Citric acid dilution

crillzcrillz Member
I know when you are adding citric acid at the end of a formula you dilute it with generally 50 percent water first. I was wondering what is the reason though. Will it effect anything or not have same affect if it was just added by itself?


  • crillzcrillz Member
    Mainly talking about with making surfactant shampoo products but the question remains the same in all aspects
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    In my opinion, it's just easier to control the input and if it's 50% solution, it's easier to mix it thru.
    In other words, you would need to wait for the powder to dissolve and mix thru properly and a bit of it could make a big change in pH.
    Adding drop by drop gives you more control. 

    Maybe someone will have more science-like answer :)
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Paprik is correct. 

    It does not make a difference in the end result whether you add solid Citric Acid or Citric Acid solution other than you have more control using a Citric Acid solution and you add a bit more water. 

    If you do want to use solid Citric Acid you should add 0.05% at a time, let the solid completely dissolve while measuring the pH.  Keep track of the total amount of solid Citric Acid added and there's your full formula. 

    If this is a formula that you plan on making on a routine basis, adding the proper amount of solid Citric Acid would certainly speed up your batching.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
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