Thursday, May 5, 2011

Duplicating products: Wipes & towelettes (part 2)

We spent some time yesterday looking at what problems might face us with making wipes and towelettes, so let's take a moment today to look at some possible recipes for such a product.

ALCOHOL BASED TOWELETTE (more like the moist towelette than a cleaning cloth)
99% alcohol
0.5% preservative
0.5% fragrance (if desired)

This one you don't really need to preserve because something with this much alcohol (61% or higher) is self-preserving. I'm still including a preservative because I'm obsessive compulsive about these things andI feel you can never go wrong including a preservative!

If you want to make something like this with a cooling sensation but far less alcohol, consider this recipe.

ALCOHOL AND WITCH HAZEL MOIST TOWELETTE 
69% alcohol
30% witch hazel
0.5% preservative
0.5% fragrance (perhaps peppermint for a cooling sensation)

These two recipes are really more about getting a cooling sensation that will remove some germs from your hands (alcohol at 61% or more is considered an anti-bacterial thing). Your hands really won't feel moisturized unless you add something that will add actual moisturization to your hands (although the witch hazel does offer a little something). If you keep the alcohol at 61%, you can add a little aloe vera to the mix, or perhaps a water soluble oil. Consider adding a humectant like propylene glycol or Hydrovance at up to 3% to the mix - glycerin might be a bit sticky, so I wouldn't consider that as an option.

I considered using a polyquat in the mix that would add some moisturizing, but I soon realized that it would adsorb to the fabric, and I wouldn't really get a lot of benefits from it. 

If you want something that will cleanse your hands more like a baby wipe, you need to add a little surfactant to the mix. I don't think something with that much alcohol would be a good thing for a baby's tender bum!

BASIC RECIPE FOR A CLEANSING AND/OR MOISTURIZING TOWELETTE
93.5% distilled water
4% propylene glycol
2% disodium cocoamphodiacetate
0.5% preservative (or suggested amount for something other than liquid Germall Plus)

This will provide some very light cleansing without a lot of foam and some nice moisturizing with the propylene glycol. You could use glycerin here, but it might feel a bit sticky. Or you could use something like Hydrovance but make sure you get the pH just right! And you could use another very mild surfactant, like cocamidopropyl betaine or decyl glucoside, but make sure you get the pH with the latter.

If you want to use something like this after you've been in the workshop crafting or fixing some kind of machine, adding 2% d-Limonene and 2% polysorbate 20 to the mixture (mix the two together, then add) will help remove grease and oils from your hands!

Some wipes or towelettes are very watery products - almost like toners, filled with lovely extracts and moisturizers - and they don't include all that alcohol. My suggestion? Make up a really nice toner with high levels of humectants and moisturizers and soak your microfiber in that. Here's a starting recipe for a toner, and here's my favourite one (remove the Honeyquat and replace it with water or more hydrosol or witch hazel or even more protein, although too much protein can feel sticky!).

Make up any of these recipes, then soak your microfiber fabric in it until it is completely saturated with the product. Make sure every single section of the cloth is saturated as any cloth that is merely damp might not have enough preservative in it and you're just asking for contamination there. Seal in an airtight container and take out cloths as necessary. Don't make up a huge batch - soak maybe 10 at a time (if the fabric is as thin as the ones we get from baby wipe or wet wipe packages) and use them quickly. Make sure the lid to the container is sealed well every single time you open it!

But this isn't quite what Will had in mind. He wanted something far more moisturizing and cleansing! We're almost there, Will. Join me tomorrow as we take a look at lotion based wipes and towelettes, then some ideas for replicating the Garnier product you mentioned!

1 comment:

Will said...

Thanks again. This was the first site I came to when I had a free minute today!

Will