Our most precious tool in Ayurveda happens to be a messy one- warm oil.
Here are some tips how you can manage it at home:
Put a towel down to protect your floor as you do abyanga (self-oil massage),
After Abhyangha, you need to leave the oil on for 20-45 minutes. If you don’t have this much time, do it anyway. 20 minutes the herbs will reach the rasa dhatu (plasma tissue), 25 minutes to the rakta dhatu (blood tissue)…45 minutes the shukra dhatu (reproductive tissues). If you don’t have this much time, no problem, just do it for any length of time to soften and cleanse the skin and lay down the tracks to establish the good habit. Use a shirt & pants that were sitting in the donation pile to keep warm, and reuse. You can wash in hot water. Separate from normal clothes. NO DRYER!! Because, common sense will tell you, heat + oil = fire. Ditto with the towel. After awhile, this set of massage clothes may get heavy with oil, then it’s time to toss them and recycle a new pair.
Use the same towel or a hand towel to wipe off any excess oil before showering. Especially the soles of your feet, so you don’t slip. In theory, you shouldn’t have much left on your skin, since you apply a thin layer and work it in. But some people err on the enthusiastic side. You know who you are.
Keep a bottle of dish soap in the shower, and squirt it down the drain from time to time.
Every couple of weeks dump 2 tablespoons of baking soda, followed by a half cup vinegar down the drain, and watch your experiment bubble. This keeps the pipes open, and meanwhile it’s fun for the whole family.