Bleach, Bleach Actives
These remove and decolorize stains from fabrics. They also restore whiteness, so are only to be used for white loads. They come in many forms, such as Hydrogen Peroxide.
Brighteners, Fluorescent Whitening Agents, Optical Brighteners
These fluorescent dyes glow blue-white when exposed to ultraviolet light, making dingy yellowed fabrics appear white Buffering Agents
These are weak acids and bases used to maintain the correct acidity in a solution. They help maintain the pH balance of your wash.
Builders help to soften water by removing hard water molecules like calcium. This helps Ariel detergent get to your dirty laundry.
Catalysts that promote reactions, enzymes in detergent break down stains and food residues on your garments.
A mix of fragrant essential oils and aroma compounds, these help to give your clothes that just washed scent.
Polymers help detergents to be more efficient. They do this through a range of tasks, such as keeping stains from returning to clothes after they’ve been removed.
In order to do their job to full efficiency, detergents sometimes need some help, which is where process aids come in. These additives help the performance and efficiency of the other ingredients through tasks like helping to keep ingredients evenly distributed.
These help suds to form and stop them from decomposing. Their use in detergents is limited, as it’s better to have stable and lasting suds rather than very large ones.
The opposite of suds stabilizers, these help to suppress suds, making sure of a more even spread of suds throughout the wash. Too many suds aren’t good for your wash, so suds suppressors are important.
Possibly the key ingredient in detergent, these are the main stain removers. They remove anything greasy from fabrics.