Industry Trends of Detergents

In an effort to determine just how clean is clean, the detergent industry is constantly re-evaluating its products to give the consumers the best possible product for their money. The industrial chemical supplier, Bell Chem, follows this same philosophy, giving its customers the best value for its long list of chemicals and ingredients.

The History of Detergent
The need to clean clothes quickly followed the trend for man to wear clothes. Modern detergents are based on Roman civilization; Mount Sapo contained sacrificial land where animals were slaughtered and offered to the gods. The tallow from the animals combined with the ash from the fires as rains washed down the mountainside. The river containing the runoff became a magnet for women washing clothes; everything washed along the base of Mount Sapo was cleaner.  

Detergents in the Modern Age
Depending on where you reside in the world, your detergent will differ. The ingredients are stable — bleaches, brighteners, enzymes, fillers, polymers, surfactants, and water softeners — but the percentage of each ingredient is altered. In North America, for instance, detergents contain a higher percentage of bleach, enzymes, polymers, and surfactants. Africa and Asia, on the other hand, rely on a less expensive alternative for their detergents. Throughout the industry, certain trends have emerged in cleaning, chlorine, and environmental progress.  

Detergents were created to clean, and the ingredients utilized focused on thorough, fast, inexpensive detergents — such as the leftovers from animal sacrifice. Coal tar has replaced animal fats as a more reliable alternative.

Warren Schmidt, an industry consultant for detergents, notes a trend towards bleach: "Advancement is driven less by soaps and cleaning and more by bleach and bleach activators and perfumes.” In his research, he has discovered that the general public focuses on the smell of laundry to determine its level of cleanliness. With 90% of the population satisfied with their laundry’s cleanliness, how can science improve detergent?

Environmental Progress
The focus of detergent manufacturing has recently shifted to environmental concerns with consumers pushing to change the chemical makeup of detergents to environmentally-friendly ingredients. Concentrated detergents in liquid and powdered form are on the rise. Their ability to maintain the same level of cleanliness while using less product decreases packaging and the enormous expense of transportation. Petroleum-based surfactants are currently under fire and may be replaced by surfactants derived from natural oils. New detergents designed for energy-efficient washers dominate the market, and the trend towards washing clothes in cold water will surely alter detergent makeup.

Learn more about industrial chemical supplier Bell Chem’s inventory by reading our blogs. Bell Chem is based in Longwood, FL (just north of Orlando) with hundreds of products stocked in their 50,000+ square-foot warehouse. You can expect the highest quality products, expedited shipping options for maximum efficiency, and unrivaled personalized customer service. Let our knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives and accounting staff personalize all your needs by either calling 407-339-BELL (2355) or by sending us an online message.