Unilever logo
Cleanipedia ZA logo

How Laundry Detergent Ingredients Work

Find out here which liquid detergent cares for your clothes.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

How Laundry Detergent Ingredients Work

Skip was the first brand to bring an automatic washing powder to the South African market in the 1960’s and their formulation and ingredients have come a long way since then. When people first started using some form of soap to wash their clothes it was way back in the 18th century when bars of soap were made from fat from animals! Luckily a lot has changed since then and there is now some advanced technology being used in liquid detergent ingredient formulations.

Every brand has its own formulation but it goes without saying that the more inexpensive the product, the less effective. That’s why we love Skip Liquid Detergent because it is highly effective in washing clothes and keeping them looking newer for longer and it is well-priced too. As far as washing liquids go, we know that Skip is right there at the top of the list. What exactly goes into liquid laundry detergents and how do the ingredients work to get rid of stains and dirt? Here’s how;

What Does Liquid Detergent Contain?

The variety, rate, and amount of liquid laundry detergent ingredients vary from product to product and every brand will have a special secret ingredient that they add to their product to set it apart from the rest. But most washing detergents contain a balance of these five ingredients:


An alkali is a compound or chemical that neutralises acids. They are used in liquid detergents to effectively remove dirt and stains that are grease based because the alkali (in a soluble salt form) reacts with the grease to lift out of the fabric and form an oily particle which is then held as a suspension in the water, which can then be drained away.


A surfactant is a substance that reduces the tension or surface tension of the water once it’s dissolved into it, and this is necessary with washing liquids because they help to get rid of the dirt and grease in the water that normally wouldn’t dissolve in it.

The Poll

How do you choose your cleaning products?

0 Votes

Catalytic Enzymes

There are many different types of catalytic enzymes but all of them have one property in common which is that they work to break down substances into smaller substances. Laundry detergent would typically contain a range of enzymes to break down a range of different substances. For example, protease breaks down protein-based substances and lipase breaks down fast-based substances. So, every one of these enzymes would work to break down a particular type of enzyme-based stain.


Every product will contain its own combination of fragrances to get the specific type of smell they are promising. When it comes to washing liquid ingredients, products come in every kind of smell ranging from Lavender to Floral.


Colourants have no real purpose in the washing detergent other than to colour the liquid to make it more appealing to the user. Skip, for example, chooses to make their laundry detergent liquid a bright blue colour which they have tested to be the most appealing to their users.

Skip Liquid Detergents

How to choose laundry liquid detergents?

We recommend choosing a detergent that delivers what they promise. Choose a detergent, like Skip, that is amazing at caring for your clothes and that has advanced technology to give clothes the best clean, the best shape, and the best colour.

Originally published