Liquid Germall™ Plus

What is it? Liquid Germall™ Plus is a broad-spectrum preservative that is effective in a wide variety of formulations and pH environments.

The limiting ingredient in Liquid Germall™ Plus for regulatory purposes is the Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate. The maximum usage rate of 0.5% Liquid Germall™ Plus results in 0.002% Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate in finished formulations, which is below the maximum usage rate for leave-on and rinse off purposes in the USA, EU, and Japan. In the EU, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate is not to be used on children under 3 years of age unless in rinse-off products. No such restriction exists in the USA or Japan, so I’d say it’s up to you if you wish to use this preservative in leave-on products for people under 3 years.

Liquid Germall™ Plus is a patented product made by Ashland.

INCI Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
Appearance Viscous clear liquid
Usage rate 0.1–0.5%, though Ashland reports efficacy as low as 0.06% and recommends higher concentrations for more complex formulations. I’ve never encountered spoilage at 0.5%, even in very challenging formulations.
Scent Nothing noticeable in end products
Approximate Melting Point Liquid at room temperature
pH range 3–8
Charge compatability Cationic, anionic, and non-ionic compatible.
Solubility Liquid Germall™ Plus is water-soluble.
Why do we use it in formulations? Liquid Germall™ Plus protects our products from microbial spoilage (bacteria, yeast, fungus). I’ve used it for years in all kinds of formulations and have found it to be an incredibly reliable, effective preservative.

In addition to its versatility in terms of efficacy, it also works over a broad pH range, generally negating the need to test the pH of your end product unless you know it contains high concentrations of extremely acidic or basic ingredients. If you don’t want to invest in pH testing equipment, this is a great added bonus!

Do you need it? highly recommend it. Even if you don’t want to use it forever, it’s a great starter preservative, allowing you to familiarize yourself with other aspects of making and formulating without worrying about preservation.
Refined or unrefined? Liquid Germall™ Plus only exists as a refined product.
Strengths It is very effective at low concentrations, and functions in a wide variety of formulations. According to Ashland, Liquid Germall™ Plus “is compatible with virtually all cosmetic ingredients including complex ingredients such as proteins and surfactants.”
Weaknesses Liquid Germall™ Plus can be very hard to find outside of North America.
Alternatives & Substitutions Please read this FAQ.
How to Work with It Add Liquid Germall™ Plus to the cool-down phase of your formulations; do not heat above 50°C (122°F).

Liquid Germall™ Plus is not approved for use in aerosols, but it is ok for use in products packaged in mister/spray bottles. This is because the mists made by mister bottles are nowhere near as fine as an aerosol mist is. Ashland, the manufacturer of Liquid Germall™ Plus, has shared several sample “spray” formulations preserved with Liquid Germall™ Plus.

Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Liquid Germall™ Plus should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Diazolidinyl Urea is considered safe up to 0.5%; given it is just a component of the overall product with a maximum usage rate of 0.5%, we’re well below that.

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate is present at 0.004% in Liquid Germall™ Plus; 0.5% usage means a finished formulation will contain 0.002% Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate. This is well below the CIR limit of 0.1%.

Recommended starter amount 30g (1.06oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier.

Want to learn more about preservatives and compare them? Check out this chart!

Some Formulations that Use Liquid Germall™ Plus


Posted on

August 21, 2020