Yes, this citrus oil ingredient can cut through greasy messes with only a few squirts, leaving you more time to make delightful bath and body creations your family and friends will enjoy! But wait, there's more! It smells nice, is nice to the environment, and you can get a year's supply for less than $10. Now are you interested?
No, I'm not trying to sell you something - I've just been listening to too many podcasts of "The Age of Persuasion" (CBC Radio - it's awesome!) and I thought I'd try my hand at marketing. It doesn't suit me!
This solvent, derived from the skin of citrus fruits, really can cut through grease, wax, and oil very easily. When you see "orange oil" in products, that's d-Limonene. Those cleansers you see in workshops and garages - the odds are the degreasing ingredient is d-Limonene. If you're looking to make greener products, you'll want to invest in d-Limonene. And considering it's about $10 for 500 ml, you can make a ton of products for not a lot of money.
And it really is green. Citrus fruits are a renewable resource, and it's biodegradable. So where's the down side? (I couldn't find any. It's generally regarded as safe - GRAS - although some people might be sensitive to it, so test yourself before using large quantities of it!)
Suggested amounts for d-Limonene range from 5% to 20% in various products. Here's how I use it most...Weigh 10% d-Limonene and 10% polysorbate 20 in a small container and mix well. Add to 80% by weight dishwashing liquid. Package. Rejoice!
Always combine equal amounts of d-Limonene and polysorbate 20. It's an oil based product, so the polysorbate 20 acts as your emulsifier to include it in surfactant mixes. Assume when I write "Use 5% d-Limonene" I'm also writing "with an equal amount of polysorbate 20" when it's a water based mixture.
I use this for all my post-crafting clean up by filling the sink with water, then squirting in the dishwashing liquid-d-Limonene combination. I let it sit in hot water for a bit - I'm easily distracted so it could be a while - and when I return, the grease and everything just slides off the containers, so I give them a quick clean and they're ready to go into the dishwasher. And the nice thing? The grease disintegrates, so I don't have clogged pipes. This is a great cleanser for post-chocolate making as well, but it will degrade the moulds over time, so use it when you really really really don't feel like cleaning! (Having said this, I've probably washed my moulds 20 times with d-Limonene and I still don't have any wear and tear on them. And yes, I really don't feel like cleaning most of the time!)
Add d-Limonene at 2% for shampoo for oily haired people or dogs. Use 5% d-Limonene with vinegar for a window degreaser. And if you make liquid soap - especially castille - include it at 5% for a wonderful degreaser! (Or 10% if you wish!) You can add it to your own or purchased hand sanitizer at 2 to 5% or use it in a hand cleanser at the same amounts (I did see a recipe including 25% in a hand cleanser, but this seems really high and very drying to your skin!). You could use foaming bath butter with pumice and d-Limonene to make an incredible, moisturizing hand cleanser for the workshop.
It smells very nice mixed with mint or tea tree essential oils. Or add some key lime to make a citrus blend that smells amazing!
Voyageur has some great recipes for natural cleaning products...click here to see the list (look for the natural cleaner package and laundry soap package). I can't get it to download with Safari - perhaps you'll have better luck with another browser!
Join me tomorrow if you want to make a few d-Limonene cleaning recipes. If you simply can't wait, then please visit the post on surfactants and gels for my gardener's hand scrub!