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#1
Old 09-20-2012, 01:33 AM
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Laundry vs. Dish Detergents

So, is there any much difference between the two? I got some money in the mail so I probably won't have to choose to do my dishes with Kirkland Laundry Detergent, but it got me wondering: A detergent is usually a grease solvent and a surfactant. As far as I know the detergent makes the grease molecules able to bind to water molecules and the surfactant keeps all that crud up in the suds, so that you can rinse it off.

So aside from scent and such (that I would have rinsed off of my plates and cookware anyway) is there much of a chemical difference?
#2
Old 09-20-2012, 01:49 AM
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I got no clue on the ingredients, but I have used liquid laundry detergent as dish soap in a pinch. It works fine and rinses off well. It only takes about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) per sinkful of water.

I don't recommend trying anything but dishwasher detergent in a dishwasher!
#3
Old 09-20-2012, 02:38 AM
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If you use one in the other, particularly any type of soap or detergent in a dishwasher that is not made for it, bad things happen. Namely suds coming out of the sealed dishwasher. Hand wash? Maybe okay. Dish soap is also intended to not be rough on your hands.
#4
Old 09-20-2012, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
I got no clue on the ingredients, but I have used liquid laundry detergent as dish soap in a pinch. It works fine and rinses off well. It only takes about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) per sinkful of water.

I don't recommend trying anything but dishwasher detergent in a dishwasher!
Oh yeah. That lesson was taught to me by roommate years ago against my advice. Sudsing is just, well, lamentable in a closed space like a dishwasher. The good news was that the kitchen floor got really well-cleaned afterward.
#5
Old 09-20-2012, 05:57 AM
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Dishwasher detergent is, indeed a different beast. It relies on seriously alkaline chemicals to bust up food particles and grease, and it WILL burn your hands. Also, the suds thing. You'd be AMAZED how much suds dishsoap will make in the dishwasher. No, really, more than you can possibly imagine. (And if your, uh, kid, is stupid enough to do that, grab some hair conditioner and start squirting the suds; the oil in the hair conditioner will delather the deluge faster than you can manage it with your hands and a mop.)

But dishsoap and liquid laundry detergent and basic shampoo and handsoap are all the same basic thing. What's different is what's added to make them smell different and change the pH. Laundry detergent in the most alkaline (around 9 or 10), "mild" dishsoap is around 7-8, and shampoos that are "pH balanced" are acidic around 5 or 6, although the ones that have a lot of fruit additives (like Garnier Fructis) can be even more acidic.

If you're a cheap bastard or just have limited storage space, your best bet is to buy an unscented laundry detergent. Use as is for your laundry and add a bit of lemon juice to it to use on your dishes, and a bit more to use it in the shower, or finish your shower with a lemon juice rinse on your hair to smooth the hair cuticle.

Last edited by WhyNot; 09-20-2012 at 05:58 AM.
#6
Old 09-20-2012, 10:42 AM
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Don't laundry detergents contain zeolites and optical brighteners? And maybe some oxygen booster or fabric softener? I'd think they're more adulterated than dishwashing soap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
(And if your, uh, kid, is stupid enough to do that, grab some hair conditioner and start squirting the suds; the oil in the hair conditioner will delather the deluge faster than you can manage it with your hands and a mop.)
Does that mean you're not supposed to put both shampoo and conditioner on at the same time? I'm not sure exactly how to use conditioner.
#7
Old 09-20-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronX View Post
Does that mean you're not supposed to put both shampoo and conditioner on at the same time? I'm not sure exactly how to use conditioner.
The process I'm familiar with is shampoo, rinse, conditioner, rinse (OK, there are some "leave-in" conditioners. See label).
#8
Old 09-20-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronX View Post
Does that mean you're not supposed to put both shampoo and conditioner on at the same time? I'm not sure exactly how to use conditioner.
Yes, shampoo, rinse, conditioner, let sit 2 minutes, rinse. If you're using an additional leave in conditioner, then that goes in last and doesn't get rinsed out.

I've never been quite sure what the deal with "All-in-one" shampoo with conditioners is. My guess is that they just stick glycerin or similar emollients in shampoo and call it a day, but I really don't know. I do know they don't work on my hair very well; I still need to follow up with an actual stand alone conditioner.
#9
Old 09-20-2012, 02:18 PM
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I learned everything I know about 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. "But Valerie, what you gain in time, you lose in volume!" Since I have naturally voluminous hair, I don't worry about it and just use the 2 in 1.
#10
Old 09-21-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Dishwasher detergent is, indeed a different beast. It relies on seriously alkaline chemicals to bust up food particles and grease, and it WILL burn your hands. Also, the suds thing. You'd be AMAZED how much suds dishsoap will make in the dishwasher. No, really, more than you can possibly imagine. (And if your, uh, kid, is stupid enough to do that, grab some hair conditioner and start squirting the suds; the oil in the hair conditioner will delather the deluge faster than you can manage it with your hands and a mop.)

But dishsoap and liquid laundry detergent and basic shampoo and handsoap are all the same basic thing. What's different is what's added to make them smell different and change the pH. Laundry detergent in the most alkaline (around 9 or 10), "mild" dishsoap is around 7-8, and shampoos that are "pH balanced" are acidic around 5 or 6, although the ones that have a lot of fruit additives (like Garnier Fructis) can be even more acidic.

If you're a cheap bastard or just have limited storage space, your best bet is to buy an unscented laundry detergent. Use as is for your laundry and add a bit of lemon juice to it to use on your dishes, and a bit more to use it in the shower, or finish your shower with a lemon juice rinse on your hair to smooth the hair cuticle.
Outstanding info; thank you. I used to work in property management and knew that the industrial laundry we had used SERIOUSLY high pH detergents but never could have pegged a number to them.
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