Choosing the Right Thickener for Your Liquid Dish Wash: Exploring Compatible Options

Formulating the perfect liquid dish wash can be a complex task, especially when it comes to achieving the desired thickness. The thickness of your dish wash not only affects its appearance and feel but also its performance. If your dish wash is too thin, it may not cling to the dishes properly and could be washed away too quickly. On the other hand, if it’s too thick, it may not spread evenly or rinse off easily. Therefore, choosing the right thickener is crucial. In this article, we will explore the various thickeners compatible with your dish wash formula that includes SLES, urea, sulphonic acid, CDE, caustic, salt, and formalin.

Understanding Thickeners

Thickeners are substances that can increase the viscosity of a liquid without substantially changing its other properties. They work by forming a network of molecules that trap the liquid, making it thicker. The choice of thickener depends on the ingredients of your dish wash formula and the desired thickness.

Compatible Thickeners for Your Dish Wash Formula

Given your dish wash formula, here are some thickeners that you might consider:

  • Cellulose derivatives: These are water-soluble polymers derived from cellulose, the most abundant organic compound on Earth. They are non-toxic, biodegradable, and compatible with most surfactants, making them a good choice for dish wash formulas. Examples include hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC).
  • Acrylates copolymer: This is a synthetic polymer that can provide excellent thickening effects. It is compatible with a wide range of surfactants and can be used in both acidic and alkaline formulas.
  • Xanthan gum: This is a natural polysaccharide that is produced by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. It is highly effective at low concentrations and can provide a smooth, luxurious feel to your dish wash.

How to Use Thickeners

Thickeners are typically added during the water phase of the formulation process. They should be dispersed in water before adding to the rest of the ingredients to ensure even distribution. The amount of thickener needed will depend on the desired thickness and the other ingredients in your formula. It’s best to start with a small amount and gradually increase until you achieve the desired thickness.


Choosing the right thickener for your liquid dish wash can make a big difference in its performance and appeal. By understanding the properties of different thickeners and how to use them, you can create a dish wash that is just the right thickness. Remember, it’s always a good idea to do small-scale tests before scaling up your production.

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