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    March 05, 2020 3 min read

    Natural All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate


    Following on from Surfactants P6: Cleaning Solutions For Around The Home (updated version), I thought I would share the latest experimenting I have been doing with some of our new products, particularly a new surfactant.


    I decided to make up a general purpose concentrate gel that gives you bang for your buck, and most importantly, really cleans well. It is 100% natural and biodegradable too.


    I like lauryl glucoside here because it creates very stable foam and is, I find, the strongest of the glucosides. It also has a fantastically thick paste-like consistency that can boost the whole formula. 


    But our star ingredient in this recipe is the sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. It is the first anionic surfactant to feature on Essentially Natural, and is proudly sourced from natural ingredients and is easily biodegradable. The anionic surfactants are very powerful detergents and are typically used in household cleaners. They also have properties that give them the ability to be thickened by salt (so no need for xanthan gum), and sodium lauroyl sarcosinate responds uniquely to pH: it goes beautifully thick and viscous at pH 5! So if you add just enough citric acid solution to bring the pH down to 5, you get the most wonderful gel-like consistency. 


    The below recipe makes a concentrate gel (and quite a lot of it) that you can then use either on its own for particularly tough and grimy patches, or diluted as a general purpose cleaner. It works out incredibly cheap and you probably won’t need anything else. It really blasts through grease and shines up my stovetop like nothing else. You can use it in the kitchen, bathroom, floors and windows, and anywhere grimy.


    This is a great opportunity to reuse the buckets that various EN products come in, such as the Epsom salts. I always keep the buckets once the product inside is finished, and you can easily peel off the label and relabel it for another purpose. The bucket is a perfect storage container for the all purpose concentrate.



    100% Natural All Purpose Concentrate

    650ml distilled water

    5T sodium lauroyl sarcosinate

    1 heaped tablespoon lauryl glucoside

    2% salt - so around 15ml or 3 teaspoons

    Citric acid solution

    Preservative eg Geogard 221

    pH test strips

    Essential oils (optional) try spearmint or peppermint, the citrus oils, lemongrass, rosemary or basil.


    Blend the two surfactants together, then add about a cup of water, stirring gently so as not to create too many bubbles. Add in the salt and stir well until the mixture thickens up slightly. Then add the rest of the water, cup by cup, stirring continuously. Lastly, and this is where you will need to get out your pH test strips and test, add the citric acid solution, teaspoon by teaspoon, stirring in between until you reach a pH of 5. You will notice the mixture thicken up significantly and maybe go a milky colour (this goes away). Stop as soon as you reach pH 5 or else your mixture will go all liquidy again. Once you have your thickened concentrate, you can add in the preservative and any essential oils if you desire. I added about 10 drops of spearmint for a touch of freshness.


    Use on its own for tough spots, or you can dilute it: 3 spoons in a jug of hot water is enough for general cleaning for me. 


    If you miss the pH mark and your mixture ends up a bit liquid, don’t worry, it will still be just as effective. You might just want to have it in a spray bottle instead of a bucket.

     

    CUSTOMISATIONS

    This all purpose cleaner is very easy to customise to your needs.

    If you require some hardcore disinfecting action, add in 15 drops of  Bacteria Buster, or 15 drops of  pure tea tree essential oil.

    For antiseptic properties, add in  garlic essential oilclove bud essential oil, eucalyptus and  oregano essential oil.

    Another great addition for general germ killing is  colloidal silver. Substitute half a cup of the distilled water in the recipe for half a cup of colloidal silver.


    SHOP THE TOP INGREDIENTS: sodium lauroyl sarcosinatelauryl glucosidecitric acidpH test strips


    2 Responses

    Juliette
    Juliette

    March 16, 2020

    Hi Christelle, please DO NOT add any soap based solution to surfactants as they may not play well together particularly if there is salt in the surfactant recipe. The concentrate is meant to be diluted in water, not diluted with other soaps :)

    I’ll add this to the blog for future reference!

    Christelle de Villiers
    Christelle de Villiers

    March 16, 2020

    Hi, can i add KOH-soap base (e.g. african black soap solution or castile liquid) to surfactants (e.g. lauryl glucoside). In general.
    Thanks

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