The insight about the laundry detergents is provided by Head of Quality and development department of Spodriba Inese Vilka.
The most important component of laundry detergents are surfactants or tensides. They participate in the washing process in three ways:
The main difference of these basic substances of the laundry detergent: non-ionic surfactants are low foaming, while anionic surfactants are foaming. It should be remembered that the amount of foam does not influence the washing quality.
These compounds will definitely be indicated on the label as anionic surfactants or non-ionic surfactants by specifying the weight ranges.
Another important component is a water softener. Hard water reduces the effect of surfactants, therefore, water softening compounds are added to the composition: mainly phosphonates or phosphates, or complex organic compounds.
Phosphonates – the most efficient and sustainable water softeners. At the same time, phosphonates are not harmful to people and they are easy to rinse which considerably reduces the risk of allergy.
Complex organic compounds (may be recognized in the label as EDTA and its salts) – efficient water softeners which is a good alternative for reduction of the water hardness.
Phosphates – water softeners which cause considerable, long-term negative consequences when being in nature – more intensive overgrowing of watercourses which becomes an ecological problem within a long term. Phosphates are used because they are comparatively cheap raw material providing an opportunity for manufacturers to make formulas of their detergents for a comparatively lower price.
Any of the aforementioned these compounds have to be indicated on the label if they are added to the product.
The most important additional agents of the laundry detergents are ferments and optical bleaches.
Ferments – they are used to clean spots of different origin. Ferments or enzymes are produced from non-pathogenic and non-toxic micro-organisms and are classified as non-toxic. Addition of ferments to the laundry detergent increases its washing effect of the spots of different origin.
If they are added to the product, they must definitely be indicated on the label.
Optical bleaches – the agents which turn the ultraviolet light in visible light (make white look even whiter). It is only visual effect but they may not be rinsed and accumulate in the textile fibers by causing continuous contact with skin and is the most irritant component of the product. Optical bleaches are not biodegradable and are harmful to the environment;
These compounds have to be indicated on the label if they are added to the product.
Colour stabilizing agents are additionally added to the laundry detergents for dark and coloured laundry.
The advantages of the liquid laundry detergents in comparison with powders are as follows:
A concept of the formulas of laundry detergents manufactured by Spodriba: