Sustainable cleaning with soil release polymers
Effective, efficient and more environmentally-compatible cleaning of synthetic fabrics is more important now than ever before. This article explores some of the benefits offered by the newest generation of soil release polymers for polyester-containing garments and their potential role in making laundry detergents and the laundering process more sustainable.
As the world population continues to grow, detergent manufacturers are faced with the challenge of anticipating and addressing the changing needs of their consumers. Larger numbers of people are gaining access to automatic washers, the growth of liquid detergents far outstrips that of powder detergents the world over, and whilst the world production of cotton stagnates, that of polyester continues to increase at significant levels. In such a challenging environment, there is a growing need for weight-efficient materials that can aid the laundering process under difficult conditions such as high dilution and mild abrasion. As a result, new versions of old chemistries are gaining a place of ever increasing importance in the formulator’s cupboard, a prime example being soil release polyesters (SRP). The role of these polymers in addressing issues such as the laundering of synthetic garments, particularly under challenging conditions, as well as the potential improvements in the eco-profile of the laundering process as a whole through reduced electricity and water consumption, will be explored in this article.
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