Cocoamide MEA in dish wash liquid

Hello Everyone,

I have this surfactant blend (Galaxy 622) that I use in formulating hair shampoo. The INCI name is: water, SLES, CAPB, NACL and Cocamide MEA.

I'm considering using the blend to formulate a dish washing liquid but I'm not sure if it's OK to use cocamide MEA for that purpose.

Also what would be the best preservative? I'm considering Phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate. 



  • Hi. @Belassi @DAS @Chemist77 @Perry
    I would love your input on this. Thank you
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    I am not sure what's your budget cost here as that blend looks a bit pricey for such home care application. I generally use LABSA, in-situ neutralization and a combination of anionics. If the budget allows then I chuck in some non-ionics as well. But that's rare. 
    For preservative I use glutaraldehyde from Dow Microbial, very effective and cost friendly. And then the specialties depending on the customer needs. 
    You can try that blend and I don't think an issue with the CMEA. I would prefer a higher pH in such applications but with that preservative you are restricted to around 5.0
  • ^^^ that. I don't think your idea would be very effective as a dish cleaner.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • I think that blend has a pH over 7. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    My formulation training is in cosmetic products so I don't know the ins and outs of making a dish detergent product. However, something that works as a shampoo will technically work as a dish detergent but the amount & type of foam you get will probably be wrong.  Cocamide MEA will rinse off fine so I don't see a problem using it.

    Phenoxyethanol may be fine enough but above a pH of 5.0 Sodium Benzoate isn't going to have much effect.  Personally, I'd use DMDM Hydantoin.
  • Thanks guys.  

    @Belassi why so?

    @Chemist77 @Perry I'll have to get another preservative. Not sure DMDM Hydantoin is available locally here. I'm trying to avoid the use of parabens but that's what is popular around here.
  • why so?
    - Do you see any commercial products made with that combination? No. Think there might be a good reason? It's not going to perform well versus the usual surfactants.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • DASDAS Member
    It could be a good product if you sell it right. I had a similar product and I discontinued it not long ago. The issue is, as mentioned before, the cost. A "cosmetic" dish wash will be expensive, and if you don't market it right you will end up like me, using the last drum to clean the floor. The niche I found is for people who has allergies or high sensitivity. 

    If you are going to give it a shot I suggest you this:

    - add an ethoxylated fatty alcohol to change the foam profile and the viscosity. 
    - add claim ingredients, whatever people in your area think is good for the skin. Glycerin, aloe vera, jojoba, snake poison...
    - a formaldehyde releaser will work, but if it's expensive or hard to source try MIT. 
    - a chelating agent won't hurt. 
    - sell it first, manufacture it later. Make a small batch for samples, if it doesn't work you won't end up losing money.
    - make it light pink, it gives the sensation of mildness.  Mine was orange, huge mistake.
    - sell it right. It's the kind of product consumers won't find elsewhere.
  • Some commercial, low-irritancy dishwash blends are pretty much shampoo-like.
    They aren't as good as cutting grease as sulfonate formulations, but they can be used without wearing gloves

    you can try SLES+SLS, Dawn dishwash has it
    Cocamide DEA leaves a sticky afterfeel. CMEA might do as well.
    CAPB may reduce irritancy better than CDEA/MEA does, and costs about the same.

  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    I do the soap/synthetic surfactant mix and it has been doing pretty much fine until now. As @DAS reminded, a chelating agent will help in such formulation, I use it too. 
    @Gunther for us CAPB is half the price of CDEA/CMEA but a good choice to reduce irritancy. 
  • According to Stepan®/NINOL®-COMF-N.aspx CMEA can be used to formulate a liquid dishwasher. 
    I also don't think there should be any issue using CMEA
  • Sorry I've been away. I think i'll try two methods. One with the surfactant blend. I searched for LABSA like @Chemist77 suggested but I couldn't find so I'll try a second method using SLS and CAPB. I have other ingredients like glycerin and EDTA. I'll give updates when I'm done.
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