Composition of washing powders

Category: Good to know
Date : November 26, 2003

During shopping it is difficult to avoid washing powder sector where everything is supposedly better than the other. This article gives an overview what do washing powders really contain.
One of the most important ingredients of washing powder are surfactants or tenisides. Surfactants participate in the washing process three ways:

  1. lower the surface tension of water
  2. help remove dirt from the fabric
  3. prevent dirt to deposit back on the fabric

Washing efficiency of tensides depends on the pH of the washing solution. Surfactants work most effectively in an alkaline environment. Therefore such alkaline compounds are added to the washing powder, which make the solution pH alkaline.

Another important components are the water softeners. Hard water reduces the effects of detergents, therefore to the composition of the powder are added such compounds, which bound Ca-and Mg-ions causing water hardness and which are common in Baltic states water. Phosphonates, phosphates, zeolite, carbonates, silicates and organic complexing agents are used as water softeners.

Water softeners are important additions in washing powders. They are added both for softening the water and increasing the pH of washing solution. Phosphonates are most effective nature sustainable water softeners, forming with Ca-and Mg-salts water-soluble compounds. They solve even difficultly soluble deposits such as lime soap. Phosphonates improve efficiency of cleaning agents, increase the capacity of washing solution to carry dirt and do not let the dirt deposit back on the fabric. At the same time phosphonates are not harmful to humans, and phosphonates can be easily washed out, significantly reducing the risk of allergies. Mayeri also uses phosphonates as a water softener in washing powders.

In washing powders are often used bleaching agents – perborate, which effectively remove hardly removable colored stains (for example coffee, tea and wine stains). Bleaching occurs under the influence of active oxygen released without damaging the fabric and colors. Perborates start to operate in washing solution at the temperature of 60 °C. In order to make them active at lower temperatures, bleaching activators are added to washing powders (TAED).

Also additives are used in washing powders – enzymes, optical brighteners, Mould blockers, stabilizers and perfumes. Different kinds of enzymes are used in the composition to break down stains of various origins. Some of the enzymes remove milk, blood, and grass stains, others break down starch, fat and cellulose.

Optical bleaches are organic compounds that convert UV light into visible light (makes white look whiter).

Mould blockers prevent dirt to deposit back on laundry.

In the composition of washing powder Mayeri White all the above-mentioned stain removers and brighteners are used to give the best results while washing white laundry.

Fragrances leave pleasant odor on the fabric after washing. However, the Estonian people are quite conservative, and responding to the desires of the consumer, Mayeri’s washing powders are among the most delicate scented washing powders on the market.

Washing powders meant for dark and colored laundry contains in addition to other components, an agent, which prevents colored objects to transfer color to other objects. Bleaches are not included to such washing powders. Therefore, we recommend washing colored laundry with washing powder Mayeri Color.

There is a lot of talk about the allergic impact of detergents. Previously, about 8% of people in Estonia were allergic. Already now it can be said that 15-18% of the population has allergies in the larger cities of Estonia. If you look at developed countries, however, approximately 40% of the children born there have allergies.

Mayer Sensitive washing powder, which is designed for washing laundry of people with allergies and infants, synthetic detergents in composition are replaced with a natural soap powder. Also, the powder does contain fragrances and the optical brightener, which are known to be the most potentially irritating ingredients in the powder. To avoid allergy triggers like powder dust, more liquid ingredients are added, compared to other washing powders of Mayeri. Enzymes like protease and amylase are used to help remove stains of infant food. Used enzymes are produced of non-pathogenic and non-toxic micro-organisms and they are classified as non-toxic.

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