Monday, April 5, 2010

Hand Dishwashing Liquid

Fortunately, once you've got the goodies to make Laundry Detergent, you're set to go on all sorts of other projects. One of them is hand dishwashing liquid. I do own a dishwasher, and it does work just fine. However, I also own a number of dishes that are not dishwasher safe, or simply don't like being washed in the dishwasher. I also don't see the point in putting dishes in the dishwasher all the time- if the only dishes in the sink are 2 plates, 2 forks and 2 cups, I just wash them by hand and put them in the dish drainer, rather than take 3 days to load the dishwasher before running it. I figure I'm using the water/soap/sponge to rinse them before putting them in the dishwasher anyway, I might as well take the extra minute it takes to really wash them and just be done with it. Its not that our dishwasher doesn't perform adequately- It just isn't going to get dishes clean that have been sitting and drying for several days. I make the dishwashing liquid 2 different ways, since DH complains about how the moisturizing one makes his hands feel all "girly". The first recipe is for the original dishwashing liquid, which is very moisturizing. If I start washing dishes with dry, cracked hands they are soft and smooth when I'm done. The only trouble with it is that it tends to make your dishes spot. I'm sure that could be conquered with a vinegar rinse, but who wants to go to that trouble for handwash dishes? The water spots don't really bother me, since I know that they are just the result of minerals in my hard water, but I'd still rather they not be there. The second recipe is actually rather drying to your hands, but doesn't leave the water spots (it rinses brilliantly clean) and DH doesn't complain about having girly hands- take your pick!

I bottle each in a recycled dish soap bottle- from Dawn, Palmolive, whatever you've got on hand.

Moisturizing Dishwashing Liquid:

1 bar soap (I use Ivory here also- and in fact, I buy Ivory in a large multipack to save money as I use it in so many things)- I grate the whole thing, but you only need 1/2 bar for 1 batch of dish soap
1/4 cup liquid glycerine (this is the moisturizing/emollient ingredient and I buy pure vegetable glycerine at the natural foods store)
3 cups hot water
lemon oil

Basically you do this the same way you do laundry detergent. Put the water in a pot on the stove and heat it til it's super hot, but not boiling. Grate/whittle the soap and put it in the pot of hot water and stir til its dissolved. Add the glycerine and stir it til its dissolved. I then bottle it up in an old Dawn or Palmolive bottle and leave at least a couple of inches of headspace, then let it sit til its a little warmer than room temperature. The headspace is necessary, because this stuff sets up THICK and goopy and you need room to shake it vigorously before you use it the first time. The vigorous shaking loosens up the gel and makes it usable. While it's still liquid, but cooled, I add about 1 teaspoon of lemon oil (which helps break up grease) and 2 drops of red food coloring. The food coloring is completely unnecessary, but it makes the final product a lovely opaque powder pink that I just love. Without food color, the soap is pure, pearly white. Until you add the lemon oil, which turns it dingy. I don't like the dingy color, so I cover it up. Of course you can use any color you want.

If you let this stuff sit for more than a few days, it will get very thick again and you just need to shake it up really well and it goes back to being easy to use and pour out of a squeeze bottle. If it's just too thick for you to manage, dump it all back into the pot on the stove, and heat it up til its just liquid again (don't get it too hot or all of your oil will evaporate out), then add 1 more cup of water and let cool. This process can be repeated til the final product has the consistency you desire.

When I get around to making this particular recipe again, I plan to try using grapefruit oil or orange oil instead of lemon oil. I don't much care for the lemon scent, and I'm pretty sure that orange or grapefruit will do just as well for grease cutting.

Hand Dishwashing Liquid II
1/2 bar soap- grated
1/4 cup Borax
1/4 cup Washing Soda (See instructions for Laundry Detergent for more information on Washing Soda)
3 cups water
essential oil of your choice (I use one called "Joyful Spirit" which is a blend of Orange, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot and Vetiver- mostly citrus and bright smelling, but the ylang ylang makes it slightly perfumy. This is the same oil I use in all of my home cleaning products)
*I usually double the recipe so I'm not making soap all the time. It keeps just dandy in a juice bottle under the sink

Put the water in a pot on the stove and heat til almost boiling. Add soap flakes and stir til dissolved. Add washing soda, and stir til dissolved. The washing soda will cause the soapy water to thicken and gel a bit. Add the Borax and stir til dissolved. Bottle and allow to cool until no longer steaming. Add essential oil until it smells as much as you desire (the essential oil isn't really "essential"- I just do it because I like things to smell nice). I also add a couple of drops of red food color to this soap to make a pink final product.

This soap rinses very clean and I've never yet seen a single water spot. DH likes it because he can wash his hands with it and they don't get all soft and girly. I would note that it's not the BEST soap for black, thick "garage grease", and so I still keep a bottle of Dawn on hand for that, but either of these 2 hand dishwashing soaps will very effectively cut greasy messes on your dishes.

Happy washing!

After this was officially posted, I tried making a batch of soap that I hoped would be the happy medium between the two recipes. I made it according to the recipe for the "drying" soap, but used Dove. Turns out that the "moisturizer" in Dove is probably glycerine! I got a pretty gooey result, however, it washes like a DREAM! In the future I will either use this recipe, or will make a double batch and use 1 bar of ivory and 1 bar of dove.

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