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Published: November 30, 2021

Q. What are some cleaning concerns for the Cosmetic industry?

A. Cosmetic manufacturing involves many oils, pigments, emollients, waxes, serums, and “waterproof” ingredients. Difficult-to-clean residues include titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mascara, and silicone oil (siloxane) emollients.  These can be located in the labs where they are developed, the manufacturing and process facilities where they are produced, or the spas and salons where they are used.

Titanium dioxide, for example, is used as a pigment and pearlescent ingredient in many cosmetic and personal care creams and lotions.  When heated and mixed in stainless steel manufacturing equipment, titanium dioxide can form titanate salts that are very difficult to remove.  Contrary to conventional cleaning wisdom, you do not want to clean titanium dioxide using hot cleaning solutions because this can make the titanate formation worse.  Titanates are white, filmy, very difficult to remove residues.   To remove titanium dioxide, try to minimize any exposure to heat to minimize titanate formation during manufacturing and blending; use cool/ambient temperature detergent solutions to clean with.  Rinse with the same to avoid emulsion breaking (due to thermal shock).

In contrast, we recommend using elevated temperature cleaning to remove silicone oil and waxes (serums, lipsticks and the like).  We recommend cleaning with very hot (170F / 80C) alkaline detergents followed by a very hot first rinse at the same temperature. (Again, to avoid thermal shock of the emulsions and redepositing the residue you are trying to remove.)  Subsequent rinses can be done using cooler water.

We are happy to further discuss what specific detergents can assist you in your cosmetic needs, whether lab, manufacturing or in the spa/salon, or review our website and Critical Cleaning of Cosmetics TechBrief.

Our major weapons for these difficult residues are Detonox® Ultimate Precision Cleaner and Keylajet® Low-foaming Chelating High Alkaline Liquid for foaming and low foaming applications respectively.

To use any Alconox Inc. detergents for free, please complete the questionnaire at Get Sample.  For more information about any one of our Alconox Inc. detergents, consult the technical bulletin for each product. Or click here to access each of our detergent’s Safety Data Sheets.

Do you have a critical cleaning question for the experts at Alconox Inc.?  Search TechNotes to see if it’s been answered before or Ask Alconox.

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