Zinc stearate is a "zinc soap" that is widely used industrially. It is a white solid that repels water. It is insoluble in polar solvents such as alcohol and ether but soluble in aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g., benzene) and chlorinated hydrocarbons when heated. It is the most powerful mold release agent among all metal soaps. It contains no electrolyte and has a hydrophobic effect. Its main application areas are the plastics and rubber industry, where it is used as a releasing agent and lubricant.
- It is widely used as a release agent for the production of many kinds of objects: rubber, polyurethane, polyester.
- In cosmetics, zinc stearate is a lubricant and thickening agent used to improve texture.
- Being lipophilic, it functions as a phase transfer catalyst for the saponification of fats.