In my quest to make everything I use… I’ve been trying for an Ecover-style dishwashing detergent for some time now. We’re still doing dishes the old fashion way, and cooking elaborate meals a couple times a day makes for a fair amount of dish washing, and many bottles of dish soap. Ecover doesn’t list their exact ingredients, but after working with surfactants for a while, I narrowed it down to three – two anionic and one “zwitterionic” coconut-based surfactants. Plus water, thickener, and Essential Oils.
Right. Anyway, it took me a few times to finally get it right, and I’m very pleased with the end result. (And I have about 15 bottles of chunky or runny dish soap that works just fine, too.) I tried adding aloe vera, along with different emulsifiers, but it just separated every time. The final (good) batch has essential oils of Sweet Orange, Lemon, and Lemongrass — a bit too orangey for my nose, but I think the orange EO helps with grease-cutting. (Or, at least that’s what I’ve been told, though this does work better than my unscented dish soap, albeit liquidy and/or chunky).
I’ve done three loads of dishes today, and this stuff measures up to Ecover. It’s just a bit thinner — I hope to find a happy medium between thin and chunky some day.
I should go focus on other things now.