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A dishwasher tablet is an essential detergent. It consists of a pressed mixture of sodium and potassium salts, surfactant, fragrance, and other filler agents, mixed with the help of tablet making machines. The products’ use in America and Europe is high, unlike in the Asian continent, where the price limits its usage. Its global market size will reach $990 million in 2026 from $475.6million in 2019, according to Grand View Research forecasts.

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Dishwasher tablet equipment and ingredients

The key process in making a dishwasher tablet involves combining specific quantities of the key ingredients in the dishwasher tablet machine to achieve the desired properties. Examples of these components are surfactants, that aid the cleaning property of the detergent, and sodium, which provides stability.

Producers start the dishwasher tablet manufacturing process by obtaining granular detergent additives from a spray-dried slurry. They use a mixer to combine the granules with builders, water, surfactant, bleaching agent, dye, and fragrance. Lastly, they transfer it to a hydraulic or automatic rotary tablet press for the tableting process.

The key process of making a multilayer detergent tablet

Dishwasher tablets can either come in a single layer or multilayer thickness. A multilayer detergent tablet for dishwashing machines comprises a first cold-water-soluble layer of alkali metal metasilicate nonahydrate, penta-alkali metal triphosphate, and a low-foaming non-ionic surfactant; and a second layer which dissolves rapidly at increasing water temperatures comprising alkali metal metasilicate, penta-alkali metal triphosphate, and an active chlorine compound.

These layers are weighed and appropriately measured to guarantee their release at different stages of the dishwashing process. To ensure the layers don’t separate, manufacturers ensure they are adequately pressed. Tablet thickness is a crucial step in manufacturing this product.

Factors that define a good dishwasher tablet

Combining the appropriate ratio of key ingredients in the production process is the initial step towards achieving a high quality dishwasher tablet. The product should have a broad dissolving profile. In this case, 10-40% by weight should dissolve in the cold water pre-rinse cycle while 60-90% remains available for the dishwashing cycle.

The product must clean the items without leaving residues. Surfactants improve their ability to clean by enhancing the separation of food remains. Builders like silicate prevent the formation of lime coatings and improve the function of surfactants. They do it by removing calcium or magnesium ions from water and food particles.

Their typical alkali-reacting components should provide an ideal pH of at least 10.0 in the wash liquor.

Are dishwasher tablets safe?

The environmental impact of dishwater tablets is negative mainly because they contain high phosphate levels. Even though phosphates provide stability to dishwasher tablets and make them more efficient by binding to calcium and magnesium ions, they are undesirable. They remain in wastewater and eventually sip into a natural body of water, promoting algae growth.

To make commercially available phosphate-free products requires tabletting powder mixtures containing anhydrous Sodium metasilicate in addition to Sodium metasilicate nonahydrate.

Combining water-containing substances and substances capable of absorbing water increases the product’s resistance to breakage in the pre-rinse cycle.

Processing steps involved in dishwasher-tablets making

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