How to make exfoliant/grit stay suspended in a hand cleaner

Hello,

Could someone please help as to how to make an exfoliant/grit stay suspended in a hand cleaner?

The hand cleaner is a SLS based hand cleaner. The grit is pumice.

The issue is that in a couple of hours the grit falls to the bottom of the hand cleaner rather than staying suspended in it.

Can anyone help here please? Or direct me to some grit hand cleaner formulas, as I couldn't find many?

Thanks!

Comments

  • Hi, you basically need some stabilizing agent. In other words, you need to create a "net" that holds the particles and doesn't let them move. 
    I haven't tried this on my own, but I'd say some polymer or gum (higher input) would help. :) 
  • Thank you for your help @Paprik

    Yes that is what I wondered.

    So I have tried a few items, including:
    Xanthan Gum
    Polysorbate 85
    Magnesium Aluminium Silicate

    But none have fixed the issue. Is there some other particular gum etc I should try?
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    You will probably need to look at acrylate polymers with high suspending ability (yield value) such as Aculyn Excel or similar.
  • Thanks @ozgirl
    Any particular product name that you would recommend?
  • What does confuse me is that there a number of grit hand cleaners out there with their ingredients printed on the back, and there is nothing out of the ordinary in the list?
    E.g. one has the following items that could affect the thickness/"net": Polysorbate 80, Cetyl Acetate, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Xanthan...

  • There are different grades of xanthan gum.
    Normal xanthan gum won't suspend. Try a refined non-sticky version at 1% . Check keltrol CG-SFT or Cosphaderm X-Sof
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    edited February 2021
    You could try Dow Aculyn Excel or Carbopol Ultrez 20. They are probably a good starting point for acrylate polymers.

    Vanderbilt Veegum (Magnesium Aluminium Silicate) has synergistic suspending ability with gums but I haven't tried this. https://www.asharrison.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Veegum®.pdf

  • Thank you @Shams and @ozgirl
    I'll look into these suggestions and give them a shot.
  • Look at this table. It could help you maybe a little bit with choosing the right one. :)


  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    On the other hand @Dan and @ozgirl you can save time and money using Synthalen W600 (Acrylates Copolymer) from 3V Sigma USA. No need for back-acid adjustment and high yield value too. (Beats those Lubrizol prices.) Being anionics, these are compatible with xanthan gum, guar too. Pumice, huh? I love  it - that's Old School formulating. 

  • Interesting on the Synthalen W600 @chemicalmatt. I hadn't heard of this product, so will read up on it.

    For the Carbopol Ultrez 20/21 I have an mixing question - after letting the powder self wet into the water, I would then add the SLS. Can I turn the mixer on full blast to get the SLS to dissolve in, or would this damage the powder?
  • Hi @Dan, you can only use low shear. Otherwise you will irreversibly cut the "nets" that Carbopol has formed and you will lose the viscosity. 
  • Dan said:
    Interesting on the Synthalen W600 @chemicalmatt. I hadn't heard of this product, so will read up on it.

    For the Carbopol Ultrez 20/21 I have an mixing question - after letting the powder self wet into the water, I would then add the SLS. Can I turn the mixer on full blast to get the SLS to dissolve in, or would this damage the powder?
    As @Paprik correctly mentions use low shear. Depends on what your mixer is, really. I've seen a shear homogeniser in action for bulk production that worked surprisingly well and benchtops I use a hand blender after wetting which has worked fine for Carbomer 940 (in both cases).
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