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[laundry chemicals] What is a fabric softener?

2019-01-18 16:39
Fabric softeners are coated on fabrics with the aim of increasing the electrical conductivity of the fabric, minimizing static charge and reducing the stiffness of the fabric. Textile softeners are added to final rinse, to detergent, and to dryers. In Korea, it is often added to rinse. Among the weak acidic cationic softeners in the domestic market, there are Saffron, Finishing, Clear Water Story, Wife's Fragrance, Pigeon, Boiled (for baby diapers), Sherry, etc. The quaternary ammonium compound is frequently used as the cationic softening agent, and concomitantly imparts resistance to fungus. Often, anion softening agents are used commercially for fiber-based fibers such as fibrin fiber and wool, and cationic softening agents are mostly used for household laundry. Generally, these commercial softening agents are fatty acids. Since the fibers are negatively charged in water, they absorb cationic surfactants to form charged films on the surface of the fibers, and absorb moisture thereon to prevent charging. Cationic surfactants are absorbed in the water such that the hydrophilic group is absorbed on the negatively charged fiber side and the hydrophilic group is on the outer side of the fiber, so that the surface of the fiber is covered with a thin layer of oil, so that the movement of the fiber becomes free and soft. Cationic flexibilizers and antistatic agents can not be used together with detergents and antistatic agents because they are combined with anionic surfactants and can not be used together with bleach or water softener.

Q&As about fabric softener

Q1: What are cationic and anionic softeners?
A1: If an atomic group representing a surfactant (hydrophilic group moiety) dissociates when the surfactant is dissolved in water is an anion, a cationic surfactant when it is a cationic surfactant and a nonionic surfactant that does not dissociate is a nonionic system, and having both is a positive system.

Q2: Why should not softeners be used with detergents?
A2: Some anionic surfactants in the fibers may enhance the softening effect of the cationic surfactants, since precipitates of anionic / cationic complexes are formed in the fabric and the complexes may become lubricants. However, when a cationic surfactant (fiber softening agent) is mixed in a washing liquid containing excessive anions in the form of fibers or containing many anionic surfactants, the anionic surfactant and the cationic surfactant may interact with each other. Likewise, it would be more effective to rinse shampoo rather than a mixture of shampoo and conditioner.

Q3: Why do cationic surfactants give superior softening effects to anionic and nonionic surfactants?
A3: Before you were in the world, about 1964, Brasseler and Rosch found that cationic surfactants could reduce the coefficient of surface friction to an extent not obtainable by anionic surfactants or nonionic surfactants. There are generally two possibilities for the binding of cationic surfactants to fibers and the arrangement of fibrous cationic surfactants. Two effects of the arrangement of the lubricant on the reduction of the surface frictional force are: First, the shear force acting on the lubricant layer cannot remove the lubricant without destroying the strong bond. Second, a slippery surface is created between the hydrophobic tail of the outward facing softener. The frictional resistance and bonding force as much as the intermolecular bonding is much lower in the polar or ionic group than in the non-polar part. This fact leads to a decrease in the coefficient of friction of the cationic surfactant and a major effect of the cationic softening agent.

Domestic market textile softener

Incense of fabric softener
1) Pigeon (Pigeon Corporation): Mimosa musk, green fresh incense, Bianca incense
2) POMI (Unilever Korea): natural fragrance, floral fragrance
3) Story of fresh water (Cheiljedang): Fresh Floral, Natural green flavor
4) Sherry (Oxy): Paris perfume, Alps perfume, Mediterranean perfume
5) Wife's fragrance (Dongsan C & M): Sweeping Flavor, Fresh Blue Flavor
6) Saffron (LG): Dipinus, Hyacinth
7) Oxyclean (oxy)

Each feature

1) Pigeon
A feature that lasts for a very long time. It has antibacterial function and cleans the detergent. Do not use with detergents or bleach. If you get into your eyes, rinse immediately and consult your doctor if something goes wrong. Keep the instructions in the manual and do not immerse too long.

2) Clear water story
AMO, a skin protection ingredient, is blended with silicone. ADA ingredient removes residue after washing.

3) Sherry
As with other products, there is no need to rinse with water. The raw liquid may come into contact with clothes directly and it should not be used together with detergents and bleaches. It should be stored indoors in winter.

4) The fragrance of wife
We obtained the first SF (antibacterial and deodorant) mark in Korea.
The use of natural vegetable palm-based ingredients (EQ) is good for soft skin.
It is convenient for ironing because it prevents wrinkles after washing with repulsive elastic silicone.
The rinse effect has been enhanced three times.

5) Saffron
It is made of 100% palm flexible material and can be used for baby clothes and underwear.
After washing, remove residual scum as well as remaining germs.

6) Oxyclean
Clothing that cannot be worn, such as wool, dogs, leather, clothes that are exposed to metal salts, or clothes that are washed using a neutral detergent should not be used.
Ground water or tap water can be reddish if it contains a lot of metal. It keeps the container from getting water, but it can harden when water gets in.
If you immerse in the water for a long time, it may be discolored or yellowed, so it should be soaked within 3 hours.

3. Pros and cons of fabric softener

Softeners have affinity to fibers and tend to yellow as time passes, and when used frequently they accumulate in the fibers and reduce the absorbency of the fibers. Also, instructions on the use of fabric softeners need to be followed. If not, problems will arise, for example, a dryer softener sheet should be added to a cold dryer. When added to an on-dryer or a heat-dryer, the oil of the softener may become stained in the synthetic item, and in a less absorbent fabric the fat layer tends to accumulate in the fabric. Therefore, it is not recommended to use the product every time it is washed. If necessary, it is recommended to use it once after three times of washing.

However, most commercially available fabric softeners are used for rinsing after washing, so do not use them at the same time with detergents. Together with fabric softeners, to some extent it can prevent the flexibility and static electricity of the clothing, but these effects are not permanent. Thus, a polymer surfactant capable of withstanding washing has been developed and used. To prevent permanent electrification, the fiber itself may be modified, such as by coating the surface of the fiber with a hydrophilic resin membrane or grafting a hydrophilic polymer onto the fiber molecule.