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From What Are Detergents Manufactured?

Have you ever wondered from what are detergents manufactured? We're here to satisfy your curiosity.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of detergents, revealing their ingredients, how they work to keep our clothes clean, and what goes into their production.

Understanding the components of detergent powder not only helps us make informed choices but also sheds light on the importance of choosing eco-friendly options like ours at Activated Eco.

What this article covers:

What Are the Ingredients of Detergent Powder?

Detergent powders and sheets, essential for effective cleaning, are composed of several ingredients. Whether in powder form or as a liquid, these components work to tackle dirt and stains, with some components raising the question, “is laundry detergent toxic?”.

Let's explore the common ingredients found across various detergent formats.


Regarding the question "Is detergent an acid or base?", detergents are classified as bases due to their higher pH value, typically around 10, on the pH scale​​​​​​.

Alkalies play a role in the effectiveness of detergents. Based on our observations, these compounds, typically sodium or potassium hydroxides, are fundamental to your standard detergents.

The primary function of alkalies in detergents is to aid in breaking down greasy and organic stains. They achieve this through a process called emulsification, where the alkaline detergent suspends oil and soil particles.

Further, Alkaline detergents can be effective at softening water, as they react with and neutralize acids found in organic soils. This reaction can emulsify soil and dissolve fats, making them easier to remove.

how are detergents made

High-alkaline cleaners, like sodium hydroxide, are especially strong and commonly used in laundry detergents. However, it's important to note that high-alkaline cleaners can be corrosive and require careful handling.


Builders in detergents mainly help to soften water. They do this by neutralizing minerals like calcium and magnesium, commonly found in hard water.

If these minerals are not dealt with, they can lessen the cleaning power of detergents or lead to the formation of soap scum. By softening the water, builders allow detergents to work more effectively in cleaning clothes and surfaces.

In addition to softening water, builders also contribute to the sought-after level of alkalinity (increased pH). They act as buffers to maintain this alkalinity in wash water.

Builders also assist in emulsifying oily and greasy soils, which helps suspend loosened dirt, preventing it from settling back onto the cleaned surface​​​​.


Surfactants are ingredients that work by attaching to both water and grease. One part of a surfactant molecule is attracted to water, and the other is deterred by it.

This allows surfactants to lift dirt and oil from surfaces and mix them into water so they can be washed away.


Enzymes in detergents are ingredients that target specific types of stains, breaking them down into smaller, more manageable pieces that can be easily washed away.

There are several types of enzymes commonly used in detergents, each with a specific function:

1. Proteases

Our research indicates that these enzymes break down protein-based stains, such as blood and egg, removing these types of stains from fabrics.

2. Amylases

Amylases target starch-based stains like those from food sources. They work by breaking down the starch molecules, making the stains easier to remove.

detergents are manufactured from

3. Lipases

Lipases are used to tackle fat and oil-based stains. They work by breaking down the lipid molecules, effectively dealing with greasy stains.

4. Cellulases

These enzymes help in breaking down cotton fibres. Cellulases can help maintain the quality of fabrics by reducing pilling and fuzziness on cotton materials.

5. Mannanases

Mannanases are effective against stains from food thickeners like bean gum, a stabilizer and thickener, commonly found in food products.

Colourant Or Dyes

Colourants or dyes in detergents primarily serve to enhance the visual appeal of the product. The colour of a detergent doesn't contribute to its cleaning effectiveness.

Rather, they are intended to make the product more attractive, with their often blue colour signifying cleanliness. Dyes, however, can contain harmful ingredients. Our detergent sheets offer all the goodness without the harshness of chemical additives.

Other Supporting Ingredients

Other supporting ingredients in detergents play various roles, complementing the primary cleaning agents like surfactants and enzymes. These ingredients include:


These are added to detergents to control chemical reactions and ensure consistent product performance. Stabilizers prevent ingredients from degrading or reacting undesirably with each other.

PH Modifiers

The pH of a detergent, which can be acidic, alkaline, or neutral, is adjusted using pH modifiers. These are important for ensuring the detergent is effective and safe for use on different fabrics and skin types.

For the most part, however, when answering “is detergent an acid or base?”, the answer is that it is a base.

Bleach And Optical Brighteners

These are used for whitening and brightening clothes. Optical brighteners work by reflecting more blue light, giving fabrics a whiter or brighter appearance.

how is detergent made


Added for scent, fragrances give laundry a fresh, clean smell. The choice of fragrance varies among different brands and products.


Our findings show that solvents like water or alcohol are used In liquid detergents to dissolve and mix the ingredients to create a uniform fluid.

How to Select the Best Detergent

Choosing the right laundry detergent is an essential aspect of effective laundry care. In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on moving away from traditional chemical detergents and opting for eco-friendly options.

Natural detergents offer an array of benefits, both for the environment and for personal health. Since they are biodegradable, they are therefore less harmful to the environment. They are free from harsh chemicals like phosphates, which can lead to water pollution and harm aquatic life.

In addition to being eco-friendly, natural detergents are often gentler on the skin, making them a suitable choice for individuals with sensitive skin.

Activated Eco's laundry detergent sheets represent a step forward in sustainable laundry solutions. These detergent sheets are a zero-waste alternative to traditional detergents. Available in pre-measured strips, these sheets ensure you won't need to worry about how much laundry detergent to use.

The compact design of these sheets is a key feature. This reduced weight contributes to a decrease in transport pollution, aligning with a commitment to environmental sustainability.

what are detergents manufactured from

How Detergents Are Manufactured

The manufacturing of detergents involves a complex, multi-stage process, with the method varying depending on the type of detergent being produced. Here's how traditional detergents are manufactured:

Formulation Stage

This initial phase involves determining the types and quantities of ingredients. The formulation is crucial as it defines the detergent's cleaning performance and product characteristics.

Mixing And Blending

In this stage, the various components are mixed in large tanks or reactors. It involves blending the surfactant solution with builders, enzymes, fragrances, and other ingredients to ensure a uniform and homogenous mixture.

Neutralization And Drying

For liquid detergents, a neutralization step is often required, where an alkali is added to adjust the pH level. This stabilizes the detergent and enhances its cleaning efficacy.

In contrast, powder or solid detergents undergo a drying process. The dried mixture is then crushed to achieve the desired particle size.


Finally, the detergent is filled into appropriate containers, such as bottles, boxes, or bags. This step includes labelling, batch coding, and sealing for product integrity and regulatory compliance.


Detergents are complex formulations combining alkalies, surfactants, enzymes, and various other ingredients, each serving a unique cleaning purpose. Understanding these components helps us choose more effective cleaning products.

Embracing eco-friendly products like Activated Eco's laundry detergent sheets is a smart move for environmentally conscious consumers. These sheets not only clean effectively but also significantly reduce environmental impact.

Considering detergent manufacturing, it's crucial to choose brands that align with both cleaning efficacy and environmental responsibility. Make the switch to Activated Eco, and join the movement towards a cleaner, greener planet.

Visit our online store for a sustainable approach to laundry! 

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