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Detergents are specially formulated products used for cleaning, and the more commonly used products on the market for cleaning clothes are usually laundry detergent and liquid laundry detergent. Laundry detergent does not dissolve completely in the process of use, the residue can easily lead to clothing damage, and it is not easy to rinse; while the laundry detergent can completely dissolve and dissolve quickly, easy to rinse and wash, low alkaline, more gentle performance, will not hurt the skin and clothing.

How laundry detergent works

The active ingredients in laundry detergents are mainly non-ionic surfactants, whose structure consists of a hydrophilic end and a lipophilic end, where the lipophilic end binds to the stain and then separates the stain from the fabric through physical movement (e.g., hand-rubbing, machine movement). At the same time, the surfactant reduces the water tension so that the water can reach the surface of the fabric and the active ingredient can work.

Laundry detergent components

Laundry detergents are generally composed of surfactants, synergists, pH adjusters, chelating agents, functional auxiliaries, colors, preservatives, defoamers, inorganic salts, solvents and co-solvents.

Surfactant: Surfactant is the main active ingredient in laundry detergent to remove dirt, often composed of anionic surfactant and nonionic surfactant.

Commonly used anionic surfactants are sodium fatty alcohol polyoxyethylene ether sulfate (AES), sodium alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS), sodium alkyl sulfonate (SAS), alkenyl sulfonate (AOS), etc., 1-2 kinds of the main surfactant.

Nonionic surfactants such as: fatty alcohol polyoxyethylene ether (AEO7,AEO9, etc.) as auxiliary synergistic active agent, can be added to the EO number of small nonionic surfactants as a penetrating agent, to increase the penetration rate. Alkanolamides (6501) or amine oxides mainly play the role of thickening and synergizing. The total surfactant content of national QB/T1224 standard is not less than 15%, to ensure that it meets the requirements of decontamination in normal use.

Synergist: It refers to the ingredient that enhances the washing effect in liquid detergent, and its products include enzyme preparations such as protease, lipase, cellulase, and so on.

Anti-fouling redeposition agents: sodium polyacrylate, polyvinylpyrrolidone, etc.

pH adjusting agents: commonly used potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, triethanolamine, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium succinate, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium metasilicate and so on.

Chelating and dispersing agents: sodium citrate, sodium polyacrylate, polyacrylic acid/maleic anhydride copolymer sodium salt

Inorganic salts: often sodium chloride-based, used to regulate the viscosity of laundry detergent; enzyme protection with sodium sulfate, calcium chloride and so on.

Functional additives: including anti-color mixing agents, active oxygen additives for color bleaching, plant extracts for antibacterial effect, etc.. Some of them have softening function by adding softener.

Solvents: ethanol, propylene glycol, isopropanol, etc.

Co-solvents: sodium methanesulfonate, sodium dimethylsulfonate, urea, etc.

Antifoamer: Antifoamers are often used to control the number of bubbles in laundry detergents, making them easy to rinse and saving water. Commonly used defoamers are silicones, polyethers and mineral oils. Among them, silicone antifoam agent has the best defoaming/antifoaming effect, but it is often used in the form of emulsion, and will affect the transparency of the laundry detergent when adding a slightly larger amount; polyether antifoam agent has defoaming effect above the turbidity point, and this kind of antifoam agent is suitable for the preparation of transparent laundry detergent; mineral oil antifoam agent has a relatively low price and strong economy.

Preservatives: Commonly used preservatives for liquid detergents are carson and brobolol.

Fragrance and color: Give laundry detergent a pleasant appearance and a long-lasting fragrance on fabrics after use.

Laundry Detergent Formulation Points of Attention

Based on the requirements of stain removal, softness, low foam and easy rinsing of laundry detergent, we need to pay attention to several points in the design of the formula:

1, can play a role in decontamination of the main surfactant, the use of anionic surfactant / nonionic surfactant compounding, can improve the stability of the formula at low temperatures and improve the decontamination power.

2. Dirt redeposited on clothes will reduce the brightness and vividness of fabrics with color. A good detergent should be able to inhibit the redeposition of removed dirt onto the fabric well throughout the life cycle of the wash, ensuring that the whiteness of the fabric being washed is maintained at a high level. Specific lipolytic enzymes incorporated into detergents along with calcium soap dispersants can improve fabric whiteness retention and reduce spotting.

3, the appropriate foam can suspend dirt, prevent dirt deposited again on the surface of the washing items, but too much foam will cause unnecessary trouble for consumers to wash clothes, such as causing foam overflow in the washing machine, and in the rinsing time-consuming and water-consuming, so it is necessary to improve the detergent formulations or add the appropriate antifoaming agent to inhibit the foam. Solutions include the use of low-foaming surfactants, fatty acid soaps and defoamers. The compatibility and stability with the formulation system also need to be examined during the formulation process.

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