Monday, July 6, 2009

D-Limonene in your cleansers

As I mentioned yesterday, I love d-Limonene and can find a use for it in almost everything! Remember to add d-Limonene to any water based or surfactant based products by using equal parts d-Limonene and polysorbate 20 as your emulsifier/solubilizer. If you are creating an oil based product - and I haven't been able to think of a cleaning product that's only oil based! - you don't need to include the polysorbate 20. And as with every product we make, ensure you add your preservative! There's no point in cleaning with a contaminated product!

SURFACE CLEANSER - rubbing alcohol based
10% d-Limonene
10% polysorbate 20
79 - 79.5% rubbing alcohol
0.5% to 1% preservative

Mix the d-Limonene and polysorbate together in a small container. Fill a bottle with rubbing alcohol, then add the d-Limonene mixture and preservative. Shake well. A spray bottle works well for this.

I find this is a good cleanser for cleaning labels from bottles or really stubborn grease stains from my workshop table.

SURFACE CLEANSER - vinegar based
10% d-Limonene
10% polysorbate 20
40% water
39 to 39.5% vinegar
0.5% to 1% preservative

Follow the instructions above. I find this to be a great cleanser for getting waxy or greasy stains off glass products.

SURFACE CLEANSER - with surfactant
5% d-Limonene
5% polysorbate 20
5% Amphosol CG or coco betaine
5% anionic surfactant of choice - something like SLeS, Bioterge 804, or decyl glucoside
79 to 79.5% water
0.5% to 1% preservative

Mix the polysorbate 20 and d-Limonene together in a small container. In another container, mix the surfactants together - try not to get too much foam - then add the surfactants and preservative and mix together again. Add the polysorbate 20 and d-Limonene, and package in a spray bottle.

This won't be too foamy as the d-Limonene is an oil and the polysorbate 20 is a solubilizer, and neither of these play well with surfactants! So we're using their natural de-foaming and de-lathering abilities to creating a surfactant based cleanser that won't foam up too much!

Have fun playing with d-Limonene. It is the degreasing ingredient of a thousand uses - well, mostly degreasing things, but you can add it to any products you think might need some degreasing power. Try it at 5% with a foaming bath butter and some pumice to make a degreaser for the workshop. Try it at 5% in a liquid soap or hand soap product (and include a complementary fragrance at 1% and a bit of colour to make it fancy) for the bathroom. Add it to any product you're already making to see if you like it!


jolambert said...

hi recently found your posts and i'm very inspired by you! could you guide me to a supplier of d-Limonene in the usa? i can't seem to locate one i'm afraid of the shippping costs from a company in canada. i'm so wanting to try the cleaner recipes thanks in advance. jolambert

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I have no idea what the shipping charges are from Voyageur, but they appear to be your only choice. (Wow, I didn't realize how lucky I was to be so close to them!) I've checked the usual suppliers - Brambleberry, NDA, Lotioncrafter, Herbarie, Southern Soapers, the Personal Formulator, From Nature with Love, and Snowdrift Farms and found nothing. You could check eBay, or if you have a supplier I haven't listed here, maybe they can help?

You can use citrus based essential oils - key lime is fantastic, and you can use orange, sweet orange, lemon, bergamot, and so on - but they generally cost a lot more than d-Limonene (maybe not the lemon!)

If you do order from Voyageur, check out their surfactants - they have some nice ones - and have a peek at their mineral make-up supplies. Although the micas are fairly typical, you can get the serecite mica, micronospheres, ronaspheres, and other fillers from them that I've had trouble getting all in one place.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

jolambert said...

hi after much searching i found someone in the usa and was told it is 100% d-Limonene. thanks for the help you thought of places i didn't. one of these days i'm going to bite the bullet and order from Voyageur. (i've been making alot of items with your help, toner, mineral makeup, conditioner,shampoo to name afew!) Thank You!!!! for all your encouragement jolambert

Anonymous said...

I love d-Limonene. One time it removed dried latex from my clothing. Unbelievable stuff. I used it straight that time.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to ask...for the alcohol based cleaner, why would we need a preservative if it contains so much alcohol?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I add preservative to everything just in case. I never know if someone might dilute it with tap water or stick their fingers into it and so on, so I figure it's safer to put the preservative into the product just in case the end user does something silly!

craziedde said...


I'm looking to created dishwashing liquid.

I was thinking something like.
d-Limonene + vinegar.

What would be your recommendation for this recipe?

Is there any other green alternative besides d-Limonene?

Clive said...

One more use: adding a little D-Limonene to cold process soap oils gives a harder bar without having to use sodium lactate.

Zenobiah said...

I am totally making this. I got D-Limonene on Ebay. Hopefully it will make it easier to clean up after making soap and whipped shea.

Anonymous said...

I hope I am not too late to ask a question here? I am trying to figure out a way to thicken my dish soap. It is a coconut castille based with decyl glucoside, coco betaine, glycerine, plus limonene/polysorbate. I have tried borax and salt so far, but neither worked for me. As soon as I add the limonene/polysorbate it turns to a watery consistency (and they made the mixture cloudy and seperate. Is there anything I can use to thicken my liquid soap? I hope so! I am stumped.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. We have a policy that you must put your name on your comment. Please put it on lest I am forced to remove it.

Neither borax nor salt will thicken your product. You need to take a look at Crothix or Ritathix - look at the right hand side of the blog under the ingredients list - and see if those will help. I have a feeling neither will. I'm not sure what else to suggest. Look into xanthan gum as well.

Anonymous said...

glycerine will thicken liquid soap.

janelle said...

for the d-limonene, is that 5% of the finished diluted soap weight, or 5% of the paste weight? BIG difference...

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Janelle. Just add it to the finished product at 5% of the finished product's weight.

Crystal Kary said...

I have granite countertops and can't use anything accidic, so what could I use in place of D-Limonene? Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I would like to create a vinegar based surface cleanser with d-limonene but was looking for a polysorbate 20 substitute to keep the product "all natural." Would Glyceryl Cocoate act as a decent substitute? Thanks!