Cold water detergency




May 26, 2021


With an increasing focus on reducing energy use, cold water detergents remain an area of interest. Achieving superior performance at lower wash temperatures is challenging, but developments continue to be made.To be effective, the detergent formulation must easily dissolve in cold water. It must also effectively remove particulates and oily soils from fabrics. Oily soils, specifically fats, are challenging to remove in cold water because they tend to crystallize at lower temperatures and are difficult to solubilize in a surfactant.An effective solution from a surfactant perspective is found in a branched alcohol ethoxylate surfactant with a low degree of ethoxylation, such as Lutensol® XP 40, or in a surfactant that behaves as a co-solvent, such as Lutensol CS 6250. A BASF formulated detergent that uses these two technologies outperforms the market benchmark.

For a detergent to work well it must dissolve in water quickly. This is even more important when you have detergents that are added in concentrated forms into the wash liquor for unit dose applications or other concentrated systems. The polyethyleneimine ethoxylate (PEIE), Sokalan® HP 20, improves the dissolution of the surfactants into the liquid, providing a 30%-50% reduction in cold-water dissolution time.

As education around energy consumption and carbon emissions grows, more consumers will seek out innovative technology and formulations that improve cold water washing. BASF has the chemistry to help you lead and inform customers who want to explore the possibilities of highly-effective, lower-temperature washing.