How to Choose the Best Laundry Detergent for Clean Laundry?





Best Laundry Detergent

Whenever the term laundry strikes in our mind, the first thing that comes to our mind is detergent. Detergent plays a vital role in the laundry business. Whether it is done at home or at a commercial level. To know the exact application of a particular soap for a particular cloth, it becomes important to know the ingredients and its application. It will definitely help the selection of detergent for particular stains and fabric.

Traditionally, laundry detergents have occurred in powdered or granular form. But gradually the use of liquid detergents has increased over the years.

To understand the concept of laundry. We should know what are the main ingredients in laundry detergent? We shall look into the basics of laundry detergent.


What is the Best Laundry Detergent?

“Detergency” is the term used to describe the process of cleaning by a surface-active agent. It can also be defined as removing an unwanted soiled substance from the fabric. And the substance which carries out this process is called Detergent.

“Soil” in connection with fabric, is most frequently represented as the accumulation of unwanted oily or particulate material on the surface or interior of the fibrous structure of the fabric. 


Types of Best Laundry Detergents

There are two kinds of laundry detergents classified according to their characteristics. One is Phosphate detergents and another is Surfactant detergents.


Phosphate Detergents:

This type of detergent contains phosphates and they are highly caustic based (Corrode organic tissues by chemical action).

Phosphate detergents are used in laundry detergent to help suspend dirt particles and soften hard water.

Application: It can be used more often where there is a hard water source for washing clothes.


Surfactant Detergents:

Surfactant detergents help to enhance the wetting, foaming, dispersing and emulsifying properties of detergents.

Due to the strong bonding of soil with the fiber, it sometimes becomes difficult for the surfactants to penetrate and adsorb onto the soil and fabric interface. Hence, to overcome this difficulty, surfactants are formulated with other components to enhance detergency.


 Laundry Detergent Ingredients:



We will try to understand the meaning of some terms here which will help us to understand the characteristics of detergents in detail.

Hydrophobic- Literal meaning is having “fear of water” (Water phobia/water-hating). Hydrophobic Liquid-Oil. Will always separate from water. Hydrophobic molecules repel water. These molecules do not produce a static electric field.

Hydrophilic- Literal meaning is “Water Loving”. Hydrophilic substances diffuse in water. In areas with high concentrations of hydrophilic molecules, water moves in and pulls the hydrophilic molecules apart.

Surface active agents are the most important ingredient present in laundry detergent.

Laundry detergents contain more than one surfactant. As per the ability to remove certain types of soils, effectiveness on the texture of the different fabric, and the response to the water hardness. Surfactants are easier to process and incorporate into liquid form than in powder form.

Today, heavy duty liquid detergent contains higher surfactant levels and generally offers better performance for the removal of oily and greasy stains.

Categories of surfactants:

Cationic Surfactants: Cationic Surfactants are the active agents in fabric softeners, which represent an important ingredient in detergent products. They have biocidal properties and are used as disinfectants in detergents. These surfactants reduce the surface tension of a liquid. They reduce the surface tension between the dirt and water. These surfactants can be used in an acidic environment and in hard water.

 Anionic Surfactants: Anionic surfactants are negatively-charged molecules on the hydrophilic end. The negative charge helps surfactants lift and suspend soils. Because they have a property to attack a broader range of soils, they are widely used in soaps and detergents.

Carboxylate: This surfactant is effective in oily soil cleaning and suspension of clay soil. Their hydrophobic portion carries a negative charge in water, which reacts in the wash water with the positively charged water hardness ions and deactivates them.

Non-ionic surfactants: Non-ionic surfactants are frequently used in some low sudsing detergent powders and all-purpose liquid detergents. They are good at removing oily soils by solubilization and emulsification.

Amphoteric Surfactants: The main characteristic of this group is that they depend upon the pH of the solution in which they are dissolved. In acidic pH solution, this molecule acquires a positive charge and behaves like a cationic surfactant and vice versa. 



After surfactant “Builders” are the second most important ingredient in the laundry soaps because they “Build” or enhance the cleaning efficiency of the surfactant. Builders are the materials that are used to bind cations like magnesium and calcium contained in the wash solutions, resulting in water softening and improving the water quality and further allowing the detergent to work in a more effective and efficient manner. Otherwise, magnesium and calcium ions in the water can produce insoluble salts, which may reset on clothes and the solid surfaces inside the washing machine. This way builders can help extend the life of the washing machine. What does the “Builders” do in laundry detergent?

1 They soften the hard water by binding the minerals in it.

2. Helps the surfactant to concentrate soil on the fabric to remove it.

3. Provide a desirable level of alkaline to aid in the cleaning process.

4. Suspend and disperse soils to avoid repositioning on the clothes.

5. Increase the efficiency of the surfactant.

6. Helps to increase the life of the washing machine.

7. Prevents redisposition of soils after they have been removed from

    fabric by surfactant.

8. It improves the wetting and emulsification characteristics of detergents.

9. Help emulsify oil and grease soil by breaking it up into small parts.


What are Laundry Agents?

Laundry agents are the ingredients used in laundry detergents to enhance laundering results (Oxygen bleach, Anti-re-deposition, Suds control, Colorants, Corrosion Inhibitors).


Anti-Re-Deposition Agents

Anti-re-deposition agents prevent loosened soil from redepositing on cleaned fabric. Carboxymethyle cellulose (cms) is the most popular anti-re-deposition agent which is derived from natural cellulose.


Corrosion Inhibitor

Corrosion inhibitors, usually sodium silicate, help protect washer parts from corrosion. 


Colorants are specialty dyes specially selected for use in detergent applications, these dyes have high stability properties which are required in many specialty soaps and detergent formations. Additionally, the blue colorant may provide bluing which imparts blue or white desirable color to the fabric.


Fragrances provide three functions. They cover the chemical odor of the detergent, the odor of soil in the washing solution, plus they impart a pleasant smell to the fabric.

Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach provides the detergent with all fabric bleaching action for stain and soil removal. Liquid oxygen bleaches contain hydrogen peroxide, which supplies the oxidizing agent directly. The hydrogen peroxide reacts with the soil and the organic material in the wash to either decolorize or break them up.

Suds Control Agents

Suds controlled agents are used as suds stabilizers or suspenders.

Bleaching agents

Bleaching agents and activators are used to make white clothes clean. Oxygen bleach provides detergents with an all-fabric bleaching agent for stain and soil removal.

.         Enzymes

Enzymes are now very popularly blended into detergent formulations. Enzymes aid in breaking down complex soils, especially proteins such as blood and grass, so they can be more easily removed from fabrics.


Other Ingredients

Other ingredients are added to laundry detergent as needed to provide a specialized outcome or as a convenience to consumers. Some laundry detergents contain “optical brighteners”. These are fluorescent dyes that glow blue-white in ultraviolet light. The blue-white color makes yellow fabrics appear white.