small lumps forming in conditioner when NaOH added - help! - Cosmetic Science Talk

small lumps forming in conditioner when NaOH added - help!

Hi,

I have been making a basic conditioner (see formulation below) for many years, however for the past few mixes upon addition of NaOH small lumps have been forming. The lumps look like wee sago balls. Does anyone have any idea as to why this could be happening and what I can do to prevent it? I am stumped.

Note: the pH is adjusted to 7.0-7.5 as it is a conditioner for dogs. 

Thanks for your help - Sarah

Formulation:

Pre-weigh ingredients, melt in a smaller pot until 80°C
Conditioner Pellets - BTMS 25 8.00% A
Cetyl Alcohol

2.70% A
Heat water to 80°C in the larger pot
Water 87.80% B
Mix phase C into the water
Tetrasodium EDTA 0.10% C

Add the melted wax to the water, mix with stick blender, mix for 2-3 minutes; mix will turn white

Once mix is below 40°C, add phase D to main mix

Green Tea Leaf Extract 0.10% D
Hibiscus Flower Extract 0.10% D
Witch Hazel Distillate 0.10% D
Manuka Honey 0.10% D
Germall Plus 0.50% D
Fragrance - Galari 0.50% D

Adjust pH so that it is within the range 7.0 to 7.5; use lactic acid to decrease and sodium hydroxide to increase







Comments

  • edited March 18
    Why do you want the pH so high?

    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Hi Microformulation - the pH is high because it is a product designed for dogs. Dogs have slightly alkaline skin so acidic products like those for humans cause irritation. 
  • Think: what has changed? Either a supply change or something has gone off.
    Special interests: anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; sulphate-free shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics.
  • Have you changed the source of the water? The mere presence of EDTANa4 will alkalise clean water so I am thinking that it's the water or a different batch/brand of BTMS.

    A practical point (nothing to do with your current problem) isthat you may be better making the emulsion by phase inversion in which the water phase is added to the oil phase. Apart from tending to form a finer grained emulsion, this way round will avoid losses from the residues in the oil phase remaining in the container.

    I doubt the canine clients will be bothered much by the presence of the snake oil ingredients (green tea leaf , Hibiscus, witch hazel or manuka honey) especially in those almost homeopathic quantities.
  • do you add the caustic soda as a powder, or as a solution?

    try it both ways and see if it makes any difference
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Checked  the NaOH purity?
  • I have had this happen to when using Incroquat BTMS.  If adjusted up with NaOH formed little balls.  Why don't you try adjusting the water pH up higher from the start so any adjustment to the final product would only have to be down using an acid.
  • Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the advice.

    The only thing that changed was a fresh batch of NaOH (10% solution made from granules). Same batch of granules. I have checked all of the RMs and nothing has expired. 

    I will dispose of the NaOH solution and try the suggestion of adjusting the pH of the water first.

    @johnb - the addition of the snake oil (or "fluff" as I call it) are just there to sell to their owners who love to anthropomorphise their wee poochies :P 

    Once again thanks for the advice - I appreciate the time you have all taken to help me out

    Sarah
  • that sounds like it's related to the water used to make up the caustic soda solution - you did right to dispose of it
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • edited March 27
    Use diluted NaOH. (Correct for the additional water)
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