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Dirty substances are generally related to hydrophobic fatty materials insoluble in water. However, detergents are amphiphilic, meaning they contain both non-polar hydrophobic (water-hating) and polar hydrophilic (water-loving) ends. This dual nature allows the detergent to grab the oily-greasy dirt stains and wash them away.
As surfactants or a mixture of surfactants, detergents have the ability to decrease the surface tension of water. This function facilitates the formation of dispersions, emulsions, and suspensions.
The most common detergent is soap, a sodium salt of fatty acids. To increase solubility, modern detergents contain alkyl-benzene sulfonates. In fact, these compounds (polar sulfonate group) are more soluble in hard water than soap (polar carboxylate group). Polar sulfonate is less likely to bind to calcium and other ions of the hard water than polar carboxylate.
Detergent manufacturing process
Detergent manufacturing involves mixing the raw materials in large tanks; the manufacturing process can be batch as well as continuous. Raw materials are selected based on the form and properties of the desired end product. It is essential to mix all ingredients thoroughly in a mixer machine to ensure that the chemicals are evenly distributed in the detergent.
Fillers, surfactants, disinfectant agents, and chemical agents are used as ingredients in detergent making. To give color, powdered pigments can be added. In hand soap production, for example, adding a preservative is critical to prevent the proliferation of bacteria if the soap is exposed to a substandard environment.
Liquid detergent, powder detergent, or laundry detergent?
Historically, when people referred to detergent, they usually indicated laundry detergent. It was only after the 20th century, due to the development of detergent making equipment, that the word detergent acquired a broader meaning with its liquid and powder form.
Wash, dry, fold, repeat. This is the daily formula for doing laundry. Helping us in this daily task is detergent which has a slightly different formula.
Producers can use three methods when making laundry detergent: dry mixing, agglomeration, or spray drying. The spry drying technique is the most used because it produces a lightweight, well-hydrated product that doesn’t cake. Pay attention to the pH range when producing the washing powder; the pH has to be 9-10.5. to ensure it is compatible with human skin and can clean effectively.
Powder vs. liquid detergent
The ingredients that make up powder detergents are builders, surfactants, and enzymes. This detergent is mainly used as a laundry detergent and is a more affordable choice because containing no water is lighter than liquid detergent, meaning that it has lower transportation costs. Powder detergent can be made by the agglomeration method and can be easily recognized by its granule-like appearance; however, the spry drying method is widely used in the detergent industry because it simplifies the process and improves the profit margin by turning a slurry into a dried powder in a single step.
Liquid detergents are nothing more than powders mixed with water and chemical solutions called solubilizers, making detergents dissolvable in water.
…And what about dishwasher tablets?
Dishwasher tablets are essential to make your dishes shine. The dishwasher tablet production always starts by obtaining granular detergent additives from a spray-dried slurry – Did we already mention that the spray-drying method is everywhere in the detergent making process?
After combining the granules with builders, water, surfactant, bleaching agent, dye, and fragrance, producers transfer it to a hydraulic or rotary press for the tableting process.
Packing your detergent products
When it comes to detergents, the packaging process depends on whether the detergent comes in liquid or powder form. For liquid detergents, a filling system pumps the liquid product into plastic bottles where a weighing device controls the correct filling level. After filling, a capping machine seals the bottles. For powder detergent, the packaging process begins by creating the bag or the pouch from a flat carton or laminated film. Then the selected container will be filled with powder detergent and sealed.