At what point do you need a preservative?

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BattleGnome

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I am diluting a “curl defining lotion” into a spray bottle for quicker use. If I only make enough for a week at a time do I need a preservative? I have a 6oz bottle with a trigger that I’m filling less than halfway with water and giving a good squirt of the hair lotion.

I’ve been trying to give my hair some more care lately but have a aversion to gels/hair gunk on my hands, there’s always a residue. This is just going to be on my bathroom counter for streamlining my morning routine, no sharing/gifting/selling.
 

Todd Ziegler

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Personally I would recommend using a preservative, especially if there is a chance someone else might use it. Even if it is only six days, you could still get bacteria that can make you sick.

Preservatives have went up in price a lot in the last year but you won't need a lot for the size you mentioned. Better safe than sorry.
 

BattleGnome

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Thanks guys. I had a feeling I’d need something but wanted confirmation.

I’ll be off re-researching preservatives and trying to remember the last time I even bought one (lotion making wasn’t for me)
 

Quanta

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You will need to use the same preservative that is in the original product, if at all possible. That product was formulated with that specific preservative, and many preservatives are inactivated by certain ingredients and pH levels. Plus, if you mix and match preservative systems, you might not have enough of any one thing to kill germs. If you don't mind, can you post a link to the manufacturer's product page so I can see the list of ingredients?

What I would do, is sanitize a larger bottle (with 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, or better yet, something like Star San) and weigh into it distilled water and the preservative in the required dilution ratio. Make sure you label this bottle. Make enough for several batches in the smaller spray bottle. Then, use that water in your spray bottle when you dilute the hair lotion. When the spray bottle runs out, wash it and sanitize it with your sanitizer of choice. Then use some more of the water+preservative mix to dilute more hair lotion. It is very important that you use sanitizer to keep it clean between refills. If you go with alcohol, make sure it's 70% because the alcohol won't be able to do its thing without that 30% water. 99% is not more sanitizing than 70%.
 

BattleGnome

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Thanks for the advice.

the more I’m working with my hair it seems the spray bottle method isn’t going to work. If nothing else, there is no vent in the bathroom and I don’t appreciate spraying my head with cold water to wake up. I’m just going to have to get over myself and deal with the weird creams
 
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