Can Lye base soap be used as dish soap?

I would like to know if a lye base soap can ever be used for washing dishes?  I have tried several combination of lye soap including 100% coconut soap but the soap seem to have several issues and doesnt work well. First of all, it does not dry fast and takes a very long time. Even when it dries,  it leaves a water mark on the dishes. have tried adding washing soda and borax too for water softening but it still takes a long time to dry and still leaves  water mark. Glucoside soaps are good but are not strong enough or concentrated. 


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    These are the problems for which synthetic detergents were created to correct. Sure you can use lye based soap to wash dishes, but not without the problems you noted.
  • Hmm...That's what I felt too. Which surfactant would you suggest to go for natural but strong  for dishes? I have a coco glucoside formulation which works well but not strong enough.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    These are the most common ones used.  I don't know what you define as "natural" so I can't really recommend anything specifically.  Some people consider Sodium Lauryl Sulfate natural, some people don't.

  • Thanks for your suggestion and input Perry! I am looking for a non-ionic surfactant. Would Lauryl or Alkyl Poluglucoside work better compared to coco or decyl  ?  Also, for foam, would the combination of Lauryl, decyl and coco give good lather or do we still need to add capb to get better foam?

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I do not know the answer to your questions. I work on shampoo/body wash systems and not much in dish washing. For cosmetic products, you do need to add a secondary surfactant like Cocamidopropyl Betaine to get good foam. I just don't know if that is the same type of foam you need for washing dishes. 
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