Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General EDTA vs citric acid as builder for laundry detergent

  • EDTA vs citric acid as builder for laundry detergent

    Posted by Abdullah on November 8, 2022 at 3:37 am

    Citric acid is a much weaker chelating agent than EDTA. In a laundry detergent with 8% total surfactant, is citric acid enough to make hard water soft or should i use EDTA?

    Formula 
    SLS 3.8% active 
    LABSA 1.5% active 
    Lauryl glucoside 3.5% active 
    EDTA 1% or citric acid 1-3% 
    CMC 0.5% 
    Water 
    pH 10

    LeonB replied 6 months, 1 week ago 6 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 10:35 am

    Why not zeolite

  • ketchito

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 10:53 am

    I agree with @PhilGeis. If I’m not mistaken, P&G replaced phosphates long time ago by zeolites in laundry detergents. 

    If you want to keep your system, at high pH, you’ll have the basic forms of both EDTA and Citric acid. Moreover, there’s a synergy between them (you can google some info about it), so you can match the performance of STPP (the gold standard before been baned) with a mixture of Na4EDTA and Na Citrate.

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Phosphate in household products was banned last century on the mistaken belief that source cause eutrophication of surface waters.

    • oldman20

      Member
      October 30, 2023 at 3:06 am

      eutrophication of surface waters? what’s mean of it?

      • Margaret

        Member
        October 31, 2023 at 9:37 am

        Eutrophication means a body of water has had nutrients (that normally occur in only small amounts), added to it. The increased nutrients result in algae now having so much nutrients, they grow like crazy & produce algal blooms. This leads to the water becoming depleted in oxygen (due to the algal blooms) and then fish & other life forms in the water suffocate & die from lack of oxygen.

        Phosphorus was found to be a main cause of this eutrophication so it was banned in laundry detergents, BUT it seems nitrogen might also be a factor.

        Here is more info. on eutrophication of bodies of water and WHY phosphorus was seen as the cause.

        https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.6b02204

        • oldman20

          Member
          November 7, 2023 at 12:30 am

          but you said it is “mistaken belief”?

  • Abdullah

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    I currently have only these available locally. 
    Tetra sodium EDTA 
    Citric acid 
    Sodium bicarbonate

    Which one should i use or should i use  a blend?

  • Abdullah

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    @PhilGeis i have no restrictions on which ingredient should i not use. 
    I should import anything other than those mentioned above. So which one do you suggest i use in the future? 

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    Then use phosphate

  • Abdullah

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    PhilGeis said:

    Then use phosphate

    Do you mean STPP or any other phosphate?

    And at what percentage should i use it? 

    We have hard water. ~700 TDS

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 8, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    I don’t recall the levels.   It’s been way too long - Sorry

  • Abdullah

    Member
    November 9, 2022 at 3:01 am

    PhilGeis said:

    I don’t recall the levels.   It’s been way too long - Sorry

    Ok no problem
    By phosphate did you mean STPP?

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 10, 2022 at 12:55 am

    Don;t recall the specific phosphate but figure that’ll work.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    November 10, 2022 at 1:35 am

    PhilGeis said:

    Don;t recall the specific phosphate but figure that’ll work.

    Thanks a lot

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 10, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    Used pyrophosphate in cleaners

  • Abdullah

    Member
    November 19, 2022 at 4:56 am

    PhilGeis said:

    Used pyrophosphate in cleaners

    Thanks

  • LeonB

    Member
    November 20, 2023 at 8:15 am

    Hi there,

    For phosphonate Briquest 543-25S, for readily biodegradable sequestering agent try Dissolvine GL 47. Why didn’t add enzymes to your laundry liquid?

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