Friday, January 2, 2015

Using d-Limonene in your cleaning products

I hate cleaning up after super happy fun crafting time in my workshop, but it's made much easier by using my cleansers with d-Limonene. This fancy sounding ingredient is orange oil - you've seen the ads for cleaners with this stuff before - and it's a fantastic way to cut through grease from your oil soluble ingredients.

It's super easy to use - mix 5% d-Limonene with 5% polysorbate 20, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, or PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, then add to 90% of your favourite dishwashing liquid and you have yourself a grease cutting liquid that can't be beat!

I also make an awesome spray cleaner with it!

SURFACE CLEANSER - with surfactant
5% d-Limonene
5% polysorbate 20
6% surfactant of choice, including coco betaine or castille soap
73.5% 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 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!

And here's a version I found on the Voyageur website a while ago...

SURFACE CLEANER with castille soap
35 grams d-Limonene
40 grams polysorbate 20
405 grams water
35 grams vinegar
40 grams castille soap
2.5 grams liquid Germall Plus

Mix the first two ingredients together, then add the water, vinegar, soap, and preservative in that order. Mix well. Put into a bottle and rejoice.

I get mine from Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C., but I've seen it at New Direction Aromatics (Canada or USA site). It isn't expensive! At $10 for 250 ml, you've got enough to last you all year, unless you have a giant house and use tons of it! You can use orange or lemon essential oil for this application too, but they aren't as grease cutting as d-Limonene.

Related posts:
d-Limonene: Awesome cleansing power!
My favourite dishwashing liquid with d-Limonene
d-Limonene in your cleansers: More recipes


Lynnie said...

Hi. Im a novice soap maker, but my understanding has always been that real liquid soap (made with potassium hydroxide) doesn't need preservatives because the ph is too high for bacterial growth. Is this false? It's what seemingly all liquid soap makers say.

Also, thank you so much for all your information. Even though I prefer my ingredients to be as natural and pure as possible, thanks to your blog I've finally learned and accepted that there are some things I won't be able to do 100% naturally. Like emulsifying lotions and preserving them. You really are an expert at this stuff and I appreciate your blog and help so very much! With all the popularity making your own stuff has gotten lately, there has been horribly false information circling around. It's nice to have blogs like yours with factual information.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lynnie. It is my understanding that liquid soap has a pH that is too high to need a preservative. I've seen referenced by many different people, so I would call that a sound concept. When it is diluted, that's another thing, and I think it needs to have a preservative at that point.

Thank you for your kind words. My goal is to provide accurate information based on evidence, and I'm glad you think I'm doing that! :-)

Lynnie said...

Hmmmm...that's so interesting! what I have read is that even diluted soap will have a ph of 10 which is too high for anything to grow.. I will investigate further and try to find sources for you- I definitely want this figured out as I plan on making liquid soap in the future. I don't think I've seen any liquid soap makers say they use preservatives and I know most of them test their ph levels. I will come back with what I find, if you're interested.

And you're doing a great job! I appreciate it very much. :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lynnie. It depends upon the dilution. If you're talking about a recipe like the ones I posted here, then you'll need a preservative. If you're talking about 90% soap and 10% water, then probably not. As with most things, the answer is that it depends on type of soap and the dilution. As well, a lot of the time when the soap is diluted, other things are added to it, which could need preservation (like botanical ingredients, hydrosols, and so on).

I guess my question this this - what's the worst thing that happens if you add preservative?

lynnie said...

well yes of course, but everyone's dilution rate varies and id love to know what the max dilution is.
and, well, some of us really don't like using them unless we have to. like for my anhydrous formulas I would never add a preservative, even for a scrub, i just tell people to use clean dry hands or use a scoop, and since people come to me looking for pure natural handmade skin care they don't mind doing this if it means a product 100% free of synthetics. I know our opinions differ on this, and I definitely respect yours - but for me if I'm using a preservative I want to know why I'm using it and if it's needed. and if there's a chance I might not need it by diluting to a correct %, Id much rather do that. and as a soap maker always hearing liquid soap never needs a preservative (within reasonable dilution rates) I'd like to stick with that camp if possible! Hopefully I'll be able to find a maximum dilution guideline for a high ph with liquid soap paste. I know there are other soap makers who would benefit from this so thank you for posting this! now I can make sure my dilution rate doesn't mess up my power to not use a preservative in yet another formula!
don't worry I will use a preservative if I know I have to, I just like to make sure. thank you for this post!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lynnie. I really can't stress enough how much a pH meter would help you here. If you use 5% in 95% water, it's so simple to just test the pH to figure out whether or not you should use a preservative. I think there'll be too much of a difference between different batches of soaps - different hands create different products - that it's hard to come up with a rule that you can follow. 10% of something might be the same pH as 5% of another or 15% of another, and I'd hate to take that risk.

Leslie said...

Hi Susan,

I was wondering how you keep your d-limonene, Do you refrigerate or freeze it? I saw somewhere that it only has a 9 month shelf life. Do you agree with this? Also, can I use polysorbate 80 instead of 20. I have lots of 80 and no 20. The recipe you gave for making a d-limonene with vinegar cleanser makes the BEST bath and shower cleaner. Spray on, wipe off - DONE. Love your blog, you have taught me SO MUCH!!! Leslie

Walter Phillip said...

Thanks for your precious house cleaning tips!! I am looking for a reliable house cleaner on part time basis. I would prefer a certified cleaner that has knowledge of green cleaning. Please provide your recommendations guys!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Walter! Your comment is idiotic! You link to a cleaning service, so your attempt to act like a befuddled blog reader who is eager to hire one is simply embarrassing! Why don't you try this spam thing again, only this time why don't you find a way of indicating that you support the cleaners to which you link so you can say that they're great or something. Right now, it looks like you have no endorsement for them!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Leslie. I keep mine in a bottle in a cool, dark place. I think you got the information that it has a 9 month shelf life from a commenter on NDA? I have always seen that it has an 18 month to 2 year shelf life, so I'm not sure where this information arose.

Reference (just one example): Florida Chemical

Valerie Jaquith said...

I love limonene and other citrus oils in my castile based liquid soap formulations. My ratio is close 70% soap, 20% water + other ingredients including 3% limonene, 3% citrus blend eos. Ph tested with meter 10.45 - would this formula benefit from the addition of an antioxidants such as gse or rosemary leaf extract to protect the citrus oils from oxidation?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Valerie. As I mentioned in the other comment and as Esther mentioned on the Facebook page, we haven't heard of it oxidizing, so there's no point in putting in an anti-oxidant unless you really feel like doing so.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Valerie: Where did you see this information that d-Limonene oxidizes?

Stacy _ said...

It's nice that the spammers disguise their posts so well. They don't look like spam at all!

I know this is an old post, but I'm about to try out your recipe for the spray cleaner with surfactant and the percentages only add up to 90%. I assume it's suppose to be 83.5% Water, but I just thought I'd let you know.

Does this have to be rinsed or is it a spray and wipe type cleaner? Thanks for all your hard work, Susan. I hope you feel better soon.