Cleaning up fat

When it comes to washing clothes and cleaning surfaces, some fatty deposits are tough to remove. We want to make it easier to get surfaces spotless, in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

The challenge

Certain types of soils on fabrics and hard surfaces are difficult to clean because they contain waxy, solid and polymerised fat. In the case of laundry, it’s the soil type that, upon aging, leaves a yellow stain on the fabric (eg on collar line). We want to find materials / ingredients / concoctions / solutions that can remove such types of fatty deposits in an efficient, odourless and environmentally friendly way. It is important that the solution is capable of removing fatty deposits more efficiently than can be achieved today by currently available products in the market.

What we are looking for

The solution could be incorporated as an ingredient in the detergent formulation or be a standalone solution, eg a pre-treatment applied directly to the fabric or hard surface. It must address either laundry or hard surface, preferably both, and should be accompanied by an explanation of the mechanism(s) of operation.

Possible solution areas:

  • highly alkaline solutions pH 11, which do not cause damage to fabrics, or hard surfaces

  • fatty acid esters capable of solubilising sebum and selected solid fats

  • non-ionic surfactants with small / medium alkyl chain length (up to C 8)

Constraints & requirements:

  • be safe for use

  • compatible with detergents, cleaning ingredients and packaging material

  • does not cause damage to fabrics / substrates

  • has no adverse environmental impact

  • If you have a design or technological idea that could help us meet this challenge, we'd like to hear from you.

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