Help with sulfate free shampoo formulation

Hello, I am trying hard to formulate a sulfate free shampoo with a specific function. I have years of experience with sulfate based shampoo's - but this is really testing me!
This will be aimed at professional dog groomers. It is a concentrated product to be diluted with water immediately before use.
Once the below formula is made and left to settle, I am seeing slight cloudiness through some of the samples. There is also Ph fluctuation of over 5%. I think I've balanced it, but an hour later it has crept up in alkalinity. I am stirring by hand.
Could somebody please review the recipe and method and give me an idea of what might be happening. Thank you.


Lauryl glucoside 60%

Caprylyl/Capryl glucoside 10%

TegoBetaine 10%


Aqua 17.32%

Organic Aloe Powder x 200 0.07%

Hydrolysed Wheat Protein Powder 0.1%

Glycerine 1.5%

Green Tea Extract 0.1%

Procide 2 1%


Citric Acid


1.5% Essential Oils



Combine caprylyl glucoside with essential oils and slow stir for 15 minutes. Add Lauryl glucoside and heat until just melted. Add TegoBetaine and stir.

Add phase 2 ingredients and stir until homogenized

Add citric acid to desired Ph (6.5)


  • Are you using an emulsifier?
  • Hi, I'm using the Caprylyl/Capryl glucoside at 10%, to solubilise the essential oils.
  • First make a minimalist sample and get rid of the non-functional ingredients.

    So, no Aloe, no wheat protein, no green tea, and probably hold out the essential oils too.  Does that remain clear? How is the pH for that blend?

    After that you can try it with only adding back the essential oils. That's probably the problem. If that is the problem, you pretty much will need to either find a solubilizer for the oils or switch to different essential oils. I'd recommend getting a proper fragrance instead of working with EOs but I have no problems with synthetic ingredients.
  • You might need something a little stronger to help clear it up. A chelating agent might help keep the pH from fluctuating.
  • Thank you Perry.

    Should I add my functional ingredients at their original percentages, meaning the total is less than 100% and adjust the preservative accordingly?
  • Thanks globalwidget, are you reffering to a stronger surfactant? Time to go back to basics...

  • The "adjustment" ingredient would be water in all cases. So, when you take volume out (removing an ingredient) you add water to compensate. When you put an ingredient in, you reduce water to compensate.
  • Thank you Perry.
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