Oil bass product with Citric acid

Hi everyone

I am back again, 1 1/2 years of working on my product...πŸ€ͺ πŸ¦‹

I have searched high and low for the use of citric acid in natural toothpaste. I have found nothing on Google. I know That somehow you have to dissolve it in water? My question is if I have oil in my product, and the pH is about nine, the oil is the part that I want preserved right? Especially since I have infused cinnamon and vanilla in sweet Armond oil. I have two types of toothpaste products the one is a normal oil and clay, bicarb toothpaste and the other one is a toothpowder. Both will have oil but the latter will only have a few drops. ( To infuse my cinnamon and vanilla into it) 

How or where do I start to understand how I can preserve these two toothpaste with as little citric acid as possible?

Many many thanks in advance, 

Take care and stay healthy.


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Simple answer: You can't.
    Acids preserve (the water phase, not oils) by lowering pH below 6 (the lower the better). Alas, low pH is poison for teeth and your bicarbonate would turn your toothpaste into a 'self-igniting effervescent paste'.
  • devo2devo2 Member
    Hi Pharma

    Thank you! Lol! πŸ˜‚ is there a preservative I could look at?

    I do see that other natural toothpaste companies are using citric acid....
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    They might use it as chelate, not preservative. Sodium citrate would work as well.
    Toothpaste usually comes with a very low water content and can hence be self-preservating.
  • devo2devo2 Member
    Pharma said: For sure Pharma.... will read what chelate means. I don’t want my oil to go rancid. I’m heating my oil as I mentioned. Will look at sodium citrate x
    They might use it as chelate, not preservative. Sodium citrate would work as well.
    Toothpaste usually comes with a very low water content and can hence be self-preservating.

  • devo2devo2 Member
    edited August 8
    Lastly... how DOES one use sodium citrate or citric acid with oil. No water in my product at all. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌβœ¨πŸŒ±
    my toothpaste is in a glass jar, Capetonians are β€œgreenies” trying to reduce plastic use. Humans are drowning in it. 
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    A chelate is something which grabs ('complexes') heavy metals (most of all iron) in a tight grip so they can no longer redox cycle and oxidise unsaturated fatty acids (i.e. make them go rancid faster, a process deliberately initiated by addition of metal salts to speed up drying of linseed oil paints and varnishes). Now, your toothpaste is at pH 9 which would be a good pH for citric acid chelation and contains a lot of bicarbonate. At that pH and carbonate content, most of the heavy metals are in insoluble carbonate, oxide, and hydroxide form and don't do much other than just hanging around. Adding citrate (assuming there is enough water to actually keep it in solution) would be catastrophic (in theory) because it will make said metals become soluble and bioavailable for micro-organisms. From a chemical and microbiological point of view, adding citrate to a toothpaste is an utterly bad idea.
    What citrate does is to chelate calcium. In case you use hard tap water for cleaning your teeth, it will make it feel softer and, should you have soap inside your toothpaste, also boost foam and produce a nicer lather. This is likely the only good reason why you should add citrate (for example as sodium citrate).
    In anhydrous products, you're well advised to add an oil soluble antioxidant (vitamin E) to protect the oils from getting rancid too fast. You can't do much with a chelate (because they require water) in this regard (at least not with 'natural' and potentially edible ingredients) except adding a tannin rich plant extract such as rhatany which is great for the gums but also bears the chance that it precipitates iron ions (however, having an anhydrous formulation might forestall the latter effect).
    How to use sodium citrate in oil: as a suspension exactly like you use sodium bicarbonate.
    BTW I wouldn't bother too much about HUMANS drowning in plastic but rather the whole rest of our planet ;) .
  • devo2devo2 Member
    @Pharma. πŸ™ŒπŸ½πŸŒ±πŸ™πŸΌπŸŒŸπŸ€—
    You’re absolutely awesome. Thank you for your time spending explaining to me, your knowledge is priceless.πŸ₯‚πŸ˜
    Yeah I agree on the Humans...Some better off driving in plastic I’d rather save the planet 😘

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