Thursday, July 30, 2009

Liquid Germall Plus in spray formulations

Mich asked the following question in a comment:

I do have a question: I have seen that Liquid Germall Plus should NOT be used in products that are to be aerosolized. Link from Lotioncrafters on Liquid Germall Plus. Do you think that would include using it in ANY type of spray formula, or just something you're spritzing all over like a room spray? (I wonder if you're not supposed to breathe it in or what.)

Excellent question! There is a debate about using Liquid Germall Plus in aerosols.

ISP, the makers of Liquid Germall Plus, list it under their "aerosols" category on their site, and generally we go by what the manufacturer suggests. (This MSDS that indicates that Liquid Germall Plus is not a hazard for inhalation under "normal use conditions". What does that mean?). But many supplier pages will tell you not to use it in an aerosol format...but what exactly is an aerosol? From Southern Soapers:

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate (one of the ingredients in LGP) should not be used in oral hygiene products, lip products, or in aerosolized sprays. Microscopic droplets are dispensed into the air and easily inhaled with the use of aerosol spray delivery systems. However, aerosolized products use tremendous PSI pressure to achieve microscopic dispersion, something that Fine Spray Misters are not remotely capable of. Typical fine spray misters are more of a topical delivery system, with particles much too large and heavy to inhale in the manner of aerosolized sprays.

So a fine spray mister - like the ones we get from supply stores - are not powerful enough to disperse our products microscopically. So is that the issue? Not using Liquid Germall Plus in an aerosol that could disperse microscopically? But I've found formulation after formulation for mousses and hair products (like this one or these ones) from manufacturers that use Liquid Germall Plus in their professional aerosol formulations that are dispersing microscopically!

I'm feeling so confused right now because it seems to be common knowledge that we shouldn't use Liquid Germall Plus in sprays, but everything I've found doesn't indicate this is a problem at all! So I turn to the master, LabRat, for information and I find this post where he formulates a linen spray with Liquid Germall Plus. In a second post he notes: "If I were making a linen spray and I had to use water as the principle carrier for my fragrance, I would use Germall Plus. Germaben II would be my second choice."

So I'm going to leave it there for now because it's getting too hot to sit in the computer room and type (we're expecting 35C today, but it'll feel like 36C! Yesterday it was 38.8 - a new record! woo hoo? - and it's supposed to go down from there).

I'm comfortable using Liquid Germall Plus in spray applications given what I've found today, but if you are still wary consider these other preservatives (but note that Tinosan is not appropriate for cationic recipes). Germaben II is usually the suggested preservative for sprays at 0.5% to 1.0%, but it does contain parabens, which some people avoid.

Happy formulating!


Mich said...

WOW! A whole post! You really are fantastic!
(I don't know how to make one of those bowing smilies, but consider yourself being adulated right now.)

This was one of those questions that's been bothering me on & off for a little while. Your answer makes total sense given the info that I've culled too...that the particles usually don't get fine enough with a regular spray bottle to be truly considered "aerosol".

Thanks so much for confirming my suspicions. BTW, I made the detangler for my little one yesterday (with Germaben II; scented with WSP Bobbi Brown Beach--OMG, it smells so good!) and her bedhead today was much better than usual. So thank you also for promoting household harmony!

Swiftcraftymonkey--best blog ever!

A Fajardo said...

I just came across this as I was trying to read about Cetrimonium Chloride which I used to make your simple hair detangling conditioner spray. I had used it twice only because I noticed my throat was irritated I guess from inhaling some of the sprayed particles. Because I thought I was allergic to one of the ingredients, I stopped using it. So now that I read this blog, I might want to conclude that it was the preservative, LGP that was causing my throat irritation?