Steareth-21 Not Available, Alternative Route?

Newcomer here. I'm formulating a wax and one of the ingredients I would like is Steareth-(21) due to it functions as a cleansing agent, a surfactant, and an emulsifier. However, it is not affordably available, and from what I've researched, it seems to be a mixture of polyethylene glycol ether made from stearic acid. How can I formulate this Steareth at home? 


  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @MangoMonster i think that it Will be more easy and lower cost when you buy it. However if you Just want to make it make some reaserachement about that. 
  • That's not how it's done. Post an entire formula with %, explain what function you are looking for and ask what can you use to replace Seteareth 21.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    What type of product are you making?  Steareth-21 is not really a cleansing surfactant. It is more of an emulsifier.
  • MangoMonsterMangoMonster Member
    edited February 19
    @perry I'm making a high-hold, medium shine pomade wax. Steareth-20/21 seems to be a common ingredient in pomade waxes, that's why I ask.  

    Cetyl Palmitate
    Propylene Glycol
    Ethylnexyl Glycerin
    H20 (Aqua)

    Haven't calculated percentages yet. 
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited February 21
    In your case @MangoMonster Cetearth-25 can do the job without Steareth-20/21. 
  • Following up, does anyone know where I could buy smaller amounts of Oleth-5?
  • DavidDavid Member
    edited February 22
    You probably won't need oleth-5 either for a start. Ceteareth25 and peg40 hydrogenated castor oil is more than enough for this type of formulation. 
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