How to Choose the Right Laundry Chemicals for Your Product Needs


Posted by Gayle Mitalski - 15 February, 2024

As a commercial or industrial laundry products supplier, you know how important it is to choose the right contract manufacturing partner for your business. You want to produce effective laundry detergent at the right price, while also protecting end users and the environment.

At Royal Chemical, experience is on our side. We started as a laundry detergent manufacturer, and we’ve produced and packaged numerous chemical laundry products since our founding in 1938.

Here, we’ll cover how to choose the right commercial or industrial laundry chemicals for your formulation and what to look for in a contract manufacturing provider to meet your needs.

Types of Laundry Chemicals & Key Considerations in Choosing Laundry Chemicals

There are several different categories of laundry detergent chemicals. Each has its distinct characteristics and serves a purpose when it comes to cleaning clothes and other fabrics. The right combination depends on the type of laundry operations you’re targeting, whether they’re hospitality, health care or another market.

Let’s review acids, alkalis, bleaches and sours and how they differ in the laundry detergent manufacturing process.


Acids are substances used in laundry to neutralize alkaline residues and mineral deposits left by hard water.

What acids do: Help remove rust stains and brighten colors

Common laundry acids: Vinegar and citric acid

Key attributes of acids:

  • Low pH
  • Can be effective at breaking down mineral deposits
  • Can damage some fabrics if used in excess


Alkalis are also known as bases. They are used to increase the pH of the wash water.  

What alkalis do: Aid in the removal of acidic stains, like those from perspiration or fruit juices

Common laundry alkalis:  Sodium carbonate (soda ash) and sodium hydroxide (lye)

Key attributes of alkalis:

  • Can weaken natural fibers like cotton
  • Can damage silk and wool if misused; use them with caution


Bleaches are powerful chemicals typically used to sanitize and remove color from fabric.

What bleaches do: Remove stains, whiten fabrics and disinfect laundry

Common laundry bleaches: Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and oxygen bleach (hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate)

Key attributes of bleaches:

  • Chlorine bleach is effective at disinfecting and whitening; it can weaken fibers and damage colors if not used properly.
  • Oxygen bleach is milder and color-safe; it can be used on more fabrics.


Sours are chemicals used to adjust the pH of the rinse water to neutral or slightly acidic conditions.

What sours do: Help improve the rinsing process and remove remaining alkali residue, which can irritate skin.

Common laundry sours: Acetic acid and citric acid

Key attributes of sours:

  • Can improve the feel of fabric after washing

It’s important to understand the differences between these powerful chemical substances so you can use them properly in your commercial laundry product’s formulation. Why? Ultimately, you want to deliver laundry detergent at the right price that performs well, while protecting your customers’ fabrics, their health and the environment.

The Laundry Detergent Manufacturing Process

The laundry detergent manufacturing process and your manufacturing partner are just as important as the laundry chemical formulation you choose.

The laundry product production process includes several steps and plays an important role in producing superior laundry chemicals.

Step 1: Liquid or powder chemical blending. Your manufacturing partner precisely mixes the chemicals in your formulation to produce your product.

Step 2: Packaging. Liquid or powder, bulk or bottle, your laundry product requires a custom manufacturing partner with a range of packaging capabilities.

Step 3. Warehousing and fulfillment. Just like any other manufactured product, laundry detergent requires storage, inventory management and shipping solutions.

There is a huge benefit to working with a contract chemical manufacturer that specializes in laundry chemicals and can tackle all three steps in the laundry detergent production process and deliver the high-quality laundry products your customers expect.

How Royal Chemical Empowers Your Laundry Operations

Whether you’re looking to begin production on a new laundry detergent or expand your capability on an existing product, Royal Chemical has the experience and capacity to help you meet your growth goals.

Across all five of our facilities, Royal Chemical meets or exceeds the standard certifications for manufacturing laundry products. We are registered with the FDA and the EPA and are Kosher, NSF and ISO certified.

You never have to worry about competition because Royal Chemical does not manufacture our own products; we are strictly a toll manufacturer. We also sign a confidential nondisclosure agreement to protect your proprietary formulations.

Royal Chemical's decades of expertise enhance the efficiency and performance of laundry product suppliers by delivering a superior product on time and on budget. You can focus on your formulations and customers, and we’ll take care of the rest.

To learn more and discuss your laundry chemical needs, reach out to an expert at Royal Chemical today.

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Topics: Chemical Blending, Chemical Contract Manufacturing