Bleaching systems in domestic laundry detergents: a review
Laundry detergent is an indispensable commodity which is used by consumers worldwide. The global market for laundry detergents is in the region of $60.9 billion (2012, based on retail value), of which $11.7 billion comes from Western Europe. Non-chlorine bleach was incorporated in a detergent for the first time just over a century ago and it remains an important component of detergents, particularly powder detergents. Detergent development is mainly carried out in industrial laboratories and, as a result, relatively few papers have been published in this area. The aim of this review is to compile this information, along with that contained in the patent literature and other sources, to give future researchers a more comprehensive overview of this important topic. Specifically, oxygen-based bleaching systems have been examined, with focus on their development through the years. Current research targets as described by the available literature are also discussed, such as the development of better bleaching species, alternative bleach systems, and steps to incorporate a bleaching system in liquid laundry detergents (a key development which continues to elude researchers).