IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: While the method described in this video is very safe, it’s important to note that the safety stems from following the instructions to a tee. ALL solvents are highly flammable and MUST BE treated with extreme caution and care.
1) Preparation is key! Make sure you have proper supplies and have all of your needed supplies handy BEFORE YOU START!!
2) Now that you have your supplies gathered, make sure you choose a large open area, with excellent ventilation, to make your oil in. If the area is closed in, you will need to take steps to improve ventilation before starting; such as open windows, use portable fans, etc. Even with a large area, I ALWAYS make sure that I have at least one fan on that’s moving the air around.
3) Be sure to have the proper setup equipment. You MUST use a double-boiler type pot and pan setup, where the solvent pan sits on top of a water pot – NEVER PLACE THE SOLVENT PAN DIRECTLY ON THE STOVE’S HEATING ELEMENT!!! This applies to both electric and gas stoves.
4) Your water pot needs to sit AT LEAST four to five inches (4″ to 5″) above your heating element! This serves two purposes. It keeps the solvent a good distance from the heating element and it lets you bring enough water to a boil that it will stay hot long enough to work to evaporate the solvent.
5) Because you will need to reheat the water in your water pot several times, and you need to remove the solvent BEFORE you heat the water, you will need to have a space to set your solvent pan that is WELL AWAY from the stove’s heating element. DO NOT simply take the solvent pan off of the water pot and set it on the counter by the stove. While it won’t explode, any strong heat can catch the solvent on fire! You can set up a TV tray to hold the solvent pan while you bring the water in your pot to a full, rolling boil … or use another counter space that’s at least three feet away from the water pot.
6) “Plan for the worst, work for the best” – while the risk is very low using the method in this video, the fact remains that solvents are flammable and can catch fire, so BE PREPARED! One simple safety item to have is a lid that fits tightly onto your solvent pan. If a fire were to start in the pan, simply put the lid snuggly on the pan and the flame will quickly expire. You should always have a fire extinguisher handy (not just for safety with this project, but for safety in your kitchen/home in general!)
7) The most danger in this method comes from using a gas stove – this is simply because there is an active, open flame. For this reason, USE EXTRA CAUTION WHEN MAKING YOUR OIL ON A GAS STOVE! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have your solvent pan anywhere near the gas stove while the flame is on!!! I can’t stress this enough – your solvent pan will catch the open flame very easily … even when at a foot or more away from the flame!! Have a fan in the room to move the air around, so that the evaporating solvent doesn’t pool around the stove … where a single spark can ignite the fumes. Double check to be sure the flame is off before bringing your solvent pan back to the stove! Another thing you can do to assure safety is to purchase a portable electric heating element – you can get one at Target, Walmart or the like for under $100 and Amazon also sells them. What you want to look for is a portable electric burner with a high wattage, so that it will have enough oomph (power 🙂 to bring your large pot of water to a rolling boil. Here is an example of one that should work: http://www.amazon.com/Waring-SB30-130… These are refurbished and 50% off of retail. This one is 1300 watts … I’d go no less than this and would purchase as high a wattage as possible, so that you aren’t frustrated waiting an hour for your water to boil each time. You will use the same safety precautions with the portable electric burner as you would using an electric stove.
8) Do NOT make your oil when you’re in a hurry or have distractions going on around you. Being in a hurry or having your attention distracted will create unexpected hazards.
9) No matter how many times you have to reheat your water pot before the solvent burns off, do NOT grow impatient with this water method. The entire process takes about an hour and really does go quickly. It’s the safest method and keeping things 100% safe is worth the extra time – again, NEVER EVER set your solvent pan directly next to or onto the heating element of your stove!
10) After bringing your water pot to a full and rapid boil, check and double check that you’ve turned off the heating element BEFORE placing your solvent pan back on top of the water pot!
11) This information is provided for educational purposes only. Anyone that chooses to use this information assumes all liability and risk and holds harmless everyone involved with providing this educational video.