How to Manufacture Detergent Powder | Complete Guide

Here we tell about the manufacturing process of detergent powder. You know full information on laundry detergent manufacturing. How to make laundry detergent powder for business?

How to Manufacture Detergent Powder?

Traditional methods usually involve boiling fat and ash. Modern production, although greatly improved, relies on the same essential qualities.

While powdered detergent is dry and enhanced with a range of technologically advanced additives – it is still technically based on fatty acids and lye.

how to manufacture detergent powder

What is Detergent Powder?

By definition, it is soap in powder form that is used for washing clothes, sheets, towels, and clothing in general. It can be used for washing in the washing machine or manually.

Powdered detergent is one of the more traditional washing solutions with two major advantages: affordability and power against heavy stains.

These advantages, among others, lead to the resurgent popularity of detergent powder around the world, while its affordability makes it an especially convenient market product for developing countries. Get information about, the formulation of detergent.

Is Detergent Powder the Same as Washing Powder?

Powdered detergent is a broad term that includes all types of soaps manufactured in powder form.

However, it is commonly used as a synonym for laundry detergent. While most formulas are suitable for both machine and hand washing, some products are targeted for specific use.

What Is Powder Detergent Used for?

Powdered detergents are commonly used to remove stains from a variety of fabrics. It is a popular and economical alternative to cleaning cloths, available in recyclable, eco-friendly packages such as cardboard boxes.

Powder detergent pros
reusable package
Excellent for removing heavy blemishes
Brightening and whitening properties
Specific optional ingredients such as oxygen bleach

Powder Detergent Cons
Dosing can be tricky and messy
Low-quality formulas may leave residue or may only partially dissolve at low temperatures
The package is sensitive to water and tear
Not the best remedy for pre-treatment of blemishes

Note: Detergent powder is a traditional compound for laundry, an improved version of plain soap. It’s powerful against heavy stains, is often packaged in eco-friendly boxes, and is more economical than other laundry detergent solutions.

How Do You Make Detergent Powder?

One is the blender or dry mixing process. The ingredients are mixed inside the blender machine and slowly passed onto a conveyor belt that takes them to the next stage or packaging.

Another method is the grouping process, which takes place inside a food processor. The pointed blades launder the mass to form a fine powder, which is then sprinkled with liquid material.

The heat produces a viscous, gel-like liquid that is easy to crush when dry. The detergent made by this method is recognizable by its distinctive, granule-like appearance.

In the solution method, the elements are dissolved in water. A pump blows the solution inside a spray drying tower where hot, dry air dehydrates it, creating beads of dry detergent. Also read about, the best powder laundry detergent 2023.

How Do You Make High-quality Washing Powder?

The best powder detergents are mild powders that have excellent free-flowing properties. Their average bulk density is between 250–500 g/l, consisting of hollow particles with dimensions of 0.2–2.5 mm. A spray drying tower is the most reliable way to obtain mass with such properties.

What Is the pH Value of Detergent Powder?

“pH” is an abbreviation for “potential of hydrogen” used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a detergent formula. Acid and basic make up the two extreme ends of the pH scale.

Balancing and perfecting the pH level of detergent powder is achieved through pH modifiers.

Most liquid cleansers, dishwashing liquids, beauty bar soaps, and similar products fall in the slightly acidic to neutral pH range.

This is essential for products that need to be adapted to the pH level of human skin. Powder laundry detergents, on the other hand, are of the same spectrum as bar soaps with a pH in the alkali range. Know about, Non-alkaline detergent.

How Do You Check the pH of Detergent Powder?

When chemical ingredients are dispersed in water, the pH level of the mixture defines whether it is an acidic, alkaline, or neutral compound.

Note: There are three major, contemporary manufacturing methods of detergent powder. Many Group productions in the United States of America focus on the slurry method. The spray drying tower process ensures the highest quality product with excellent free-flowing properties.

Powder Detergent Spray Drying Process Explained

Modern powdered detergents have a light, free-flowing, lathering mass. In those words, compared to the dry mix and pile processes, spray drying provides a better product.

The mass made in this way is light, almost completely dehydrated, with minimal risk of issues such as cooking of the final product.

1. Handling Raw Materials

Before anything else, it’s essential to properly handle raw materials, and this includes storage and transportation. Two types of chemical ingredients are used in the production of powdered detergents: liquid and solid.

Most solids come in powder form, packaged in woven bags, such as soda ash or STPP, while liquids such as LABSA or caustic lye are usually stored in tanks.

2. Dosing of Raw Materials

After the material is loaded into the appropriate tankers, the automated process begins with measuring and dosing. To ensure smooth and accurate flow, each step is monitored and controlled by an operator-surveyed PLC system.

All formulas and details are stored in system memory and applied automatically. An average manufacturer works with hundreds of formulas ranging from their own branded products to specialized contract manufacturing recipes. Get information about, mix laundry detergent with bleach.

3. Slurry Preparation and Aging

After the ingredients are dosed and delivered by pipe and conveyor, they are mixed to form a base powder. First, Crutcher stirs and mixes them with the processed water for an average of an hour.

The mixed slurry then goes into the aging tank to “age” for half an hour.

4. Spray Drying Step

After aging, the pumps start to spray the mixture up to the top of the spray drying tower. The nozzles in the tower form atomic droplets, while the hot air furnace produces hot air to further dehydrate them.

Finally, the spray-dried granules (particles) fall to the bottom of the tower where they are collected and stored as a base powder.

The base powder is a semi-finished product that does not contain any enzymes, fragrances or colored spots. It can be further customized as needed, distributed for private labeling, or sold as bulk washing powder. Also read about, can you mix laundry detergents?

5. Filtration Process

After all the moisture has evaporated, the hot air cools down and needs to be discharged. The reason is that the exhaust air contains fine dust residues.

In addition, the base powder needs to be filtered by a mesh – such as a vibrating screen – to eliminate all sizable particles and scrapes.

6. Post-tower Dosing and Blending

The post-tower processing plant does the fine-tuning of the base powder.

Additives such as enzymes, fragrances, colored spots, and all ingredients that cannot pass through the spray drying process are added and mixed with the original mixture to form a customized product.

The finished powder then goes to storage bins and packing machines for final packing. Also read about, Can you boil laundry detergent?

7. Packing and Labeling

In the final stage, manual and automatic packing machines load sachets, buckets and woven bags with washing powder detergent.

Note: There are three methods of making powdered detergent: blender, agglomeration and slurry method. The last one, done in a spray drying tower, is the most reliable. It includes seven essential steps from raw material dosing and mixing to post-processing and product packaging. Get information about, Will laundry detergent kills grass?

What Are the Ingredients of Detergent Powder?

The detergent powder is a synthetic compound that can be described closely as an advanced soap. Its functional strength has been improved to circumvent some of the standard issues that come with soap.

An average washing powder contains 9 to 17 ingredients, both solid and liquid.

What Is the Chemical Composition/Formulation of Detergent Powder?

A bar of normal soap is based on fatty acids and is made functional by combining different molecules. While a hydrophilic soap molecule is attracted to water, the hydrophobic end of the molecule is attracted to the fat in the dirt.

The problem lies in hard water – its minerals react with soap to form an insoluble curd. Known as a precipitate, it leaves visible deposits on clothing, making it hard and unattractive.

The hydrocarbons used in soaps usually have plant or animal origins, while those used in powdered detergents can be obtained from crude.

Combining them with sulfuric acid creates a molecule similar to the fatty acids in soap. Adding a base to a mixture forms a surfactant molecule. Know about, allergic reaction to laundry detergent.

Detergent Powder Ingredients Explanation

Modern powder detergent formulas include many different types of ingredients. Each ingredient has its own specific role, while many support each other to make the most of the formula’s properties.

Builders are the final ingredient of any detergent base powder. They increase the efficiency of the surfactant, while also affecting the minerals in hard water to prevent precipitation.

In addition, builders can emulsify the fat, turning it into washable tiny globules. Builders like sodium silicate do even more—they can prevent corrosion on the inside of washing machines, ensuring that the formula is safe to use. Know about, Hives from laundry detergent.

As we already mentioned, these chemicals are modern versions of traditional washing agents, fatty acids, lye, and ash.

Alkaline makers are, essentially, soluble salts that neutralize acids. Together with surfactants, they form the basis of laundry detergent suitable for removing stains.

However, they require other ingredients to convert basic power into a superpower. Modern detergents typically contain medium-strength STPP (Sodium Tripolyphosphate) as a well-balanced, versatile builder.

But, potent ingredients like caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) or caustic potash (potassium hydroxide) can also be found in formulas.

Surfactants – or foamers – such as LABSA (linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acid) are added to alkalis as a second major component to boost their washability.

Their main role is to increase the foaming capacity of the formula. However, surfactants work to break down the stain, even more, dissolving components that do not readily dissolve in water.

Anionic surfactants do not always perform well in hard water and need to be supported with non-ionic surfactants to maximize the cleaning action of detergent powders. Get information about, mild detergents.

Here we will mention some specific examples:

One of the most common surfactants on the market is the potent SLS (Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate). It is one of the few ionic surfactants that loses almost nothing of effectiveness in hard water.

Alpha Olefin Sulfonate (AOS) is a mild ionic surfactant, characterized by high-foaming and strong emulsifying properties, with a good performance against minerals. Also read about, Can you use laundry detergent to wash dishes?

The fatty alcohol polyoxyethylene ether (AEO9) belongs to a relatively new generation of multifunctional surfactants with excellent efficiency. This is great for more sensitive fabrics such as Tencel and Viscose.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAB) is a liquid amphoteric surfactant. It is a sulfate-free agent with excellent cleaning and foaming properties, suitable for use as both a primary and secondary surfactant. In addition, it is an economical multitasker that can replace harsh ionic agents.

Cocamide Diethanolamine (CDA) is one of the mild, non-ionic surfactants with good stabilization and conditioning properties.
Next, come enzymes. Catalytic enzymes changed the laundry detergent industry forever.

These components give powdered detergents their superpowers, targeting particular soils and breaking them down into smaller molecules so that they can be easily washed off.

While different detergent enzymes each offer their own benefits, they all shorten wash times and produce great results in low temperatures.

Protease was the first to be used in mass production. Know about, using laundry detergent to wash the car.

Lipase and amylase soon followed, paving the way for a whole new generation of enzymes for washing detergents in the future.

Today, industrial biotechnology produces superior, eco-friendly, industrial-strength laundry detergents with excellent stability.

other accessories
Various pH modifiers, optical brighteners and a range of other ancillary ingredients work to correct the formula.

Components such as antiredeposition agents work to prevent soil from settling back on the washed clothing. Sooth control agents play another important role in detergents, preventing surfactants from causing problems with the washing machine.

Color Bleach – Brightening agents are visual enhancers, while oxygen bleach improves the detergency of the mixture. Get information about, the purpose of detergent in DNA extraction.

How to Make Detergent Powder at Home?

Step 1: Grate the Bar Soap
Using a cheese grater, grate a bar of soap. Put the grated soap in an airtight container.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients
To make laundry detergent, mix 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups baking soda, and 2 cups borax in a container. If using essential oils, add 2-30 drops. Place the lid on the container and shake to mix the ingredients well.

If you have a food processor, add grated bar soap, washing soda, baking soda, and borax to a fine paste. Pour the mixture into an airtight container.

Step 3: Store
Store homemade laundry detergent in an airtight container.

Step 4: Use
Use 2-3 tablespoons of homemade laundry detergent per a load of laundry. If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, use a spoon.

Natural Laundry Care Tips
Add vinegar to the rinse cycle. Pour 1/2 cup during the last rinse cycle of your machine. You can add it to the fabric softener dispenser, which will release it at the right time.

Vinegar is used to get rid of static stains and cut away soap residue. Never pour vinegar directly onto clothing and never mix it with bleach. Know about, non-detergent soap.

essential oil mixture for laundry
Listed below are some great options for adding essential oils to your homemade laundry detergent. Castile soap comes in a variety of eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and unscented.

Fresh Citrus

  • Lemon + Grapefruit + Orange + Tangerine + Mandarin + Mint
  • Wild Orange + Tangerine + Bergamont
  • fresh clean
  • Cedarwood + Lemongrass + Grapefruit
  • Rosemary + Orange
  • Mint + Orange
  • Rosemary + Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus + Mint – Uses
  • lemon + tea tree
  • Rosemary + Mint + Lemon
  • Lavender + Rosemary

Also read about, best laundry detergent sheets 2023.

How to Make Detergent Powder in Nigeria?

Most of the required materials are chemicals and handling them will require extra care, so you need to know this before going into production. Follow this guide on how to make detergent powder in Nigeria.

Detergent Powder Ingredients – These are the ingredients you will need to make powdered detergent;

  • Caustic soda
  • Light soda ash
  • Kaolin
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Sodium sulfate
  • Sulphuric Acid
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ammonia solution
  • Colour
  • Perfume

You can get these ingredients from a nearby market, even though most of them have local names given to the market, so it is better to go to a popular market in the capital city.

Equipment Required
There is a list of equipment that you will need to make your production successful, without this equipment, you cannot make your own powder detergent, these are;

  • 2 fermentation tanks or 2 large rubber bowls
  • Drier
  • hydrometer
  • grinding machine or grater
  • mixing tank or bucket
  • scale or measuring cup
  • mixer or mixing stick
  • rubber gloves
  • All these tools serve different purposes so pay attention as I tell you my own functions for the production process. Also read about, the best laundry detergent for hard water.


  • Pour your caustic soda into one of the fermentation tanks. Add four liters of water. stir thoroughly; Then cover tightly and leave to ferment for 2 days.
  • Add light soda ash, kaolin and sodium sulfate to the fermentation tank and add 3 liters of water. Shake well, cover tightly and set aside for 24 hours to ferment.
  • After about 2 days, set up the heating system and pour in palm kernel oil. You can also use peanut or vegetable oil. Add the color and let it heat up. Make sure you heat it properly and then let it cool down.
  • Set the mixer on and slowly add the fermented caustic soda.
  • While continuing to mix, gradually add fermented mild soda ash.
  • Slowly add sulfuric acid while mixing continues
  • Then add the hydrogen peroxide and ammonia solution as you continue to mix
  • Add your perfume and mix continuously for about 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to settle for about 5 hours.
  • After solidification, transfer the mixture to the drier and let it dry
  • After the mixture has dried, grind it and then package it for use or sale.

How to Make Dishwasher Detergent Powder at Home

You will need 5 ingredients:

  • 1 cup washing soda (cleaner)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3 packages of unsweetened lemonade drink mix (extra cleansing power, antibacterial and smells awesome)
  • 1 cup kosher salt (reduces the buildup of hard water – you may be able to reduce this amount if you have soft water)
  • 1 cup water


Mix all ingredients together with a spoon in a large bowl.

At this stage, you can really just leave it in powder form.
Simply pour a tablespoon into your washer dispenser and wash as usual. The problem is that the powder can harden in the container, so try a clean sock tied with rice in the container to help with this. I prefer tabs so I can just grab one and not have to worry about the mixture hardening. Also read about, best zero waste laundry detergent 2023.

It will fizz when you are poor in water, it’s so funny to watch! Wait until the mixture is completely fizzing and bubbling (1-2 minutes).

Once all the ingredients are really mixed into a sticky texture similar to moist sand you can spoon it into two ice cube trays.

Use your fingers to compress the detergent into each cube in the tray until it is firmly packed. I found that using your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon works best.

Finally, it’s time for these pups to dry. Keep them in a dry and sunny place for at least 24 hours.

Once they are completely dry, crack the tray like you would get the detergent tabs out of the tray with ice. You can store your homemade dishwashing tabs in an air-tight container!

They all smell lemony and fresh too. Get information about, buying laundry detergent with an OTC card.

How to Make Detergent Powder for Business

I have already described the process of making powdered detergent at home in the upper articles and for professional knowledge, you can read my report below

Detergent Manufacturing Business Market

In recent years, the demand for detergents has increased with population growth. In general, the detergent powder segment caters to only three distinct categories, which are low, medium and high-end markets. As one of the necessities of people today, the demand for detergent is gradually increasing.

Due to rapid urbanization, there is a greater demand for detergent powder in sachets and smaller pack sizes. In addition, the per capita income is also increasing, which helps in increasing the purchasing power of the population.

Apart from this, a wide range of options in the good life, health awareness and hunger for choice are some of the main reasons why the demand for detergent powder is increasing.

Also, rural areas are replacing detergent cake with washing powder! Apart from domestic consumption, these products also have different uses in many industrial sectors.

In the small and medium sectors, you can get a good investment opportunity in the detergent industry. Thus, washing powder manufacturing is a very lucrative opportunity for those who want to start a business. Get information about, Do laundry detergent expires?

Plant setup and machinery

It is possible to start small-scale detergent powder manufacturing in just 1000 square feet area. But the required final area will mostly depend on your desired quantity of production.

Plus, you still need to secure your factory location through careful planning. It should have transport, electricity and water.

These are some of the types of equipment you will need to make detergent powder:

Weight Scale
Great screen
Product Quality
You can find most of these on Unfought.


Every company has its own detergent powder-making formula. Based on your target market demographic, you will need to create a unique formula.

Manufacturing Process

  • Using soda ash, neutralize the acid solution.
  • Then, after the reaction is complete, leave the mixture for about an hour.
  • Mix all the other ingredients like Colors, Glauber’s Salt, CMC, Step, Perfume, TSP, and many more.
  • Once done, stir everything continuously so that your ingredients mix into the neutralized acid solution.
  • Afterward, dry the mixture.
  • Finally, pack your finished product. Be sure to use proper packing. Know about, loads of laundry per week.

Packing Your Detergent Powder

Apart from the above raw materials, you need to look for suitable packing for your detergent powder. In general, these come in a poly pack. Then, pack them in quantities of 250 g, 500 g, 1 kg or 5 kg.

Make sure to think carefully about packaging as these contain important aspects of marketing. You have to design them with the customer in mind. Also, each of your basic details should be put in the packets.

These include MRP, quantity, date of manufacture, customer care number, company address and more. Don’t forget to arrange outside cartons for transportation and bulk packaging.

Be sure to choose eco-friendly materials for all of these if possible. Don’t contribute to global warming.

Final Words

You knew about the manufacturing of laundry detergent and powder detergent. Thanks for reading this article. If you have any questions you can comment.