How to Clean Up Home Care Products

Consumers across all segments like to read product labels before purchasing. They have great expectations for ingredient transparency and would like brands to show how “clean” their labels are. We’ve seen the rise of ‘clean beauty’ transforming the personal care market. The trend has also reached home care, including laundry detergent, fabric softeners and dishwashing detergent. (Should we call it clean cleaning?) Let’s take a look at how it started and how it’s going.

In 2020, a survey by IBM and the National Retail Federation looked at consumer shopping behavior in 28 countries.

Nearly eight in 10 survey respondents said that sustainability was important. Seven in 10 said they were looking for specific attributes in their product choice, and nearly six in 10 would change their shopping habits to help reduce negative environmental impact.

What do consumers look for? Here is a partial list of issues that could be important:

Not containing chemicals harmful to my family

Not containing chemicals harmful to the environment

Biodegradable

Free from plastics

Made from plants/vegan

Food-grade ingredients

Paraben free

Understanding of fragrance ingredients/use essential oils

Hypoallergenic/Gentle on skin

Cruelty free

Concentrated formula

No product waste/recyclable packaging

Treatment of employees and concern for community

As we can see from the list above, the issues reflect a concern of “doing no harm” to the health of humans, animals and our waterways.

Why Biodegradability Is Central to Sustainability

Manufacturers are turning to more plant-based surfactants, enzymes and other functional materials rather than petroleum-based solutions, and more concentrated formulations for less packaging. However, ingredients also need to be biodegradable to break down rapidly in a way that is not harmful to the environment or waterways.

Researchers estimate that about eight million metric tons of waste plastic enters the ocean every year. Microplastics – those scrubbing, pearlescent and fragrance beads used to differentiate home and personal care formulations – were part of the plastic problem. They began to appear in body washes, liquid face soaps, dishwashing liquid, liquid laundry detergents and fabric softeners in the ‘70s. Consumers liked the idea of scent capsules that helped provide long-lasting freshness. Manufacturers liked that they were economical and rinsed off easily. 

However, the microplastics also passed straight through wastewater treatment systems, which were not designed to filter them. Since the microplastics were not biodegradable, they tended to accumulate in waterways and could be ingested by marine life, potentially entering our food supply. Many countries now ban the use of microplastics, and the search is on for a biodegradable alternative.

CELLULON™ Cellulose Liquid: A Biodegradable Stabilizer

Any new technology to replace microplastics will require something to stabilize it in liquid formulations. CELLULON™ Cellulose Liquid may be just the hero stabilizer that formulators need. Chemically identical to plant-derived cellulose, CELLULON™ Cellulose Liquid is produced by a microbial fermentation process.

This provides several unique benefits:

  • It is biodegradable and eco-friendly with a lifecycle not dependent on land and water usage
  • It forms a 3D, net-like structure to easily suspend opacifiers
  • High surface area-to-weight ratio
  • Not sensitive to temperature, salt or pH
  • Compatible with highly concentrated formulas
  • Disperses easily
  • Dilutes quickly
  • Won’t thicken or affect pour viscosity
  • Dependable, batch-to-batch repeatability for
    scale up
  • Low cost in use

In summary, biodegradability should be an essential part of your sustainability commitment when looking to clean up your home care formulations.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA, Kelco Oil Field Group serves the drilling fluids industry with a global staff of industry-specific sales, customer service and technical experts, with distribution points located throughout the world.

Our decades of experience begin in 1965 when we introduced a unique, commercial grade xanthan gum to the marketplace. Our product portfolio includes unique biopolymers designed to enhance production potential while maintaining well costs.

Control over variable conditions, such as site temperature and humidity, as well as raw material quality variations, e.g., sand moisture content, is critical to construction mix formulations.

We offer nature-based products specifically designed for the construction industry.  Our application scientists understand the full scope of criterion required for quality, workable end products. Working with CP Kelco, you leverage our expertise while choosing from a wide range of useful, often unique, product properties that encompass high levels of functionality, excellent compatibility with different types of ingredients, and suitable for a wide range of applications, such as latex-based and ready-made plasters, filling compounds, putties, grouts, mortars, and more.

We develop nature-based, highly functional, cost-effective products and solutions, and combine those ingredients with global logistic capabilities to meet the needs of customers across a wide variety of industries.

Our portfolio of ingredients includes a full range of products proven to meet industry standards and recognized as reliable in overall performance. These products are ideal for multiple industrial uses such as mining, oil field drilling and stimulation fluids, construction, paints and coatings, industrial cleaners, textile sizing and printing, and more.