I'm going to try the panty hose next time I do it. I've never used tongs, either. A slotted spoon should work, or at worst, a regular spoon and lean it to the side of the pot to squeeze out.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix