Laundry detergent manufacturers are rolling out a new generation of products aimed at making cleaning more efficient and environmentally friendly, according to an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS’ weekly newsmagazine.
C&EN Assistant Managing Editor Michael McCoy points out in the cover story that this trend in innovative fabric-cleaning products is occurring despite a rocky economy in 2009, which led to sales declines for premium laundry products, such as Tide. Overall, however, the liquid detergent market managed to rack up $3.1 billion in U.S. sales in 2009, according to the article. Products include new detergents and other laundry aids that contain natural, sustainable ingredients that are less likely to harm the environment than conventional cleaners. Manufacturers are also marketing specialty cleaners that help reduce energy or water consumption. Other new products aim to make cleaning more efficient, including at least one new cleaner that combines detergent, fabric softener and static reducer into one sheet-like product.
The driving force behind these innovative fabric-care products is convenience, combined with some clever chemistry. Laundry manufacturers and chemical suppliers are working hand-in-hand to develop even more new cleaning products for the future, the article suggests.