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Consistent wash performance – just a matter of chance?


Novozymes, Denmark


To a surprising degree, wash performance in laundry powder detergents is a matter of probability. From a typical box of detergent, take 10 scoops, do 10 washes over a period of time, and you might get a range of wash performance results. Achieving consistent wash performance requires both the homogeneous distribution of all ingredients and the stability of those ingredients, i.e. the ingredients do not degrade over the shelf life. This can be difficult to achieve. This article describes the technical issues underlying this formulation problem, and how new enzyme technology addresses it.


The powder detergent market makes up nearly 60% of the total laundry detergent value globally (1). Powders are especially popular in developing regions such as Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, where they will continue to dominate in the foreseeable future. In developed countries, the powder share has been declining, but it still commands around one-third of market share in Europe, with continued strong appeal for consumers who want the bleach effect.

With such a strong established market position, one would have thought that the problem of delivering consistent wash results had been solved long ago. But the situation is just the opposite. As new, more powerful and varied enzymes have become available, the need for skillful formulation has become greater to ensure consistent results.


Enzymes are biological catalysts that are widely used in laundry products for stain degradation, whiteness, color care and fabric care. High-performance detergents usually contain a wide variety of enzymes; multi-enzyme so ...

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