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Soaps and detergents

The soaps and detergents industry is a major customer of the soda ash manufactured by Tata Chemicals, the world's second-largest producer of soda ash. With manufacturing facilities in India, UK, US and Kenya, TCL is the world's most geographically diversified soda ash company, with an efficient supply chain that can service customers across the globe.

Soda ash is used as a builder or filler, to deliver a smoother surface in the formulation of soaps, detergents and other cleaning compounds. It is also used as an alkali in pH adjustment.

In addition, soda ash is used to manufacture ultramarine, which gives white clothes a sparkling look. Shampoos use soda ash as a pH modifier, while soda ash precipitate is used as a soft abrasive in toothpaste.

Sodium bicarbonate may be substituted for sodium carbonate where a milder detergent is required. Its limited solubility is also advantageous in the production of hard surface cleaners.

The pH level of Crex® a unique crystalline form of sodium sesquicarbonate, is between that of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate and its builder properties are such that it can be formulated into detergents or added as a water softener.

Detergents require light soda ash with chloride percentages of 0.4 to 1.0 per cent. The bulk density of this soda ash ensures volume benefits, while the low chloride content makes it ideal for use in washing machines.

In the detergent manufacturing process, soda ash can be hydrated to carry water as an inexpensive filler and to enhance the storage and dissolving properties of the detergent. Soda ash is used in a slew of laundry and cleaning compound formulations: as a builder to emulsify oil stains, to reduce the deposit of dirt during washing and rinsing, to provide alkalinity for cleaning, and to soften laundry water. Additionally, soda ash is a component of sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), another major builder in detergent formulations.

In powdered laundry detergent, soda ash conditions the water and enhances the processing and performance of formulated cleaning products. .