Overmixed Shampoo - How to Save Batch

kredkred Member
I'm wondering if there is a way to save a batch of shampoo that has been over mixed. I'm a home crafter and this is only my second batch of shampoo. Unfortunately, I have mixed this into a pretty good lather. It has been sitting for 24 hrs or so and is still quite sudsy. Is there a way to save this batch? Below are the surfactants. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Cocoamidopropyl Betaine 5%
SCI 85% Noodle 4%
SMC Taurate 4%


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You can heat the batch up to ~40C and use slow mixing to get rid of the bubbles. Of course you may have to add back some preservative depending on what you are using.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    It will settle eventually. I normally prepare my shampoos 24 hours in advance of bottling.
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  • I will reheat and then give it a rest for another 24 hours. Thanks so much for your help!
  • Shampoo should prepare under vacuum only. If it is small scale preparation please use small vacuum pump along with desiccator.   
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    I would just set it aside and wait for it to settle. You need to look at the mixing equipment you are using and maybe change to something with a slower speed option or preferably variable speed.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    If it's not for commercial use, after you heat to 40C and are mixing very slowly, you can gently spray some ethyl alcohol onto the surface of the shampoo.
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  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ashish - I worked at a big shampoo company and we never made shampoo under vacuum conditions.
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    @Perry No one does, as a supplier I have seen both big and small companies but never had such an exception to see. 
  • Working under vacuum is possible, if your mixing tank is equipped with a vacuum system. I have validated production runs of shampoo, body wash, and facial wash on mixing tanks that have vacuum system. 
    Formulator. Currently specializes in formulating natural cosmetics.
  • @Perry, I made shampoo under vacuum as it will form less foam than open system. I think, if you control vacuum in vessel, you will be able to solve problem of more air entrapment. I do agree that foam will form in any surfactant system whether under vacuum or not but vacuum will solve a bit.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I wasn't suggesting that you couldn't produce the shampoo under vacuum conditions. I was just saying it isn't necessary. Most companies in the cosmetic industry do not and excessive foam is not a significant problem.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2015
    I have to agree with Perry. I have rarely seen a vacuum system used in commercial manufacturing. We dealt with the aeration by controlling the mixing speed and limited any cavitation. It was always successful.

    There was this one time someone accidentally ran a shampoo through the in-line homogenizer. It was pretty cool to see.
    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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • I tried a vacuum after the shampoo was already in the overmixed state. No luck. I had to try! 

    It didn't settle down much after 24 hrs, so I filtered it through a 90 micron screen. That worked beautifully. However, when I went to use the shampoo, it didn't lather at all! Go figure. (I had already done this before reading Perry's suggestion to slowly re-heat.)

    The goal was to make a very mild, non-irritating, daily use shampoo for dry hair. My first try with Cocoamidopropyl Betaine 10% , SCI 85% Noodle 10%, and SMC Taurate 5% lathered beautifully. Will definitely have to continue to tinker for a lower strength formula that will lather just right.

    What is the best mixing tool for shampoos for the small business? I haven't been able to find this info on any post or other website. I am a Pharmacist attempting to create my own sensitive skin products. Thanks again.

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
  • Could someone  please explain to me the purpose of vacuum conditions for mixing?  I can think of only 3 reasons one might apply vacuum during processing.  1 reason would be a slight negative pressure to keep out airborne contaminants.  Another reason would be to degas one or more ingredients before mixing; degasing during mixing would seem to increase foaming.  The last reason would be to remove a gaseous or volatile byproduct.  Are there other reasons I'm missing?
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