hydrogen peroxide 12% solution: stability test

Hi all, 

I am only 2 months into my new position as formulation chemist. Recently, I have to conduct accelerated 3-month stability test for one of our hair product with 12% hydrogen peroxide. However I know that heating closed container containing hydrogen peroxide is hazardous. Should I skip the high temperature stability test? and only rely on the test in room temperature and UV condition.


  • Hi @yesunyi. I haven't worked with hair products with H2O2, but I have formulated bleaching products with 5% H2O2. Thermal stability is critical, that's why I wouldn't skip this type of test, at least at 40C. I believe your final product will be sold in a flexible and opaque PE bottle, right? You need to put a flexible bottle inside the oven because it'll eventually swell. You could check your sample first every hour, and then every day, just to be sure how the stability is going and the bottle won't break. The more H2O2 you have in your formula, the less stable your product will be, and that's why I use few stabilizers, keep a low pH and avoid some ingredients that can impair stability. 
  • @ketchito thanks for your reply, i'll take note of that. I did not use the correct words, its actually bleaching product for hair salon. The product would be sold in PP or HDPE. 
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    You will be fine. This is 40 volume, high as it gets, so expect some O2 to accumulate in headspace at 43C. Keep the caps slightly loosened. If the peroxide is stable you shouldn't expect much. I recall testing stability of peroxide in a flask with a condenser attached at a low boil. Assay initially, then at 24 hours. Quick & Effective. I'll bet @Perry may have experienced this test in his Alberto-Culver days.
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