The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Homemade Dishwashing Liquid

Homemade Dishwashing Liquid

Jim M
user 8311780
South Portland, ME
Post #: 71
Thanks Greg for your insights.
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 878
This is interesting.


Heather S.
Pownal, ME
Post #: 4
Please be careful trying to make soap from wood ash. The lye content in the wood ash cannot be regulated and you could end up with an extremely caustic soap. If there is too much lye and not enough oils you will end up with a lye heavy soap (i.e. not enough oils and lye for proper saponification). Whether liquid or solid you'd have to be careful because it will likely touch your hands. On the other hand, if it's lye light you could end up with an oily mess because there wasn't enough lye to saponify the oils.

You can make liquid dish detergent (and laundry) by boiling soapnuts, which can be bought organic and free trade from many sites. They still require being brought over from another country as they do not grow here, but they are a natural fruit (not nuts as the name would make you think) with natural saponins.

If you're still sold on extracting lye from wood ash, note that the lye you will get is potassium hydroxide not sodium hydroxide. Potassium hydroxide is used to make liquid soaps, while sodium is used to make hard soap. If you plan on using wood ash and want a hard soap you will later grate down and boil with water for a liquid, you will need to work with hard fats such as beef tallow. If you make a liquid soap please note you'll need to add preservatives to keep it from getting rancid or bacterial (anything with water requires a preservation method). If you want a vegetarian or vegan soap should look into using sodium hydroxide. No matter what, please research how to make soap properly and take precautions.
David H.
Oxford, ME
Post #: 440
We started growing soapwort this year, seem to be running into an issue with slugs loving the plant but otherwise its quite an aggressive grower. Anyone have ratios to use to make "soap"?
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