Detergents are the chemicals available in powder, liquid or tablet forms which ensure cleaning and purification thanks to their surfactant properties. In other words, detergents are a mixture of organic substances which possess "surfactant" properties. They ensure cleaning generally thanks to the surfactants, enzymes, foam regulators, boosters and some other chemicals contained in them. Detergents that took the place of soap in cleaning works for their superior properties give damage to health. The use of complex alkali metal phosphates in the production of detergents is restricted or prohibited. The soap or detergent in the wash water increases the wetting ability of water and allows an easy penetration into the cloth. By this way, it is possible to clean off the dirt. Each molecule of the cleaning agent may be considered as a long chain. This chain has hydrophilic group at one end and hydrophobic group at the other end. Since the hydrophobic group can catch the dirt, this end of the molecule surrounds the dirt. At the same time, hydrophilic group on the other end of the molecule draws dirt particles from cloth into the washing water. The agitation done mechanically in the meantime helps soap or detergent to remove the dirt and allows dirt to remain suspended in the wash water and prevents its re-adhesion onto the cloth.
Borates has an important place in the cleaning sector for their properties such as facilitating the process of removing stains and bleaching, enzyme stabilizing, alkaline buffering, water softening and improving the performance of materials used as surfactant and R&D studies are conducted to enhance its use in the cleaning sector.
Borates are used in laundry detergents, household or industrial type cleaners and personal care products in many different forms. In these applications, borates facilitate the process of removing stains and bleaching, stabilize enzymes, buffer the alkaline, soften the water and improve the performance of materials used as surfactant. Also, they help to control bacteria and fungi in personal care products.
Recent studies imply borates to increase the cleaning action of laundry soaps, reduce adhesion of dirt onto the surface as well as for brighter and cleaner clothes.
Borates and perborates confer advantages on detergents. These advantages are as follows
a) Alkaline buffering or pH control
b) Water softening (by producing a soluble calcium complex)
c) Improving the performance of surfactant (surface active agent)
d) Preventing re-adhesion of dirt onto the surface (redeposition)
e) Perborates are the excellent detergent bleaches.