Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Glutaraldehyde pack with activator

  • Glutaraldehyde pack with activator

    Posted by Aanchal on June 3, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    We have been using Glutaraldehyde as a preservative for our surfactant system. It has 2 liquids that are to be mixed. One is the solution other is the activator. I read that once the 2 liquids are mixed, we need to use it in 4 weeks time, it loses efficacy thereafter.

    This was mentioned in some other brand’s pack. 

    Please can someone tell more about this? Does it last for just 4 weeks?

    Aanchal replied 4 years ago 3 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Pharma

    June 3, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    What is in those two packs EXACTLY?

  • Aanchal

    June 6, 2020 at 11:45 am

     thanks for responding.

    There is no mention of the content other than the small (100ml) bottle as the activator and the larger portion in jerry can as the ‘solution ‘.

    Attaching images too. 

    My intended use is as a preservative for surfactant system and not sterlization.

  • Pharma

    June 6, 2020 at 6:03 pm
    Do you have an MSDS or the like? I can’t find anything online.
    My guess is that the glutaraldehyde solution is acidic and hence stable and the activator is alkaline rendering it more active but stable.
    And that’s about it. Low pH = not sporicidal enough but stable for long time, higher pH = fully active and useful for sterilisation but unstable. Not much you could do to change those physico-chemical laws.
  • ozgirl

    June 7, 2020 at 11:39 am
    This document (https://vietducjsc.vn/upload/cdn/files/Protectol%20GA%2050%20-%20Technical%20Information.pdf) from BASF explains the stability of glutaraldehyde at different pH values. At high pH (~9) the glutaraldehyde degrades rapidly over a couple of months.
    You can test the concentration of glutaraldehyde using titrations or via test strips.
    I would look for a more suitable preservative.
  • Aanchal

    June 7, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for responding @Pharma and @ozgirl.

    So as long as the two are kept separate they are gonna be effective (after mixing). 


    I do not have the option of Isotheozolinone (viz. Kathon) as it is available only in huge quantity. Benzoate isn’t suitable for my dishwash gel as pH will be 8. What other options do I have? Any other preservative for a dishwash gel with LABSA , SLES, Betain and NaOh -chiefly these.

    Or do I stick to Glutaraldehyde and mix the two liquids in the quantity immediately needed? 

  • Aanchal

    June 7, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    How is methyl paraben as the sole preservative? 

  • ozgirl

    June 9, 2020 at 1:28 am
    Sorry I don’t have any experience with glutaraldehyde as a preservative (we used it in chemical toilet sanitation) so I cannot offer any advice there.
    There are a few preservatives that are suitable at pH 8 so it is best to talk to your suppliers. Here is some information on preservatives that might be of interest (https://makingskincare.com/preservatives/)

  • Pharma

    June 9, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Aanchal said:

    …dishwash gel…

    Honestly, I wouldn’t use an aldehyde in something which gets in touch with skin! That stuff is aggressive and allergenic.

  • Aanchal

    June 10, 2020 at 4:50 am

    @ozgirl thanks for responding.

    @Pharma. What preservative may I use then? 

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