Shampoo, distilled water, Heat-and-Hold or Not???

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Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2014
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Hi, I've been reading swift monkey's blog and tried making shampoo.
It's a success,though I tried the easiest ( aka least ingredients recipe ).

But something just bugs my mind. Why don't we make shampoo the way we make lotions? I know it's a wash off product. I know we humans have plethora of micro germs, bacteria, etc. on our bodies already.
Is distilled water simply mix with surfactant & preservatives do the trick? ( of course work place hygiene and disinfect bottles, hands, and whole nine yards.)
Can someone enlighten me, please?
Thanks in advance.
Here's my take on your question --

Any emulsified lotion provides two key ingredients needed for cooties to thrive -- water and a decent food source in the form of fat. A well designed shampoo more likely contains just surfactants, water, preservatives, and a minimum of carefully selected additives -- so it is not nearly as good a food source to microbes as lotion is. I think this is one reason why shampoo doesn't require heating for pasteurization. Also heat often helps an emulsion to form easier and be more stable, so that's another benefit of heating the ingredients for lotion. A shampoo isn't an emulsion, so heating to enhance emulsification is a non-issue for shampoo.

If a person doesn't take care with the additives when formulating a lotion or shampoo, however, it's easy to create a disaster for effective preservation. Loading a shampoo or lotion with microbe food such as milk, sugars, and other botanical additives, causes the contamination risk to go up greatly. Cosmetic formulators who do this for a living will not use high amounts of these additives in their products. Hobby crafters don't always appreciate the hazards, so sometimes their recipes are pretty risky and prone to fail, even with the use of a good broad spectrum preservative and pasteurization.
As to the question in your title, I always heat and hold my distilled water and any liquid ingredients that are included in the water phase. This goes especially for distilled water that has been opened. Who knows what microbes have invaded the water when it was opened.
Thank you both for take time and thought to answer my question. I think you two both have a point. And DeeAnna is so right that home crafters just want to put every drops of goodies and don't take a gurth thought about preservatives and nasty mold or the like. :D

I will remember that next I try a new formula.