stamped image inside the box and then remove the powder and tray from the box and cover the tray. Next I will seal the powder with the heat gun inside the box. It all sounds like too many steps, but then it's a lot more effort to vacuum the work area so often.

Was this approach successful with anyone? Or is there a better suggestion out there?
your help and ideas would be appreciated
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:25 AM   #2
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Have you tried heating your powder from underneath? That should minimize any powder being blown around by your heat gun, at least. Good luck with your invention. It sounds interesting.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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I'm thinking that your air ducts are your problem, because I emboss constantly don't have this happen.

I keep my most-used EP in covered tupperware-type containers with a plastic spoon inside, so I can just hold the paper over the container and sprinkle the powder on and then dump it back in. I don't have any stray powder when I do that. When I use my less-used colors, which I just keep in their original bottles, I sprinkle my project over a piece of scrap paper and then use the paper to funnel the powder back into the jar. In those cases, I sometimes have a bit of extra powder lying on my craft sheet, but nothing like you describe.

Something is causing your powder to blow around a lot more than it should.

Your embossing box solution sounds like it would work. But you could also find a less drafty area to emboss in.

And this might be a shot in the dark but it sounds like you are using that tray thing that SU sells. Some love it, but I thought that thing would be the worst of both worlds: While it gives you lots of space to work over like a piece of scrap paper, the excess has to be brushed down into the funnel, which I think would encourage flying powder. With a piece of scrap, you pull up the sides and tap against the edge of the container and it all falls in. Then you throw the paper away. The container method is the best IMHO. If I had room, I'd have a container for every one of my powder colors.

I'll be curious to see if anyone else has had the same problem as you are describing.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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I don't use the powder pal that SU! used to sell. I use a basket type coffee filter. Works like a charm. Powder comes off slick as can be.

The other thing you said is that you like to have everything nearby. Once the embossing powder is on the stamp, you can set it aside (don't put anything on top) to heat emboss it later.

So, the inking/powdering part could be in one place, away from the vents. Would that work?
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapjanny View Post
Have you tried heating your powder from underneath? That should minimize any powder being blown around by your heat gun, at least. Good luck with your invention. It sounds interesting.
Yes, I've been heating from underneath the card from day one. I just finished embossing a card and not only heated it from underneath, but heated from underneath the work table!
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
I'm thinking that your air ducts are your problem, because I emboss constantly don't have this happen.

I keep my most-used EP in covered tupperware-type containers with a plastic spoon inside, so I can just hold the paper over the container and sprinkle the powder on and then dump it back in. I don't have any stray powder when I do that. When I use my less-used colors, which I just keep in their original bottles, I sprinkle my project over a piece of scrap paper and then use the paper to funnel the powder back into the jar. In those cases, I sometimes have a bit of extra powder lying on my craft sheet, but nothing like you describe.

Something is causing your powder to blow around a lot more than it should.

Your embossing box solution sounds like it would work. But you could also find a less drafty area to emboss in.

And this might be a shot in the dark but it sounds like you are using that tray thing that SU sells. Some love it, but I thought that thing would be the worst of both worlds: While it gives you lots of space to work over like a piece of scrap paper, the excess has to be brushed down into the funnel, which I think would encourage flying powder. With a piece of scrap, you pull up the sides and tap against the edge of the container and it all falls in. Then you throw the paper away. The container method is the best IMHO. If I had room, I'd have a container for every one of my powder colors.

I'll be curious to see if anyone else has had the same problem as you are describing.
Rachelrose, your insight has been most helpful and given me lots to consider. My DH and I were just upstairs to survey my craft area. He says it's the AC vents combined with the EP technique I learned in class. He said move the embossing process to the attic.................we have a large walk-in that is super insulated for our Florida heat. I'm not much into that solution because it still gets up to 90 max. there in the summer.

I think you hit the nail on the head with containers for each color powder and the clear. I've only been stamping for a year next month and have 5 EP so it's affordable to buy those Ziploc plastic containers now and more with each EP purchase. And this will be great for glitter. This certainly will put a damper on the AC airflow.

Thanks so much for your words of experience.

( I just told my DH about your container suggestion and he agreed. That's easier than building the box too. So, I'll junk the SU funnel tray. He's so tired of me b- - - - - - - about the residue he volunteered to go to Wallie World to buy some!! It must be pretty bad if he volunteers to go to Wallie World on Christmas Eve.............and it's raining here!)
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #7
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Hope it works for you! Yes, I just buy the cheap Glad brand containers, the ones that are about 3" deep and 4 inches wide and long enough for a plastic spoon to fit inside (it doesn't lay flat against the bottom, it has to lean). The ones they sell down here come with these little plastic cup thing that snap into the lid for salad dressing. Those are useful, too! I save those for all kinds of things.

I'd love to know if the containers solve your problem! Post the results!
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:38 AM   #8
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As far as getting all the powders and glitter etc, that get all over my craft area I use a lint roller (the sticky tape kind). Works like a charm.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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I agree with everyone else about your AC being the problem. I use the scrap paper idea when embossing then pouring back into the jar and I use the plastic containers with the powder in them, too. The only residue I get is as someone else mentioned - a little bit of "dust" that can easily be wiped up. The thing that I can't figure out is the glitter problem. I am almost ready to bag forever using glitter as it just goes everywhere. Even the plastic dish idea doesn't work well as there are so many colors of glitter that I use from time to time, that I don't want mixing up in a common dish with cover. Many dishes are ridiculous to store. Plastic causes electro magnetism so you can never really get all the glitter out anyway. The scrap paper is all I've come up with. Paper is not a conductor of electricity which is the culprit in the case of glitter which is metal.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #10
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I picked up the sandwich containers (gladware type) at the dollar store - I think I got 3 or 4 for $1. They work great. You can also find smaller plastic "tasting" spoons that fit inside great.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
I'm thinking that your air ducts are your problem, because I emboss constantly don't have this happen.

I keep my most-used EP in covered tupperware-type containers with a plastic spoon inside, so I can just hold the paper over the container and sprinkle the powder on and then dump it back in. I don't have any stray powder when I do that.
That's exactly what I was going to say
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:36 AM   #12
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Oh, the sandwich containers would be good because I could stack more of them in the same space. Great idea, Diana.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #13
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I use the sandwich containers too, and I take a white plastic spoon, heat the handle end with my heat gun until it softens, and turn it under to make a little stand. It fits easily in container, and stands up so I have something to grab on to when I am lifting it out, so I don't have to get EP all over my fingers. One in each container, no muss no fuss. I hope my description makes sense.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:58 AM   #14
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That's genius! Makes total sense!
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:08 AM   #15
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Karjor, do you leave the spoon somehow sticking out of the container the powder is in? Because then it would eventually spill, I would think. Or is the spoon just so bent that part of the handle is not down into the powder? I need a better method. I have my white and clear powders in those plastic containers, cos I use them the most, and I get powder on my fingers when I lift out the spoon. Can you post a pic of your reshaped spoon, LOL? Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:32 AM   #16
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Instead of a spoon I use Slurpee straws. I cut them down to fit inside my tupperware containers. The straws give me a longer handle plus it's a good reason to have a slurpee when I need a new straw.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:00 AM   #17
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I use Dutch Boy paint samples from Menard's in my embossing containers to scoop up embossing powder. The powder doesn't stick to it and it's free. (The paint samples have rounded edges and are the perfect size to fit in the container.)
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:10 AM   #18
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My Glad containers are long enough for a standard plastic spoon to fit in, but not long enough for them to lie flat in. So the handle is never sitting in the embossing powder, it's always leaning against the side of the container.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #19
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I use a disposable bowl, one of the paper ones and a plastic spoon. The bowl completely folds in half so i can easily tap the powder back in the packaging. I remove all the powder I can by just tapping and gravity. Then I wipe the bowl out and then turn on the heat. If I am doing a bunch (like when I did 100 invitations) I used wet wipes every now and then to wipe the table down.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadiebird View Post
Karjor, do you leave the spoon somehow sticking out of the container the powder is in? Because then it would eventually spill, I would think. Or is the spoon just so bent that part of the handle is not down into the powder? I need a better method. I have my white and clear powders in those plastic containers, cos I use them the most, and I get powder on my fingers when I lift out the spoon. Can you post a pic of your reshaped spoon, LOL? Thanks!
Here is a picture of my melted spoon. Also, Pics of the way I store my EP in the containers. I use a lazy susan turntable on a shelf of my closet - one side as stacks of sandwich containers with EP (the rarely sued ones are in their original containers inside a sandwich container, and the other side has glitter and glitter glues. Just spin and pick your poison.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:30 AM   #21
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Thanks for the visual! I think I may try that!
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:35 AM   #22
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karjor, thanks for the photo of the spoon. I'm going to ask my DH to do this to for me today between New Year's Day bowl games. I have put all my EP in Glad containers with a spoon and my first thought was I'll be getting the powder on my fingers. And the funnel tray has been stored.

I am so impressed with all the responses to my thread. Just can't believe all the tips and techniques you ladies have offered. Just love SCS for all the help everyone shares so generously.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:42 AM   #23
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Another thought would be to go to Home Depot or Lowes or Ace Hardware and get a clear acrylic magnetic vent deflector. It sticks to the vent cover with the magnets and deflects the flow of air. Originally made for under dressers and curtains, it should alter the flow of air enough to give you some more calm areas.

Here's what I'm talking about:
Deflect-OŽ Unbreakable Air Deflector (50) - Air Deflectors - Ace Hardware
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:53 PM   #24
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I have too many colors of embossing powder to use the plastic containers, so mine stay in the original little jars. I'm a big fan of coffee filters instead of scrap paper to put embossing powder back in the container. You can use the same filter over and over--powder and glitter just don't stick to them. I position my image over the filter, tap on powder from the jar, then just pour the excess from the filter.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:36 PM   #25
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OH DUH! You mean the flat bottom coffee filters!

I kept thinking "How does she get that cone to stand up when she is putting the EP on her project?"

Now that the lightbulb has come on over my head - that's a good idea, Karen! I have EPs that I don't keep in a container, too. I only do containers for my five basic ones that I use all the time - white, black, clear, silver, gold.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:33 AM   #26
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Another easy way.. I use a magazine page. Fold it in half, open it back up, put your stamped image on it, sprinkle your EP, tap off excess and then fold up the page and pour the extra back into the jar,(works kinda like a funnel) throw away the page! Nothing sticks to the magazine page and never a chance of getting colors mixed. I also use this for glitter as well!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:43 AM   #27
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UPDATE:

Thanks so much ladies for your many suggestions and advice to my request for help. What would we newbies do without your generous time and expertise in answering our questions?

Last weekend I literally sterilized my craft room by vacuuming EVERYTHING then wiping all surfaces and tools with several damp cloths. Perfection! Second I relocated my stamping and embossing table and all those tools to a wall away from the AC vents. Third I placed all my embossing powders and glitter in the square Glad containers and labeled the colors. Fourth I explained the bent spoon procedure to my DH who was happy to oblige and made 12 custom spoons for me. (He was happy to oblige because he's sick of hearing me whine about THAT powder.) And finally I made 2 cards yesterday and embossed them with a miniscule amount of embossing powder residue. Success!

I do have one last question which may be considered rhetorical. Is it possible to ever get rid of those last few flakes of glitter? I ask because after I finished "sterilizing" and glanced across my new clean set-up with much satisfaction and, as my hand was on the light switch, a little red glitter flake winked at me as the room darkened. I remember the location in the carpet and now I can't find the little demon! And just this morning a green glitter flake winked at me from the bedroom carpet!
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:00 AM   #28
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I share your desire for "sterilization"! However, not possible. Love-hate relationship with glitter - every time I use it I say, why did I do this? I made Argentinean tango skirts for the Girl Scout Troop a year ago for world thinking day - the only red tulle they had in the fabric store was glitter tulle. Against my better judgement, I gamely proceed to ruffle many strips of it for 8 skirts, beginning with shaking it outside on a windy snow day. Before practices at another mom's house, I told her to institute "full Hazmat containment procedures". I stored them in plastic bags. I sterilized afterwards. I am still finding bits of red glitter one year later. I do love my cheapo lint roller for immediate gratification when ever I see a spec glinting at me - I think they are laughing at us.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #29
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Quote:
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I don't use the powder pal that SU! used to sell. I use a basket type coffee filter. Works like a charm. Powder comes off slick as can be.
Gail, do you use any powder inside the coffee filter, or do you just scrunch the filter up and rub it on your paper? I've tried so many things to get that annoying excess EP off before heating, and none of them work as well as I'd like!

There have been some great tips in this thread--thanks for sharing your experience, ladies!

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Old 01-11-2013, 10:40 AM   #30
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I'm thinking Gail meant you use the filter to put the EP in, and then spoon out over the project and then tip back into the jar. Pip, the Powder Pal is a tray that you use under your project so you can collect your EP and funnel it back into the jar. SU used to sell it but has now retired it seems.

What you are thinking of is an embossing buddy. SU is now selling them again. But they had stopped for a while when I needed one, so I got something else, the Inkadinkadoo Embossing Magic, which is the same thing. Or there's another anti-static thing by EK success, it's got a brush on the end and I forget what it's called.

I really find my Embossing Magic pouch completely eliminates stray EP. When I remember to use it!!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:18 PM   #31
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I'm thinking Gail meant you use the filter to put the EP in, and then spoon out over the project and then tip back into the jar. Pip, the Powder Pal is a tray that you use under your project so you can collect your EP and funnel it back into the jar. SU used to sell it but has now retired it seems.

What you are thinking of is an embossing buddy. SU is now selling them again. But they had stopped for a while when I needed one, so I got something else, the Inkadinkadoo Embossing Magic, which is the same thing. Or there's another anti-static thing by EK success, it's got a brush on the end and I forget what it's called.

I really find my Embossing Magic pouch completely eliminates stray EP. When I remember to use it!!!
Aha, that makes more sense! Thank you, Rachelrose, you are absolutely right, I had them mixed up. So many new (to me) products, and a memory like Swiss cheese, that's my trouble.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:53 PM   #32
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Most of the time I envy neat-as-a-pin folks, but 'sterilization' of a craft room?! [shudder]

what a diverse bunch we all are....
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #33
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Most of the time I envy neat-as-a-pin folks, but 'sterilization' of a craft room?! [shudder]

what a diverse bunch we all are....
Oh my family would laugh at me or my craft room being referred to as neat, but there is something about glitter . . . Although I am getting over it a little - I actually used glitter out of choice on a few projects recently. And I am still finding tell-tale bits.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #34
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 2,177
Default Stray Glitter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathlyn47 View Post
UPDATE:

I do have one last question which may be considered rhetorical. Is it possible to ever get rid of those last few flakes of glitter? I ask because after I finished "sterilizing" and glanced across my new clean set-up with much satisfaction and, as my hand was on the light switch, a little red glitter flake winked at me as the room darkened. I remember the location in the carpet and now I can't find the little demon! And just this morning a green glitter flake winked at me from the bedroom carpet!
I love it when little sparkles of glitter wink at me from unexpected places! It makes me smile. I think glitter makes everything prettier!! Especially me when I have it on my face!
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:19 PM   #35
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Destin, Florida
Posts: 131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karjor View Post
I use the sandwich containers too, and I take a white plastic spoon, heat the handle end with my heat gun until it softens, and turn it under to make a little stand. It fits easily in container, and stands up so I have something to grab on to when I am lifting it out, so I don't have to get EP all over my fingers. One in each container, no muss no fuss. I hope my description makes sense.
I really liked and followed the bent spoon instructions that karjar suggested and it worked, but I had some problems with the heat and the bending and then the powder particles adhered to the plastic. So I thought I would share this idea.

This past week I was "touring" every aisle in Sam's with a girlfriend and saw an item that turned a light bulb on in my brain. In the commercial kitchen equipment section they had a package of 36 stainless steel spoons for $5.97. So I bought the package and had my DH bend the spoons to fit my plastic containers, then I washed them in the dishwasher. Perfection! The spoons are cheap, cheap ,cheap, soooooooo easy to bend and the powder particles do not adhere to the stainless.
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