Can I use a different preservative than the one you’ve used?

Maybe.

Different preservatives have different strengths and weaknesses, and different requirements for success that may or may not be compatible with the formulation. If you want to use a different preservative you’ll need to know what the new preservative needs, and if it is compatible with the formulation, or if the formulation can be made to be compatible.

You can learn more about the requirements of different preservatives here. If you don’t see the preservative you want to use listed, please refer to these blog posts (part 1, part 2) to learn how to research your ingredients and find that information.

Part of my development and testing process includes ensuring the preservative I include in the formulation is compatible with the formulation and works. If you’re changing up the preservative you’re using, you’ll need to do that testing work yourself. If you’re very familiar with your alternative preservative you’ll likely have a good feel for how it works; if it’s a brand-new-to-you preservative you’ll need to do more experimenting to get to know the preservative.

I also recommend giving this FAQ a read.

I’d also like to gently suggest that if an answer of “maybe” and “it depends” is not a sufficient answer for you, that you may not yet be at a level where switching around preservatives is in your wheelhouse. That’s ok, especially if you’ve been making for less than three years without any formal training. In that case, I recommend sticking with the recommend preservatives in formulations until you’ve learned more.

Posted in: Preservatives

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