Glycerin: Information and Common Uses

Cremer North America is proud to be one of the leading providers of glycerin in the United States.

Glycerin (also called glycerine) is an odorless, sweet-tasting liquid that is widely used in a variety of products from haircare and topical ointments to food additives and medicines.

Glycerin breakdown

At the most basic level, Glycerin is a viscous, colorless, non-toxic liquid. It typically comes from triglycerides found in plant and animal sources such as soybeans, palm, and tallow. It is usually produced on a large scale to aid in its wide distribution in a multitude of products.

Common products and unique uses

Glycerin is used in many everyday applications for personal, pharmaceutical, and industrial use.

It contains antimicrobial and antiviral properties, thus making it a vital ingredient in wound treatment, cough syrups, and various ointments. It is also used as a humectant (moisturizer), sweetener, solvent and as a preserve in many personal, edible, and industrial items such as:

  • Skin creams
  • Hair conditioners
  • Lotions
  • Toothpaste
  • Candy
  • Pasta
  • Soup
  • Margarine
  • Cough syrup
  • Ointments
  • Vapor for electronic cigarettes
  • Vehicle anti-freeze
  • Paint

Aside from these common applications, glycerin has some unique uses as well.

It is often used in film production to keep areas on the set that need to be wetted down from drying too fast. Another interesting use is as a key ingredient in a fog machine. In this way, glycerin is combined with other ingredients to create a smoky substance, which is then piped through a ventilator to create the fog effect in a space.

Whether for practical or niche purposes, glycerin is used in a vast variety of ways in our daily lives.

For more detailed information, spec sheets, and glycerin applications, visit this page.

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