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Title:
METHOD FOR PROVIDING LAUNDRY DETERGENT WITH CONTROL AND A LAUNDRY APPARATUS AND A LAUNDRY DETERGENT KIT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/208052
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle, wherein adjunct cleaning agent(s) is dispensed prior to other detergent components. A laundry apparatus with a washing drum and dispensing device, comprising at least one reservoir for the adjunct(s) to be dispensed prior to other components and at reservoir(s) for other components, and a computer module configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria, which is programmed to determine a recipe and the adjunct cleaning agent to be dispensed prior to other components in response to the user's selections, and then to cause the dispenser to first dispense the adjunct and then the other components from the reservoirs. A laundry detergent kit comprising: part I with adjunct cleaning agent (s); and part II with surfactants and optionally other substance(s); wherein the parts are segregated and the kit includes an indication suggesting that part I is dispensed prior to part II into a washing cycle.

Inventors:
DENG WEI JUN (CN)
ZHANG XIAO LI (CN)
WOHLMUTH CATHARINA (DE)
HU JIE (CN)
DING SHU SHU (CN)
Application Number:
EP2020/059952
Publication Date:
October 15, 2020
Filing Date:
April 08, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BASF SE (DE)
International Classes:
C11D17/04; C11D3/00; C11D3/386; C11D11/00; C11D17/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017067936A12017-04-27
WO2017211701A12017-12-14
WO2018134098A12018-07-26
WO2005095569A12005-10-13
Foreign References:
DE102007041643A12009-03-12
US20130086754A12013-04-11
US4110075A1978-08-29
US20030154560A12003-08-21
US20130263387A12013-10-10
US20150368841A12015-12-24
EP0955791A11999-11-10
US20040067865A12004-04-08
EP0934382A11999-08-11
Other References:
E. SMULDERS: "Laundry Detergents", 2002, WILEY-VCH VERLAG GMBH, pages: 88
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BASF IP ASSOCIATION (DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle, wherein at least one adjunct cleaning agent, preferably selected from chelating agent, enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent, and color care agent, is dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent.

2. The method according to claim 1 , for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle in a washing machine, which comprises

(a) receiving a selection indication from a user based on criteria including, but not being limited to, fabric type and/or color, identity of soil or stain, user’s requirements, user’s preferences, and any combinations thereof; and

(b) determining a laundry detergent recipe and determining the adjunct cleaning agent which shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent, in response to the user’s selections; and

(c) dispensing the adjunct cleaning agent and the other components of the laundry detergent recipe following the determination of step (b) from respective component reservoirs.

3. The method according to claim 2, which comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including a chelating agent, and determining the chelating agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

4. The method according to claim 3, where the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of blood, grass, wine, fruit, vegetable, milk, ink, pigment, sebum or any combinations thereof.

5. The method according to claim 2, which comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including an enzyme, and determining the enzyme is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

6. The method according to claim 5, wherein the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of

blood, grass, egg, milk, sebum or any combinations thereof.

7. The method according to claim 2, which comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including at least one of soil release agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferably an anti-greying agent, and determining the at least one of soil release agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferably the anti-greying agent, is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

8. The method according to claim 7, wherein the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including the fabric type of cotton or synthetic, and the soil or stain identity of mud, dust, rust, soot, minerals or any combinations thereof.

9. The method according to claim 2, which comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including a color care agent which is at least one of dye transfer inhibiting agent and dye fixation agent, and determining the color care agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe, preferably the color care agent comprising or being a dye transfer inhibiting agent.

10. The method according to claim 9, wherein the color care agent comprises or is a dye transfer inhibiting agent and the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including more than one fabric color.

11. The method according to any of claims 2 to 10, wherein in step (c) the at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed at least 0.5 minutes prior to other components of the laundry detergent, preferably the at least one adjunct cleaning agent being dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent by a period in the range of from 0.5 to 10 minutes, or from 0.5 to 7 minutes, or from 1 to 6 minutes, or from 1.5 to 5 minutes, or from 2 to 5 minutes.

12. A laundry apparatus including a washing drum and a dispensing device, wherein the dispensing device comprises

- a reservoir system comprising at least one reservoir for at least one adjunct cleaning agent that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent and at least one reservoir for the other components, and - a computer module, which is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including, but not being limited to, fabric type and/or color, identity of soil or stain, user’s requirements, user’s preferences, and any combinations thereof, and which is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe and determine the adjunct cleaning agent which shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe, in response to the user’s selections, and then to cause the dispensing device to first dispense the adjunct cleaning agent and subsequently the other components of the laundry detergent recipe from respective component reservoirs.

13. The laundry apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a chelating agent, and determine the chelating agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

14. The laundry apparatus according to claim 13, wherein the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of blood, grass, wine, fruit, vegetable, milk, ink, pigment, sebum or any combinations thereof, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a chelating agent and determine the chelating agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

15. The laundry apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including an enzyme, and determine the enzyme is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

16. The laundry apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of blood, grass, egg, milk, sebum or any combinations thereof, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including an enzyme and determine the enzyme is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

17. The laundry apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including at least one of soil release agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferably an anti-greying agent, and determine the at least one of soil release agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferably the anti-greying agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

18. The laundry apparatus according to claim 17, wherein the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including the fabric type of cotton or synthetic, and soil or stain identity of mud, dust, rust, soot, minerals or any combinations thereof, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including an anti-greying agent and determine the anti-greying agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

19. The laundry apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a color care agent which is at least one of dye transfer inhibiting agent and dye fixation agent, and determine the color care agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe, preferably the color care agent comprising or being a dye transfer inhibiting agent.

20. The laundry apparatus according to claim 19, wherein the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including more than one fabric color, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a dye transfer inhibiting agent and determine the dye transfer inhibiting agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

21. The laundry apparatus according to any of claims 12 to 20, wherein the computer module is programmed to cause the dispensing device to dispense the at least one adjunct cleaning agent as determined at least 0.5 minutes prior to dispensing other components of the laundry detergent, preferably the at least one adjunct cleaning agent being dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent by a period in the range of from 0.5 to 10 minutes, or from 0.5 to 7 minutes, or from 1 to 6 minutes, or from 1.5 to 5 minutes, or from 2 to 5 minutes.

22. A laundry detergent kit, which includes part I and part II,

- part I: at least one adjunct cleaning agent, which is preferably selected from chelating agent,

enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent and color care agent,

- part II: surfactants and optionally at least one substance selected from bleaching agents, foam boosters, foam retarders, anticorrosion suspendants, dyes, fillers, optical brighteners, disinfectants, alkalis, hydrotropic compounds, antioxidants, enzyme stabilizers, thickeners, perfumes, solvents, solubilizers, softener and antistats, wherein the part I and the part II were segregated from each other, and wherein the laundry detergent kit includes an indication suggesting the at least one adjunct cleaning agent from the part I be dispensed prior to any one from the part II into a washing cycle.

23. The method according to any of claims 1 to 11 or the laundry apparatus according to any of claims 12 to 21 , or the kit according to claim 22, wherein

- the chelating agent is selected from methylglycine diacetate (MGDA), iminodisuccinic acid (IDS), glutamic acid diacetate (GLDA), ethylenediaminedisuccinic acid (EDDS), polyasparatic acid, and the respective salts thereof, and any combinations thereof,

- the enzyme is selected from proteases, amylases, lipases, cellulases, and any combinations thereof;

- the anti-greying agent is selected from (i) a polycarboxylates with an average molecular weight Mw in the range of 2000 to 100000 g/mol, preferably acrylic acid and/or maleic acid based homo or copolymers, and (ii) an ethoxylated polyethylenimine with an average molecular weight Mw in the range from 5000 to 250000 g/mol, having 80 to 99% by weight ethylene oxide side chains based on total weight of the ethoxylated polyethylenimine, and (iii) a polymer which is an ethoxylated polyhexamethylene diamine, quaterized and optionally sulfated, with an average molecular weight Mw in the range from 2000 to 10000 g/mol, and any combinations thereof;

- the dye transfer inhibiting agent is selected from polyvinylpyrrolidone,

vinylpyrrolidone/vinylimidazole copolymer and its derivatives such as polyethylene glycol modified vinylpyrrolidone/vinylimidazole copolymer, poly(4-vinylpyridine N-oxide), poly(4-vinylpyridine N- carboxymethylbetaine), and any combinations thereof.

Description:
METHOD FOR PROVIDING LAUNDRY DETERGENT WITH CONTROL AND A LAUNDRY APPARATUS AND A LAUNDRY DETERGENT KIT

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle with control, a laundry apparatus with a programmed procedure for providing a laundry detergent, and a laundry detergent kit.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For laundry detergent products, cleaning performance is a starting point of detergency. Soils or stains on fabrics mostly consist of mixtures of particles, fats and oils, proteins, bleachable dyes and water-soluble materials. Generally speaking, soils or stains resulted from pigments, fats, waxes, denatured proteins and dyes are generally difficult to be removed from fabrics. Washing of fabrics in water, in the broadest sense, is a complex process with interaction of various physical and chemical influences. It is believed that the cleaning effect of a washing process is up to specific interactions among surface of fabrics, soils or stains, and components of detergents.

Many consumers are struggling for various laundry performances, for example, satisfactory removal of soils or stains on fabrics, whiteness retention of white fabrics and/or prevention of color fading or transferring of colored fabrics, in addition to the fundamental cleaning effect. Most laundry detergent products are specially formulated for some certain purposes and no one laundry detergent product can fulfill all needs of those consumers. Some consumers have to store more than one laundry product for different types of fabrics or for different types of soils or stains. Other consumers just use one laundry product for all laundry loads, which will sacrifice some laundry performances or lead to much higher dosing amount of the laundry product such that certain laundry performance can be observed.

Attempts have been made to provide laundry products that can meet consumers’ needs as much as possible. One trend is to develop washing appliances or processes which can dispense different chemicals during different treatment cycles or dispense different chemicals separately during the same treatment cycle, depending on the treatment function to be performed. A washing process for textiles in an automatic washing machine was developed, wherein active washing substances, structural substances, bleaching agents, optional catalyst, and optional soft rinse agent are maintained in separate containers and added to the washing mixture in pumpable form before or during the washing process, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4110075.

A laundry appliance which can be selectively operated in either manual or automatic modes of operation was described in US2003/0154560A1. In the automatic mode, a laundering operation is initiated upon receiving a single cycle input parameter from the user, while relying on additional operating cycle parameters established by factory preset settings or prior consumer established preferences.

A control for an automatic washer to operate the washing machine through a wash cycle determined based upon various soils or stains in the substrate load to be washed with a wash liquor in a wash zone of the washing machine was described in US2013/0263387A1. The control has a plurality of stain/soil type entries and has dispensing control over at least one wash liquor additive. The control has a user input to permit the user to customize the operation of the control with regard to the dispensing of the various wash liquor additives and a timing mechanism. The control has operational control over the particular wash cycles using the dispensing control to dispense additives to the wash liquor at selected times during the wash cycle. Such a control was also described in US2015/0368841 A.

Recently, a“smart” laundry product dispensing device and method have been developed that can provide a laundry product bespoke to a wash load, as described in WO2017211701A1. The dispensing device, which may be integral to a washing machine or stand alone, comprises a computer module configured to receive user's input concerning a laundry load, based on one or more of criteria: (I) stain identity; (II) fabric identity; (III) user requirements; and (IV) user preferences, and reservoirs containing various compositions. In response to the user’s input information, the device determines a recipe for laundry detergent product composed of one or more compositions provided from the reservoirs. Such“smart” laundry product dispensing device and method were also described in WO 2018134098A1.

It is desirable if a laundry detergent product could exhibit more satisfactory laundry performance and/or meet consumers’ laundry needs as much as possible.

SUM MARY OF THE INVENTION The object of the present invention is to provide a method for dispensing components of a laundry detergent product with control, which can improve the laundry detergent performance with respect to soil/stain removal, anti-greying effect and/or color care effect such as dye transfer inhibition.

It has been found that the object of the present invention can be achieved by a method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle, wherein at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed prior to remaining components of the laundry detergent.

Accordingly, in the first aspect, the present invention provides a method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle, wherein at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent. Preferably, the adjunct cleaning agent is selected from chelating agent, enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent and color care agent.

Particularly, the present invention provides a method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle in a washing machine, which comprises

(a) receiving a selection indication from a user based on criteria including, but not being limited to, fabric type and/or color, identity of soil or stain, user’s requirements, user’s preferences, and any combinations thereof; and

(b) determining a laundry detergent recipe and determining the adjunct cleaning agent which shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent, in response to the user’s selections; and

(c) dispensing the adjunct cleaning agent and the other components of the laundry detergent recipe following the determination of step (b) from respective component reservoirs.

In the second aspect, the present invention provides a laundry apparatus including a washing drum and a dispensing device, wherein the dispensing device comprises

- a reservoir system comprising at least one reservoir for at least one adjunct cleaning agent that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent and at least one reservoir for the other components, and

- a computer module, which is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including, but not being limited to, fabric type and/or color, identity of soil or stain, user’s requirements, user’s preferences, and any combinations thereof, and which is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe and determine the adjunct cleaning agent which shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe, in response to the user’s selections, and then to cause the dispensing device to first dispense the adjunct cleaning agent and subsequently the other components of the laundry detergent recipe from respective component reservoirs.

In the third aspect, the present invention provides a laundry detergent kit, which includes part I and part II,

- part I: at least one adjunct cleaning agent, which is preferably selected from chelating agent,

enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent and color care agent,

- part II: surfactants and optionally at least one substance selected from bleaching agents, foam boosters, foam retarders, anticorrosion suspendants, dyes, fillers, optical brighteners, disinfectants, alkalis, hydrotropic compounds, antioxidants, enzyme stabilizers, thickeners, perfumes, solvents, solubilizers, softener and antistats, wherein the part I and the part II were segregated from each other, and wherein the laundry detergent kit includes an indication suggesting the at least one adjunct cleaning agent from the part I be dispensed prior to any one from the part II into a washing cycle.

It has been surprisingly found that the laundry detergent performance with respect to soil/stain removal, anti-greying effect and/or color care effect such as dye transfer inhibition is improved with the method, apparatus and/or kit according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention now will be described in details hereinafter. It is to be understood that the present invention may be embodied in many different ways and shall not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Unless mentioned otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs.

As used herein, the singular forms“a”,“an”, and“the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

As used herein, the terms "comprise", "comprising", etc. are used interchangeably with "contain", "containing", etc. and are to be interpreted in a non-limiting, open manner. That is, e.g., further compounds or components may be present. The expressions“consists of” or“consists essentially of” or cognates may be embraced within“comprises” or cognates.

As used herein, the terms "stain" and "soil" are used synonymously and are intended to refer to any kinds of dirt on laundry.

As used herein, the term "laundry" is intended to refer to all kinds of textile and fabrics.

As used herein, the term "laundry detergent" is intended to refer to a full formulation of laundry detergent. It is to be understood that one or more components of the full formulation may be separated from remaining components of the formulation until being mixed during a washing cycle.

As used herein, the term "adjunct cleaning agent" is intended to refer to any component other than the fundamental detersive agents such as surfactants, which are conventionally included in a laundry detergent to provide additional cleaning benefits or boost cleaning performance.

As used herein, the term "basic detergent formulation" is used to refer to a detergent formulation including the fundamental detersive agents such as surfactants, to which the adjunct cleaning agent that shall be prior dispensed was not contained.

<Method for Providing a Laundry Detergent to a Washing Cycle >

In the first aspect, the present invention provides a method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle, wherein at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent. Preferably, the adjunct cleaning agent is selected from chelating agent, enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent and color care agent.

It is to be understood that the method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle according to the first aspect (hereinafter also abbreviated as“the method according to the present invention”) may be applied to hand washing or machine washing, as long as the at least one adjunct cleaning agent is introduced into the washing cycle prior to other components such as surfactants and any other auxiliaries.

In an embodiment, the present invention particularly provides a method for providing a laundry detergent to a washing cycle in a washing machine (hereinafter also abbreviated as“the method useful for machine washing according to the present invention”), which comprises

(a) receiving a selection indication from a user based on criteria including, but not being limited to, fabric type and/or color, identity of soil or stain, user’s requirements, user’s preferences, and any combinations thereof; and

(b) determining a laundry detergent recipe and determining the adjunct cleaning agent which shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent, in response to the user’s selections; and

(c) dispensing the adjunct cleaning agent and the other components of the laundry detergent recipe following the determination of step (b) from respective component reservoirs.

In a particular embodiment, the method useful for machine washing according to the present invention comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including a chelating agent, and determining the chelating agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe. In a preferable embodiment, the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of blood, grass, wine, fruit, vegetable, milk, ink, pigment, sebum or any combinations thereof.

In another particular embodiment, the method useful for machine washing according to the present invention comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including an enzyme, and determining the enzyme is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe. In a preferable embodiment, the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of blood, grass, egg, milk, sebum or any combinations thereof.

In yet another particular embodiment, the method useful for machine washing according to the present invention comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including at least one of soil releasing agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferably an anti greying agent, and determining the at least one of soil releasing agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferably the anti-greying agent, is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe. In a preferable embodiment, the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including the fabric type of cotton or synthetic, and the soil or stain identity of mud, dust, rust, soot, minerals or any combinations thereof.

In yet another particular embodiment, the method useful for machine washing according to the present invention comprises determining in step (b) a laundry detergent recipe including a color care agent, which is at least one of dye transfer inhibiting agent and dye fixation agent, and determining the color care agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe. In a preferable embodiment, the color care agent comprises or is a dye transfer inhibiting agent and the determination of step (b) is made in reponse to the user’s selections including more than one fabric color.

Preferably, in step (c) of the method according to any embodiments as described above, the at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed at least 0.5 minute, for example at least 1 minute, at least 1.5 minutes, at least 2 minutes, at least 2.5 minutes, or at least 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 minutes prior to other components of the laundry detergent. There is no particular restriction to the upper limit of the time period between the dispensing of the at least one adjunct cleaning agent and the other components. For the purpose of efficiency, it is preferable that the at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed no more than 10 minutes prior to the other components of the laundry detergent. For example, the at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent by a period in the range of from 0.5 to 10 minutes, or from 0.5 to 7 minutes, or from 1 to 6 minutes, or from 1.5 to 5 minutes, or from 2 to 5 minutes.

Chelating agent

Chelating agent is known in the art for binding metal cationic ions such as Ca and Mg in water. However, it has been surprisingly found by the inventors that the chelating agent can improve the soil/stain removal performance of the laundry detergent even in deionized water. There is no particular restriction on the chelating agent that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention. Phosphorus-containing chelating agents were mostly used in the past with the advantage of being inexpensive, compatible with most detergent components (both in solid and liquid detergent formulations) and widely available. Phosphorus-containing chelating agents include for example phosphates such as sodium phosphates, polyphosphates such as sodium hexametaphosphate, and phosphonates such as hydroxyethane diphosphonic acid

(HEDP), aminotri(methylenephosphonic acid) (ATMP), ethylenediamine tetramethylene

phosphonate (EDTMP). However, phosphorus-containing chelating agents have been banned in many countries and regions for environmental reasons.

As environmentally friendly alternatives to the phosphorus-containing chelating agents,

phosphorus-free chelating agents, for example aminopolycarboxylates such

ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) or salts thereof, nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) or salts thereof, diethylene triamine pentaacetate (DTPA), imonodisuccinic acid (IDS) or salts thereof, ethylene diamine-N'N'-disuccinic acid (EDDS) or salts thereof, gluconic acid or salts thereof, methyl glycine N,N-diacetic acid (MGDA) or salts thereof, glutamic acid N,N-diacetic acid (GLDA) or salts thereof, polyasparatic acid or salts thereof have been proposed in laundry detergent products.

Preferably, the chelating agent that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention comprises or consists of methyl glycine N,N-diacetic acid (MGDA) or salts thereof, glutamic acid N,N-diacetic acid (GLDA) or salts thereof, iminodisuccinic acid (IDS) or salts thereof, ethylenediaminedisuccinic acid (EDDS) or salts thereof, polyasparatic acid or salts thereof, or a combination thereof. The salts of those acids, independently from each other, may be alkali metal salts, ammonium salts or substituted ammonium salts or any combinations thereof, preferably sodium, potassium or ammonium salt or any combinations thereof, more preferably trisodium, tripotassium and/or triammonium salt or any combinations thereof, most preferably trisodium salt.

Particularly, the chelating agent that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention is MGDA or a sodium, potassium or ammonium salt or any combinations thereof, more preferably MGDA or trisodium, tripotassium or triammonium salt thereof. Most preferably, the chelating agent is trisodium of MGDA. For example, the trisodium of MGDA is commercially available from BASF under trade name Trilon ® M Liquid (40% aqueous solution), Trilon ® M

Granules SG (a solid form) and Trilon ® M Compactate (a solid form). There is no particular restriction on the dosage of the chelating agent in the process according to the present invention. The chelating agent may be dispensed in a conventional dosage, such as an amount 3 to 6 % by weight based on the laundry detergent.

It was believed that excess chelating agent in a detergent will result in compatibility problem.

However, in the process according to the present invention, the chelating agent may be dispensed in a dosage higher than the conventional dosage, even by up to 20 times, for example 10 to 20 times, without any compatibility problem.

Enzyme

It is known that different families of enzymes are effective against different classes of soil or stain. There is no particular restriction on the enzyme that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention. Useful enzymes in laundry detergent include proteases, amylases, lipases, mannanases, cellulases and pectate lyases.

Useful proteases include, but are not limited to, subtilisins from Bacillus (e.g. subtilis, lentus, licheniformis, amyloliquefaciens (BPN, BPN’), alcalophilus). Examples of commercially available detergent proteases include, but are not limited to, Alcalase ® , Esperase ® , Everlase ® , Savinase ® , Kannase ® and Durazym ® from NOVOZYMES A/S, and Lavergy Pro 104L from BASF.

Useful amylases (a and/or b) may be those commercially available detergent amylases including, but being not limited to, Purafect Ox Am ® from Genencor, and Termamy ® , Natalase ® , Ban ® , Fungamyl ® , Duramy ® , Stainzyme ® , Natalase ® from NOVOZYMES A/S.

Useful lipases include, but are not limited to, those produced by Pseudomonas and Chromobacter groups. For example, the lipolases can be derived from Humicola lanuginosa, which are commercially available from Novo. Other examples of commercially available detergent lipases include, but are not limited to, Lipolase ® , Lipolase Ultra ® , Lipoprime ® and Lipex ® from NOVOZYMES A/S.

Useful cellulases include both bacterial and fungal types, typically having a pH optimum between 5 and 10, for example, fungal cellulases from Humicola insolens or Humicola strain DSMI 800 or a cellulase 212-producing fungus belonging to the genus Aeromonas, and cellulase extracted from the hepatopancreas of a marine mollusk, Dolabella Auricula Solander. The EGIII cellulases from Trichoderma longibrachiatum are also useful. Examples of commercially available detergent cellulases include, but are not limited to, Celluzyme ® , Carezyme ® and Endolase ® from

NOVOZYMES A/S.

Useful mannanases may be those commercially available detergent mannanases including, but being not limited to, Mannanaway ® from NOVOZYMES A/S.

Examples of commercially available pectate lyases include, but are not limited to, BIOPREP ® , SCOURZYME ® L and Xpect ® from Novozymes A/S.

Two or more species of enzymes may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention. It is to be understood that the two or more species of enzymes shall be stored in different component reservoirs before being dispensed in case that those species of enzymes will interact with each other if they are mixed.

In a particular embodiment according to the present invention, the enzyme is selected from proteases.

There is no particular restriction on the dosage of the enzyme in the process according to the present invention. The enzyme may be dispensed in a conventional dosage, or may be lower or higher than the conventional dosage in response to the selection indication from a user.

Soil release agent

Soil release agent is known in the art for enabling stains occurring after treatment with the soil release agent to be more easily cleaned in later washing procedures. Suitable soil release agent includes polymers typically having charged and neutral hydrophilic segments to hydrophilize the surface of hydrophobic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, and hydrophobic segments to deposit on hydrophobic fibers and remain adhered thereto through completion of washing and rinsing cycles, thereby serving as an anchor for the hydrophilic segments. There is no particular restriction on the soil release agent that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention.

Examples of soil release agent include, but are not limited to, cellulose derivatives such as cellulose ether and cellulose hydroxy ethers; polyvinyl esters grafted onto polyalkylene oxides; polyvinyl alcohols; anionic derivatives of polymers from terephthalic acid and polyethylene glycol, as described for example in E. Smulders in“Laundry Detergents” Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, 2002, page 88; hydrophobically modified polycarboxylate polymers as described for example in

EP0955791A1 ; or polyester copolymers based on ethylene terephthalate and/or propylene terephthalate and polyoxyethylene terephthalate units; sulfonated polyester oligomers obtained by sulfonation of an oligomer derived from ethoxylated allylic alcohol, from dimethyl terephthalate and from 1 ,2-propylene diol, containing from 1 to 4 sulfonated groups; polyester copolymers based on propylene terephthalate and polyoxyethylene terephthalate units and ending with ethyl or methyl units or polyester oligomers ending with alkylpolyethoxy groups or sulfopolyethoxy or sulfoaroyl anionic groups; sulfonated polyester copolymers derived from terephthalic, isophthalic and sulfoisophthalic acid, anhydride or diester and from a diol, as described in US 20040067865A1.

Examples of commercially available polymeric soil release agents include, but at not limited to, REPEL-O-TEX ® PF594 and REPEL-O-TEX ® SF-2 from Rhodia; TexCare ® SRA-100 and TexCare ® SRA-300 from Clariant; Marloquest ® SL from Sasol, and Sokalan ® SR 400 from BASF.

Grease cleaning agent

Grease cleaning agent is also known in the art, which has balanced hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties such that they can remove grease particles from fabrics and surfaces. There is no particular restriction on the grease cleaning agent that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention.

Suitable grease cleaning agent include polymers, for example, but being not limited to, amphiphilic alkoxylated polymers comprising a core structure and a plurality of alkoxylate groups attached to that core structure. These may comprise alkoxylated polyalkylenimines, for example, having an inner polyethylene oxide block and an outer polypropylene oxide block. Such compounds may include, but are not limited to, ethoxylated polyethyleneimine, ethoxylated hexamethylene diamine, and sulfated derivatives thereof. Polypropoxylated derivatives may also be useful.

Anti-greying agent

It is known that redeposition of soil detached from fabrics during washing may result in greying appearance of the fabrics, which can be reduced with use of the anti-greying agent (also called anti-redeposition agent). There is no particular restriction on the anti-greying agent that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention.

Examples of anti-greying agent include cellulose ethers such as carboxymethyl cellulose, methyl cellulose, hydroxyalkyl cellulose and mixed ethers; polyethylene glycols and polypropylene glycols having a molecular weight of from about 950 to about 30,000; modified polysaccharides such as carboxylated polysaccharides; ethoxylated or propoxylated polyethylenimines with an average molecular weight Mw of from about 5,000 to about 250,000 g/mol, having 80 to 99% by weight ethylene oxide side chains based on total weight of the ethoxylated polyethylenimines, such as those commercially available under the trade mark Sokalan ® HP 20 from BASF; substituted (including quaternized and oxidized) polyamine polymers, such as ethoxylated polyhexamethylene diamines which are quaternized and optionally sulfated and have an average molecular weight Mw of from about 2,000 to about 10,000 g/mol; or polycarboxylates with an average molecular weight Mw of from about 2,000 to about 100,000 g/mol, such as homo or copolymers based on acrylic acid and/or maleic acid, which are for example commercially available under the trade mark Sokalan ® PA from BASF polyvinylpyrrolidone, poly(vinyl alcohol), poly(vinylpyridine-N-oxide) may also be mentioned.

In a particular embodiment according to the present invention, the anti-greying agent is selected from (i) a polycarboxylates with an average molecular weight Mw of from about 2,000 to about 100,000 g/mol, preferably homo or copolymers based on acrylic acid and/or maleic acid, and (ii) an ethoxylated polyethylenimines with an average molecular weight Mw of from about 5,000 to about 250,000 g/mol, having 80 to 99% by weight ethylene oxide side chains based on total weight of the ethoxylated polyethylenimine, and (iii) an ethoxylated polyhexamethylene diamine, quaternized and optionally sulfated, with an average molecular weight Mw of from about 2,000 to about 10,000 g/mol, and any combinations thereof.

There is no particular restriction on the dosage of the polymeric soil release agent, polymeric grease cleaning agent and the anti-greying agent in the process according to the present invention. Those agents, independently from each other, may be dispensed in a conventional dosage, or may be lower or higher than the conventional dosage in response to the selection indication from a user.

Color care agent During washing process, a certain amount of dye molecules are often detached from colored textiles, often called as“bleeding”, which can in turn attach to other textiles, often called as“dye transferring”, which are troublesome problems. In order to counteract these undesired bleeding and/or dye transferring, color care agent such as dye fixation agent (DFA) and/or dye transfer inhibitor (DTI) are often used. There is no particular restriction on the dye fixation agent (DFA) and the dye transfer inhibitor (DTI) as the color care agent that may be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention.

Examples of suitable dye fixation agent may be homo- or copolymers of diallyldimethylammonium chloride, a reaction product of cyanamides with aldehydes and ammonium salts, a reaction product of cyanamides with aldehydes and monoamines, a reaction product of monoamines and/or polyamines with epichlorohydrin, a reaction product of polyamines with cyanamides and

amidosulfuric acid, and any combinations thereof.

The monoamines used may be primary, secondary and tertiary amines. These may be aliphatic amines such as dialkylamines or aromatic amines. In addition, it is also possible to use nitrogen- containing heterocyclic compounds. The polyamines may be diamines, triamines, tetraamines, etc., and also N-alkylpolyamines and N,N-dialkylpolyamines.

The ammonium salts are salts of ammonia or the abovementioned monoamines or polyamines with different inorganic or organic acids.

The aldehydes are, for example, aliphatic aldehydes such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, propionaldehyde, butyraldehyde; dialdehydes such as glyoxal; unsaturated aldehydes such as acrolein, crotonaldehyde, and aromatic aldehydes such as benzaldehyde.

Examples of suitable dye transfer inhibiting agent may be homo- or copolymers based on vinylic, nitrogenous, preferably heterocyclic monomers, for example N-vinylpyrrolidone, N-vinylimidazole, N-vinylcaprolactam and 4-vinylpyridine. Certain monomers, for example, 4-vinylpyridine can also be present in the homo- or copolymers in derivatized form, for example as N-carboxymethyl-betaine, as N-sulfopropylbetaine or as N-oxide. Useful monomers for the synthesis of dye transfer inhibiting polymers further include, for example, N-vinylpyridine, diallyldimethylammonium chloride, N- vinylformamide, N-vinylacetamide, vinylamine, allylamine, acrylamide and N-substituted

acrylamides. The copolymers may comprise units derived from further nitrogen-free monomers, for example vinyl acetate; C2-C24 olefins; diisobutene; vinylbenzene (styrene); vinyl chloride; (meth)acrylic acid and esters thereof; amides of (meth)acrylic acid with primary or secondary amines; vinylsulfonic acid; allylsulfonic acid; 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropylsulfonic acid.

Examples of suitable dye transfer inhibiting agent may also be polycationic condensates obtainable by reaction of piperazine, 1-alkylpiperazine, 1 ,4-dialkylpiperazine, 1 ,4-bis(3- aminopropyl)piperazine, 1-(2-aminoethyl)piperazine, 1-(2-hydroxyalkyl)piperazine, imidazole, alkylimidazole with alkylene dihalides, epihalohydrin and/or bisepoxides and which can

subsequently be quaternized with alkylating agents as described in EP0934382A1.

The color care agent is preferably used in formulations containing nonionic / cationic, preferably nonionic surfactants, which are free or substantially free of anionic surfactant.

In an embodiment of present invention, the color care agent comprises or is dye transfer inhibiting agent. The dye transfer inhibiting agent is preferably selected from polyvinylpyrrolidone,

vinylpyrrolidone/vinylimidazole copolymer and derivatives thereof such as polyethylene glycol modified vinylpyrrolidone/vinylimidazole copolymer, poly(4-vinylpyridine N-oxide), poly(4- vinylpyridine N-carboxymethylbetaine), and any combinations thereof.

Examples of commercially available dye transfer inhibiting agent includes polyvinylpyrrolidone under the trade name of Sokalan ® HP 50 from BASF and PVP-K-Typen ® from ISP,

vinylpyrrolidone/vinylimidazole copolymer under the trade name of Sokalan ® HP 56 and the polyethylene glycol modified vinylpyrrolidone/vinylimidazole copolymer under the trade name of Sokalan ® HP 66 from BASF, poly(4-vinylpyridine N-oxide) under the trade name Chromabond ® S- 403E from ISP, poly(4-vinylpyridine N-carboxymethyl-betaine) under the trade name Chromabond ® S 400 from ISP.

There is no particular restriction on the dosage of the color care agent in the process according to the present invention, which may be dispensed in a conventional dosage, or may be lower or higher than the conventional dosage in response to the selection indication from a user.

In addition to the at least one adjunct cleaning agent that shall be prior dispensed in the method according to the present invention, the laundry detergent further comprises customary surfactants such as anionic, nonionic, cationic, and/or amphoteric/zwitterionic surfactants as the fundamental detersive agent, and various formulations with surfactants are well known to one of ordinary skill in the detergent art.

Anionic surfactants

Suitable anionic surfactants are well known in the art. Anionic surfactants generally have a molecular weight (Mw) below 10,000 and comprise one or more functional groups that exhibit a net anionic charge when in aqueous solution at the normal wash pH, which typically ranges from 6 to 11. Useful anionic surfactants may be selected from alkyl benzenesulfonates, alkanesulfonates, olefinsulfonates, alkyl ester sulfonates, alkyl sulfates, alkyl ether sulfates, alkyl carboxylates (soap) and alkyl phosphates. The counter-ions present are alkali metal cations, preferably sodium or potassium, alkaline earth metal cations, for example calcium or magnesium, and also ammonium and substituted ammonium compounds, for example mono-, di- or triethanol ammonium cations and mixtures of the aforementioned cations therefrom.

Alkenyl- or alkyl benzenesulfonates may comprise a branched or linear, optionally hydroxyl- substituted alkenyl or alkyl group. Preferably they comprise linear alkyl chains having 9 to 25 carbon atoms and more preferably having 10 to about 13 carbon atoms.

Alkane sulfonates are available on a large industrial scale in the form of secondary

alkanesulfonates wherein the sulfo group is attached to a secondary carbon atom of the alkyl moiety. The alkyl group can in principle be saturated, unsaturated, branched or linear and optionally hydroxyl substituted. Preferred secondary alkane sulfonates comprise linear Cg to C25-alkyl radicals, preferably Cio to C2o-alkyl radicals and more preferably C12 to Cis-alkyl radicals.

Olefin sulfonates are obtained by sulfonation of Cs to C24 and preferably C M to Ci 6 -a-olefins with sulfur trioxide and subsequent neutralization. Owing to their production process, these

olefinsulfonates may comprise minor amounts of hydroxy alkanesulfonates and alkanedisulfonates.

Alkyl ester sulfonates derive for example from linear ester of Cs to C2o-carboxylic acids, i.e., fatty acids, which are sulfonated with sulfur trioxide. Compounds of following formula are preferred

wherein R 1 is a Cs to C2o-alkyl radical, preferably Cio to Ci 6 -alkyl and R is a Ci to C 6 -alkyl radical, preferably a methyl, ethyl or isopropyl group. Particular preference is given to methyl ester sulfonates where R 1 is Cio to Ci 6 -alkyl.

Alkyl sulfates are surfactants of the formula ROSO 3 M, where R is C10 to C24-alkyl and preferably C12 to Ci 8 -alkyl. M is a counter-ion as described at the beginning for anionic surfactants.

Alkyl ether sulfates have the general structure RO(A) m SC>3M, where R is a C10 to C24-alkyl and preferably C12 to Cie-alkyl radical, wherein A is an alkoxy unit, preferably ethoxy and m is a value from about 0.5 to about 6, preferably between about 1 and about 3, and M is a cation, for example sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, ammonium or a substituted ammonium cation.

Further suitable anionic surfactants are sulfated fatty acid glycerol esters, which are mono-, di- and triesters and mixtures thereof, as are obtained during production by esterification of a monoglycerol with 1 to 3 mol of fatty acid or on transesterification of triglycerides with 0.3 to 2 mol of glycerol.

Alkyl carboxylates are generally known by the term“soap”. Soap can be manufactured on the basis of saturated or unsaturated, preferably native, linear Cs to Cis-fatty acid. Saturated fatty acid soaps include for example the salts of lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, hydrogenated erucic acid and behenic acid and in particular soap mixtures derived from natural fatty acids, for example coconut, palm kernel or tallow fatty acids. Known alkenylsuccinic acid salts may also be used together with soap or as substitutes for soap.

Further anionic surfactant are salts of acylamino carboxylic acids, acyl sarcosinates, fatty acid- protein condensation products obtained by reaction of fatty acid chlorides with oligopeptides; salts of alkylsulfamido carboxylic acids; salts of alkyl and alkylary ether carboxylic acids; sulfonated polycarboxylic acids, alkyl and alkenyl glycerol sulfates, such as oleyl glycerol sulfates, alkylphenol ether sulfates, alkyl phosphates, alkyl ether phosphates, isethionates, such as acyl isethionates, N- acyltaurides, alkyl succinates, sulfosuccinates, monoesters of sulfosuccinates (particularly saturated and unsaturated C12 to Cis-monoesters) and diesters of sulfosuccinates (particularly saturated and unsaturated C12 to Cis-diesters), sulfates of alkylpolysaccharides such as sulfates of alkylpolyglycosides and alkypolysaccharides such as sulfates of alkylpolyglycosides and alkyl polyethoxy carboxylates such as those of the formula RO(CH 2 CH 2 ) k CH 2 COO M + , where R is Cs to C22-alkyl, k is a number from 0 to 10 and M is a cation. The effective amount of anionic surfactant in a laundry detergent formulation is well known and described in the art. Conventionally, the amount of anionic surfactant can range from 1 to 70 wt.%, more preferably from 2 to 60 wt.%, and most preferably from 5 to 40 wt.% of the laundry detergent composition.

Nonionic surfactants

Suitable nonionic surfactants are also well known. Nonionic surfactants are neutral and comprise a hydrophobic group and an organic hydrophilic group. Useful nonionic surfactants include, but are not limited to condensation products of (1) alcohols with ethylene oxide, (2) alcohols with ethylene oxide and a further alkylene oxide, (3) polypropylene glycol with ethylene oxide or (4) ethylene oxide with a reaction product of ethylenediamine and propylene oxide, fatty acid amides, and semipolar nonionic surfactants.

Condensation product of alcohols with ethylene oxide derive for example from alcohols have a Cs to C22-alkyl group, preferably a Cio to Cis-alkyl group, which may be linear or branched, primary or secondary. The alcohols are condensed with about 1 mol to about 25 mol and preferably with about 3 mol to about 18 mol of ethylene oxide per mole of alcohol.

Condensation products of alcohols with ethylene oxide and a further alkylene oxide may be constructed according to the scheme T-O-EO-AO or R-O-AO-EO, where R is a primary or secondary, branched or linear Cs to C22-alkyl group, preferably a Cio to Cis-alkyl group, EO is ethylene oxide and AO comprises an alkylene oxide, preferably propylene oxide, butylene oxide or pentylene oxide.

Condensation products of polypropylene glycol with ethylene oxide comprises a hydrophobic moiety preferably having a molecular weight of from about 1 ,500 to about 1 ,800. The addition of up to about 40 mole of ethylene oxide onto this hydrophobic moiety leads to amphiphilic compounds.

Condensation products of ethylene oxide with a reaction product of ethylenediamine and propylene oxide comprises a hydrophobic moiety consisting of the reaction product of ethylenediamine and propylene oxide and generally having a molecular weight of from about 2,500 to about 3,000.

Ethylene oxide is added up to a content, based on the hydrophobic unit, of about 40% to about 80% by weight of polyoxyethylene and a molecular weight of from about 5,000 to about 11 ,000. Fatty Acid Amides may be those of following formula

O

R— C - N(R 1 ) 2

wherein R is an alkyl radical having 7 to 21 and preferably 9 to 17 carbon atoms, and

R 1 , independently from each other, is hydrogen, Ci to C4-alkyl, Ci to C4-hydroxyalkyl or (CaFUC x H where x varies from 1 to 3. Preference is given to Cs to C2o-fatty acid amides such as

monoethanolamides, diethanolamides and diisopropanolamides.

As the semipolar nonionic surfactants, water-soluble amine oxides, water-soluble phosphine oxides and water-soluble sulfoxides each having at least one Cs to Cis-alkyl radical, preferably a Cio to Ci4-alkyl may be mentioned. Preference is given to Cio-Ci2-alkoxyethyldihydroxyethylamine oxides.

Useful nonionic surfactants may further include alkyl and alkenyl oligoglycosides and also fatty acid polyglycol esters or fatty amine polyglycol esters each having 8 to 20 and preferably 12 to 18 carbon atoms in the fatty alkyl moiety, and fatty acid N-alkylglucamides.

The effective amount of nonionic surfactant in a laundry detergent formulation is well known and fully described in the art. Conventionally, the amount of nonionic surfactant can range from 5 to 70 wt.%, more preferably from 10 to 50 wt.% and most preferably from 15 to 40 wt.% of the laundry detergent composition.

Cationic surfactants

The laundry detergent may further comprise cationic surfactants. Useful cationic surfactants may be substituted or unsubstituted straight chain or branched quaternary ammonium salts of

R 1 N(CH 3 )3 + X-, R 1 R 2 N(CH 3) 2 + X , R 1 R 2 R 3 N(CH 3 ) + X- or R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 N + X-, wherein R 1 , R 2 , R 3 and R 4 independently from each other are unsubstituted Cs to C24-alkyl and preferably Cs to Cis-alkyl, hydroxylalkyl having 1 to 4 carbon atoms, phenyl, C2to Cis-alkenyl, Cy to C24-aralkyl, (C 2 H 4 0) X H where x is from about 1 to about 3, the alkyl radical optionally comprising one or more ester groups, and X is a suitable anion. Useful cationic surfactants may also be cyclic quaternary ammonium salts.

Amphoteric/Zwitterionic surfactants The laundry detergent may further comprise amphoteric and/or zwitterionic surfactants.

Useful amphoteric surfactants may be aliphatic derivatives of secondary or tertiary amines, or aliphatic derivatives of heterocyclic secondary and tertiary amines, in which the aliphatic radical may be straight or branched-chain and where one of the aliphatic substituents contains at least about 8 carbon atoms, or from about 8 to about 18 carbon atoms, and at least one of the aliphatic substituents contains an anionic water-solubilizing group, e.g. carboxy, sulfonate, sulfate. Suitable amphoteric surfactants also include sarcosinates, glycinates, taurinates, and mixtures thereof. Examples of the species as the amphoteric surfactants are known in the art, for example from W02005095569A1.

Useful zwitterionic surfactants may be derivatives of secondary and tertiary amines, derivatives of heterocyclic secondary and tertiary amines, or derivatives of quaternary ammonium, quaternary phosphonium or tertiary sulfonium compounds. Suitable Examples of zwitterionic surfactants include, but are not limited to, betaines such as alkylbetaines and alkylamide betaines, such as N- alkyl-N,N-dimethyl-N-carboxymethylbetaines, N-(alkylamidopropyl)-N,N-dimethyl-N- carboxymethylbetaines, alkyldipolyethoxybetains, alkylamine oxides, and sulfo and hydroxy betaines such as N-alkyl-N,N-dimethylammino-1-propane sulfonate, each having a linear or branched Cs to C22-alkyl, preferably Cs to Cis-alkyl radical and more preferably C12 to Cis-alkyl.

The laundry detergent may further comprise the customary assistants which serve to recondition the fabrics to be washed, or modify the performance characteristics of the laundry detergent composition. Suitable auxiliaries include for example bleaching agent, foam boosters, foam retarders, anticorrosion suspendants, dyes, fillers, optical brighteners, disinfectants, alkalis, hydrotropic compounds, antioxidants, enzyme stabilizer, thickener, perfumes, solvents, solubilizers, softener and antistats.

The method according to the present invention may be performed in an appraratus including a washing drum and a dispensing device comprising a reservoir system and a computer module.

<Apparatus Useful for Providing a Laundry Detergent to a Washing Cycle>

Accordingly, in the second aspect, the present invention provides a laundry apparatus including a washing drum and a dispensing device, wherein the dispensing device comprises - a reservoir system comprising at least one reservoir for at least one adjunct cleaning agent that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent and at least one reservoir for the other components, and

- a computer module, which is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including, but not being limited to, fabric type and/or color, identity of soil or stain, user’s requirements, user’s preferences, and any combinations thereof, and which is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe and determine the adjunct cleaning agent which shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe, in response to the user’s selections, and then to cause the dispensing device to first dispense the adjunct cleaning agent and subsequently the other components of the laundry detergent recipe from respective component reservoirs. Preferably, the adjunct cleaning agent is selected from chelating agent, enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent and color care agent.

Hereinafter, the laundry apparatus including a washing drum and a dispensing device as described above is abbreviated as the laundry apparatus according to the present invention.

In a particular embodiment of the laundry apparatus according to the present invention, the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a chelating agent, and determine the chelating agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

In a preferable embodiment, the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of blood, milk, grass, wine, fruit, vegetable, ink, pigment, sebum or any combinations thereof, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a chelating agent and determine the chelating agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

In another particular embodiment of the laundry apparatus according to the present inveniton, the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including an enzyme, and determine the enzyme is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe. In a preferable embodiment, the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including the fabric type of cotton, and the soil or stain identity of blood, grass, egg, milk, sebum or any combinations thereof, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including an enzyme and determine the enzyme is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

In yet another particular embodiment of the laundry apparatus according to the present invention, the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including at least one of soil release agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferaby an anti-greying agent, and determine the at least one of soil release agent, anti-greying agent and grease cleaning agent, preferably the anti-greying agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe. In a preferable embodiment, the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including the fabric type of cotton or synthetic, and the soil or stain identity of mud, dust, rust, soot, minerals or any combinations thereof, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including an anti-greying agent and determine the anti greying agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

In yet another particular embodiment of the laundry apparatus according to the present invention, the computer module is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a color care agent, which is at least one of dye transfer inhibiting agent and dye fixation agent, and determine the color care agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe. Preferably the color care agent comprises or is a dye transfer inhibiting agent. In a preferable embodiment, the computer module is configured to receive a selection indication from a user based on criteria including more than one fabric color, and is programmed to determine a laundry detergent recipe including a dye transfer inhibiting agent and determine the dye transfer inhibiting agent is the only adjunct cleaning agent or one of the adjunct cleaning agents that shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe.

According to any embodiments of the laundry apparatus according to the present invention as described above, the computer module is programmed to cause the dispensing device to dispense the at least one adjunct cleaning agent as determined at least 0.5 minute, for example at least 1 minute, at least 1.5 minutes, at least 2 minutes, at least 2.5 minutes, or at least 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 minutes prior to other components of the laundry detergent. There is no particular restriction to the upper limit of the time period between the dispensing of the at least one adjunct cleaning agent and the other components. For the purpose of efficiency, it is preferable that the at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed no more than 10 minutes prior to the other components of the laundry detergent. For example, the at least one adjunct cleaning agent is dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent by a period in the range of from 0.5 to 10 minutes, or from 0.5 to 7 minutes, or from 1 to 6 minutes, or from 1.5 to 5 minutes, or from 2 to 5 minutes.

It is to be understood that the washing drum, the dispensing device and any other necessary parts may be integrated in a single case as an automatic washing machine. Alternatively, the dispensing device or some parts thereof such as the reservoirs and the computer module may stand alone.

By way of example, the laundry apparatus according to the present invention may include a dispensing device similar to the device for providing laundry product bespoke to a washing load based on user input as described in WO 2017/211701 A1 , for example on page 3, line 26 to page 6, line 7; page 6, line 24 to page 8 line 17, except that the computer module is modified in program such that the computer module can determine the adjunct cleaning agent which shall be dispensed prior to other components of the laundry detergent recipe, in response to the user’s selections, and then to cause the dispensing device to dispense the adjunct cleaning agent before the other components of the laundry detergent recipe from respective component reservoirs.

<Kit of Laundry Detergent>

In the third aspect, the present invention provides a laundry detergent kit, which includes part I and part II,

- part I: at least one adjunct cleaning agent, which is preferably selected from chelating agent,

enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent and color care agent,

- part II: surfactants and optionally at least one substance selected from bleaching agents, foam boosters, foam retarders, anticorrosion suspendants, dyes, fillers, optical brighteners, disinfectants, alkalis, hydrotropic compounds, antioxidants, enzyme stabilizers, thickeners, perfumes, solvents, solubilizers, softener and antistats, wherein the part I and the part II were segregated from each other, and wherein the laundry detergent kit includes an indication suggesting the at least one adjunct cleaning agent from the part I be dispensed prior to any one from the part II into a washing cycle.

In a preferable embodiment of the laundry detergent kit, the part I includes two or more adjunct cleaning agents selected from chelating agent, enzyme, soil release agent, grease cleaning agent, anti-greying agent and color care agent, and the two or more adjunct cleaning agents are segregated from each other.

The segregation between the part I and the part II may be provided by packages or compartments of a package. For example, the part I and the part II may be packaged separately, or may be accomodated in respective compartments of a single package. It can be contemplated that two or more adjunct cleaning agents of the part I may also be packaged separately or may be

accomodated in respective compartments of a single package.

It is to be understood that the substances included in part II may be mixed all together or my be divided into two or more sub-parts segregated from each other.

According to any embodiments of the laundry detergent kit, the indication may be in any form, for example, a description in words, a drawing, or a combination thereof. The indication may be provided on the outermost package of the laundry detergent or on one or more packages or compartments for any parts or individuals.

The invention will be further described by reference to following Examples. The Examples are set forth by way of illustration and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

Examples

General Procedures and Settings for the Test Laundering Process

A laundering process was simulated in lab using a Terg-o-meter (RHLQ-III, from Shanghai Bank Equipment Co. Ltd, China.) which includes six barrels with respective rotor blades as washing units, generally following GBT 13174-2008. The washing units were operated at the same stirring speed of 120 rotation per minute (rpm) and each contains 1 L water. Unless otherwise specified, four samples of a fabric (square pieces of 10 cm x 10 cm) were immersed into water in each barrel, to which the adjunct cleaning agent and the basic detergent formulation were added, the washing cycle being carried out at 30 °C. After the washing, the samples were removed from the washing units, drained and rinsed twice in 10 L tap water for 30 seconds, followed by drying at ambient temperature overnight.

Measurement for Whiteness Change

The samples were measured photometrically before and after the laundering process in

accordance with GBT 13174-2008, by determining reflectance values (in %) representing the degrees of whiteness with a sphere reflectance spectrometer (SF 500 type with a wavelength range of 360 to 700nm, optical geometry d/8°, from Datacolor, USA) with a UV cut-off filter, at a wavelength of 457 nm. Reflectance change (AR) represents the whiteness change of a sample before and after the laundering and is used to evaluate soil/stain removal performance and/or anti graying performance of each detergent formulation and detergent dispensing method in following Examples. The measurement value as reported is given as an average of all samples of a fabric. Higher value of AR shows better soil/stain removal performance, and lower absolute value of AR shows better anti-graying performance.

The reflectance change is calculated in accordance with following equation:

AR = Rafter Rbefore

in which

R after is the reflectance of the sample after the laundering process, and

R before is the reflectance of the sample before the laundering process.

Measurement for Dye Transfer Inhibiting Effect

For characterization of dye transfer inhibiting effect, DE is conventionally adopted in the art, which is calculated as CIE 1976 color difference according to DIN EN ISO 11664-4 (June 2012) in accordance with following equation:

AE=(AL *2 + Aa *2 + Ab *2 ) 1/2

in which The values L * before , a * before , and b * before are measured on white samples before the laundering process. The values L* a fier, a* a fier and b * after are measured on the sample after the laundering. Standard colorimetric measurement was used to obtain L*, a* and b* values. Lower value of DE shows better dye transfer inhibiting performance.

Following materials were used as the laundry detergent components in Examples:

Following fabrics were used for tests in the Examples:

EMPA116, cotton stained with blood/milk/ink, from Swissatest Testmaterialien AG, Switzerland; WFK 10D, cotton stained with pigment/sebum, from WFK Testgewebe GmbH, Germany;

WFK 80A, white cotton from WFK Testgewebe GmbH, Germany;

WFK 30A, white polyester from WFK Testgewebe GmbH, Germany;

JB 02: cotton stained with pigment/protein, standard soiled fabric according to GB-T13174-2008, available from China research institute of daily chemical industry; and

JB 03: cotton stained with pigment/sebum, standard soiled fabric according to GB-T13174-2008; available from China research institute of daily chemical industry.

Example 1 Detergent Performance Test with the Chelating Agent

A basic detergent formulation as shown in Table 1 was used to evaluate the soil/stain removal performances. The laundering process was carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described hereinabove in 1 liter of water with hardness of 50 ppm (50 mg/L; Ca/Mg 3:2). 1 g/L of the basic detergent formulation and 0 or 5% of T rilon ® M Liquid with respect to the dosage of the basic detergent formulation were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 2 1

The laundering process was also carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described herein above in 1 liter of deionized water. 2 g/L of the basic detergent formulation and 0 or 5% of Trilon ® M Liquid with respect to the dosage of the basic detergent formulation were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 2-2. Table 1

Table 2-1

Table 2-2

It can be seen from the test results as shown in Tables 2-1 and 2-2 that addition timing of the chelating agent is important for the soil/stain removal performance. Prior addition of the chelating agent resulted in higher AR values (Test Nos. 3 and 3’), while later addition of the chelating agent resulted in lower AR value (Test Nos. 4 and 4’), both compared with the simultaneous additions of the chelating agent and the basic detergent formulation (F1) (Test Nos. 2 and 2’).

It was believed that the main function of a chelating agent in a laundry detergent is to combine or remove the hard water ions to prevent reaction between Ca, Mg and other metallic cations in hard water and surfactant anions to form insoluble compounds which precipitate onto fabrics and washing machines and are difficult to remove. It was surprisingly found that the prior addition of the chelating agent can improve the soil/stain removal performance not only in water with hardness of 50 ppm, but also in deionized water which contain no or negligible metallic cations.

Example 2 Detergent Performance Test with the Chelating Agent

Three basic detergent formulations, regular, concentrated and super concentrated, as shown in Table 3 were used to evaluate the low temperature soil/stain removal performances. The laundering process was carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described hereinabove in 1 liter of water with hardness of 250 ppm (250 mg/L; Ca/Mg 3:2). 1 g/L Trilon ® M Liquid and 2g/L of the basic detergent formulation were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 4. The washing cycle ran at 15°C for 20 mins.

Table 3

Table 4

The improvement of soil/stain removal performance by means of prior addition of the chelating agent can also be observed at a lower washing temperature. Example 3 Detergent Performance Test with the Chelating Agent

Three basic detergent formulations, regular, concentrated and super concentrated, as shown in Table 3 were used to evaluate the soil/stain removal performances in hard water. The laundering process was carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described hereinabove in 1 liter of water with hardness of 400 ppm hardness (400 mg/L; Ca/Mg 3:2). 1 g/L Trilon ® M Liquid and 2 g/L of the basic detergent formulation were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 5. The washing cycle ran for 20 mins.

Table 5

It can be seen that the improvement of soil/stain removal performance by means of prior addition of the chelating agent can be observed in case of water with a hardness of up to 400ppm.

Example 4 Detergent Performance Test with the Chelating Agent

A basic detergent formulation as shown in Table 6 was used to evaluate the soil/stain removal performances. The laundering process was carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described hereinabove in 1 liter of water with hardness of 250 ppm (250 mg/L; Ca/Mg 3:2). 1 g/L Trilon ® M Liquid and 2 g/L of the basic detergent formulation were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 7. Table 6

Table 7

It can be seen from the test results as shown in Table 7 that the prior addition of the chelating agent can significantly shorten washing time without compromise of soil/stain removal performance.

Example 5 Detergent Performance Test with the Enzyme A basic detergent formulation (F5) as shown in Table 6 was used to evaluate the soil/stain removal performances. The laundering process was carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described hereinabove in 1 liter of water with hardness of 250 ppm (250 mg/L; Ca/Mg 3:2). 0 or 0.2 g/L of Lavergy Pro 104L and 2 g/L of the basic detergent formulation were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 8. The washing cycle ran with three pieces of the fabric in each barrel. Table 8

It can be seen from the test results as shown in Table 8 that addition timing of the enzyme is important for the soil/stain removal performance. Prior addition of the enzyme resulted in higher AR values (Test No. 3), while later addition of the enzyme resulted in comparative AR values (Test No.

4), both compared with the simultaneous additions of the enzyme and the basic detergent formulation (F5) (Test No. 2).

Example 6 Detergent Performance Test of the Anti-greying Agent

A basic detergent formulation as shown in Table 9 was used to evaluate the anti-greying performances. The laundering process was carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described hereinabove in 1 liter of water with hardness of 250 ppm (250 mg/L; Ca/Mg 3:2). 2 g/L of the basic detergent formulation, 0 or 5% of Sokalan ® HP 20 with respect to the dosage of the basic detergent formulation, and 10g of a soil mixture were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 10.

The soil mixture consists of 75 wt% deionised water, 20 wt% clay, 3.75 wt% peanut oil (Shandong Luhua Group Co., Ltd.) and 1.25 wt% mineral oil 26#, which was prepared by adding the clay (yellow clay under the tradename of WFK clay 05023, from WFK Testgewebe GmbH, Germany) into deionized water, stirring at 6500 rpm for 10 min, and then adding the mixture of peanut oil and mineral oil slowly and homogenizing for an additional 10 min. The obtained slurry was stirred continuously until being added into the washing cycle. Table 9

Table 10

* the values given for AR are absolute values of the calcu ated values.

It can be seen from the test results as shown in Table 10 that addition timing of the anti-greying agent is important for the anti-greying performance. Prior addition of the anti-greying agent resulted in lower AR absolute values (Test No. 3) compared with the simultaneous additions of the anti greying agent and the basic detergent formulation (F6) (Test No. 2) and the later addition of the dye transfer inhibiting agent (Test No.4).

Example 7 - Detergent Performance Test with the Dye Transfer Inhibiting Agent A basic detergent formulation as shown in Table 11 was used to evaluate the dye transfer inhibition performances. The laundering process was carried out in accordance with the general procedure as described hereinabove in 1 liter of water with hardness of 250 ppm (250 mg/L; Ca/Mg 3:2). 2 g/L of the basic detergent formulation and a 0 or 0.3% of Sokalan ® HP 66 with respect to the dosage of the basic detergent formulation, and 0.005 g/L Direct Red 83.1 were added in accordance with the specific settings as shown in Table 12. The washing cycle ran with six pieces of the fabric in each barrel.

Table 11

Table 12

It can be seen from the test results as shown in Table 12 that addition timing of the dye transfer inhibiting agent is important for the dye transfer inhibiting performance. Prior addition of the dye transfer inhibiting agent resulted in lower DE absolute values (Test No. 3) compared with the simultaneous additions of the dye transfer inhibiting agent and the basic detergent formulation (F7) (Test No.2) and the later addition of the dye transfer inhibiting agent (Test No.4).