Creating the best liquid laundry soap wasn't easy. It took us ten years of trying, experimenting, and coming up with new ideas. Let's dive into the incredible story of Formula No. 136, a laundry detergent that came to life after 136 tries. We tackled problems like surfactants, thickness, foam, and more to give you a laundry solution that's easy to use and works well.
Foam and Bubbles: Not Indicators of Cleanliness!
Before we begin, let's debunk a common misconception: when your laundry detergent foams and bubbles, it doesn't necessarily mean your clothes will be cleaner. In most cases, foam is there for looks, not performance.
Problem #1: Finding the Right Surfactants
One of the initial hurdles was identifying the perfect surfactants and the right combination for our laundry soap. We aimed for a formula that was easy to use, but this quest for perfection led us through various processes and formulations.
Problem #2: Bar Soap vs. Liquid Soap
As lovers of bar soap, we initially explored the idea of using it in our laundry detergent. However, achieving consistency in the formula proved challenging. Liquid soap was another option, but both forms required extensive processing to achieve the desired dilution and concentration.
Problem #3: Managing Foam and Scum
One interesting aspect of soap in laundry detergents is its role in managing foam production during a wash. Traditional soap can lead to scum buildup, necessitating the inclusion of a complementary surfactant to enhance cleaning and rinsing performance. We experimented with multiple soap bases and eventually moved on to other options.
Problem #4: Trials with Plant-Sourced Surfactants
Testing liquid plant-sourced surfactants opened new possibilities. While these surfactants showed promise individually, they posed challenges when combined. Each one had to be tested and, in some cases, ruled out. The journey to finding the right combination was a lengthy process of trial and error.
Problem #5: Balancing Water Softening Ingredients
The addition of water softening components introduced reactivity issues, including unexpected "volcano eruptions" and product settling. We aimed to avoid heat in the process and experimented with combinations of citric acid and sodium citrate. Baking soda, although initially considered, was ruled out after a few unexpected outcomes. Eventually, we achieved the right balance without needing additional stabilizers.
Problem #6: The Fragrance Dilemma
The fragrance component was another puzzle. We tested various essential oil blends, but they tended to fade in the dryer. We explored alternatives like natural fragrances and synthetic options but eventually decided not to add fragrance to the formula. Surprisingly, the liquid acquired a pleasant citrus scent from the addition of d-limonene, which also acted as an anti-foam and degreaser.
Problem #7: Cold-Water Compatibility and Dosing
Formula No. 136 was designed to work in both cold and hot water wash cycles. Achieving proper solubility in cold water was crucial. Some thickeners we tested created undesirable textures, making proper dispensing challenging. We settled on just the right amount of salt to maintain thickness while ensuring proper solubility.
Problem #8: Perfecting the Dose Size
Finding the right amount of detergent for each load had its share of difficulties. Through experimentation, we discovered that one teaspoon of detergent proved effective for various washing conditions and machine types. This was a crucial step in ensuring that our detergent provided the best performance without the need for excessive quantities commonly found in conventional detergents.
A Soapy Journey
Formula No. 136 represents the culmination of a long and intricate journey, filled with experiments, adjustments, and countless trials. Crafting the perfect laundry soap has been an adventure, but we're proud to offer you a product that simplifies your laundry routine and delivers excellent results.
Check out the dramatic journey to Formula No. 136 below!