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Why are Some Liquid Dish Soaps Too “Liquidy”?

Posted by Patricia Spencer on
Why are Some Liquid Dish Soaps Too “Liquidy”?

 

All of us have been using liquid dish soaps for long enough to have certain standards and expectations when we purchase a new formula.  A good liquid dish soap should, obviously, do a good job cleaning, it should leave our hands feeling cleansed but not irritated, and it should have the right consistency in order to spread evenly on a surface or our skin, without being so watery that it gets everywhere rather than staying in one place. 

That being said, sometimes we notice that a certain liquid soap is so liquidy that it’s a pain to use, and we end up going through way too much of it each time we try to pour some out.  So, why do some liquid dish soaps have this problem?

#1: Uses Less Than Ideal Types of Thickening Agents

Excessively watery soap means that something went wrong in the formulation process.  Either the ingredients that were used were wrong, or the actual process of making it was done improperly.  A common problem is that it contains the wrong type of thickening agents. 

Making a liquid dish soap is not a simple as you may think.  It requires specific ratios of ingredients to end up with the desired consistency.  Some fats are thinner than others, with almond oil and avocado oil being good examples.  Other fats are thicker, like coconut oil and olive oil.  The thicker the fat, the thicker the consistency of the dish soap.

#2: Contains Too Much Water

Liquid dish soap contains water – after all, it is a liquid.  Still, of course, too much water can spoil the consistency by leaving you with a runny soap that slips between your fingers when you go to wash your hands, and in turn, dilutes the soap to the point that you need to use a lot more than you want to each time you go to clean your dishes.  

#3: Wasn’t Cooked Long Enough

The trouble can also be in the actual process of making the soap.  Liquid dish soap needs to undergo a cooking process, as this is where the magic happens, during which all of the ingredients come together to emulsify into a nice, thick consistency.  Not cooking the soap long enough means that the ingredients will remain separated, and what you’ll get is a watery formula with either clouds or lumps of fat – and no one wants that. 

#4: Needs Salt Water

Liquid soap needs to contain a certain proportion of salt water, which helps bind all of the ingredients together.  Skipping this step, or simply using too low of a salt to water ratio, is going to make it pretty much impossible to get the ideal consistency.  If you have liquid dish soap that’s not thick enough, create a 1:3 saltwater solution, and heat it so that the salt is fully dissolved.  Gradually stir the solution into your soap until it thickens up as desired, and you should be good to go.

What’s the Main Problem with Liquidy Soap?

Some dish soaps just have thinner formulas than others, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be able to do its job.  But, generally, people find that with more watery liquid soaps, they are so diluted that they use a lot more of it with each cleaning session.  The result is spending more on dish soap each month.

Sometimes, Too Liquidy Can Be a Bad Thing

Liquid dish soap should, of course, be a liquid, but there is such a thing as too liquidy of a formula.  So, if your dish soap is too watery, try adding some salt water, or even better, switch to a different formula altogether.

Grab Green Liquid Dish Soap takes the power of conventional dish soap, without harsh chemicals. Our high-sudsing, biodegradable dish soap cuts through grease while staying soft on hands. Scented with essential oils, our clean-rinse formula results in zero residue left behind, even in hard water.

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