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Title:
LIGHT DUTY LIQUID CLEANING COMPOSITION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/079402
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A light duty liquid detergent with desirable cleansing properties and mildness to the human skin comprising: a C¿8-18? ethoxylated alkyl ether sulfate anionic surfactant, a sulfonate anionic surfactant, a water insoluble organic compound, a cosurfactant, an ethoxylated methyl ester and water.

Inventors:
ERILLI RITA
GALLANT CHANTAL
Application Number:
PCT/US2001/011788
Publication Date:
October 25, 2001
Filing Date:
April 11, 2001
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
COLGATE PALMOLIVE CO (US)
International Classes:
C11D1/83; C11D3/18; C11D3/20; C11D1/14; C11D1/22; C11D1/29; C11D1/74; (IPC1-7): C11D1/83; C11D1/94; C11D3/18; C11D3/20; C11D3/32; C11D3/48; C11D3/50
Domestic Patent References:
WO2000002983A12000-01-20
WO2000066684A12000-11-09
Foreign References:
US6046146A2000-04-04
US6046148A2000-04-04
EP0997522A12000-05-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Nanfeldt, Richard E. (909 River Road P.O. Box 134, Piscataway NJ, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What Is Claimed :
1. A light duty liquid cleaning composition which comprises approximately by weight : (a) 15% to 35% of an alkali metal salt of an anionic sulfonate surfactant ; (b) 1 % to 14% of an alkali metal salt of a Cg 18 ethoxylated alkyl ether sulfate ; (c) 1 % to 10% of an ethoxylated methyl ester ; (d) 1 % to 10% of a cosurfactant ; (e) 0. 05% to 3% of water insoluble unsaturated or saturated organic compound, essential oil or perfume ; and (f) the balance being water.
2. The composition of Claim 1, further including urea.
3. The composition of Claim 1, wherein said cosurfactant is selected from the group consisting of polyethylene glycols having a molecular weight of 150 to 1000, polypropylene glycol of the formula HO ( (CH3) CHCH20) nH, wherein n is 2 to 18, polyethylene and propylene glycol ethers and esters having the formula of R (X) nOH, R1 (X) nOH, R (X) nOR, R (X) nOR1, R1 (X) nOR and R1 (X) nOR1 wherein R is a C16 alkyl group, R1 is a C16 acyl group, X is (OCH2CH2) or (OCH2CHCH3) and n is from 1 to 8 and mixtures thereof.
4. The composition of Claim 1, wherein said cosurfactant is dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether.
5. The composition of Claim 1, wherein said cosurfactant is diethylene glycol monobutyl ether.
6. The composition of Claim 1, further including magnesium sulfate.
7. The composition of Claim 1, further including a zwitterionic surfactant.
8. The composition of Claim 1, further including a hydroxy aliphatic acid, wherein the composition has a pH of 3 to 6.
9. The composition of Claim 1, further including an antibacterial agent or disinfecting agent.
10. The composition of Claim 9, further including a hydroxy aliphatic acid, wherein the composition has a pH of 3 to 6.
Description:
LIGHT DUTY LIQUID CLEANING COMPOSITION Background of the Invention The present invention relates to novel light duty liquid detergent compositions with high foaming properties and improved cleaning performance, containing an anionic surfactant, cosurfactant, urea, water insoluble organic compound, ethoxylated methyl ester and water.

Nonionic surfactants are in general chemically inert and stable toward pH change and are therefore well suited for mixing and formulation with other materials.

The superior performance of nonionic surfactants on the removal of oily soil is well recognized. Nonionic surfactants are also known to be mild to human skin. However, as a class, nonionic surfactants are known to be low or moderate foamers.

Consequently, for detergents which require copious and stable foam, the application of nonionic surfactants is limited.

The prior art is replete with light duty liquid detergent compositions containing nonionic surfactants in combination with anionic and/or betaine surfactants wherein the nonionic detergent is not the major active surfactant, as shown in U. S. Patent No.

3, 658, 985 wherein an anionic based shampoo contains a minor amount of a fatty acid alkanolamide. U. S. Patent No. 3, 769, 398 discloses a betaine-based shampoo containing minor amounts of nonionic surfactants. This patent states that the low foaming properties of nonionic detergents renders its use in shampoo compositions non-preferred. U. S. Patent No. 4, 329, 335 also discloses a shampoo containing a betaine surfactant as the major ingredient and minor amounts of a nonionic surfactant and of a fatty acid mono-or di-ethanolamide. U. S. Patent No. 4, 259, 204 discloses a shampoo comprising 0. 8-20% by weight of an anionic phosphoric acid ester and one additional surfactant which may be either anionic, amphoteric, or nonionic. U. S. Patent No. 4, 329, 334 discloses an anionic-amphoteric based shampoo containing a major amount of anionic surfactant and lesser amounts of a betaine and nonionic surfactants.

U. S. Patent No. 3, 935, 129 discloses a liquid cleaning composition based on the alkali metal silicate content and containing five basic ingredients, namely, urea, glycerin, triethanolamine, an anionic detergent and a nonionic detergent. The silicate content determines the amount of anionic and/or nonionic detergent in the liquid cleaning composition. However, the foaming property of these detergent compositions is not discussed therein.

U. S. Patent No. 4, 129, 515 discloses a heavy duty liquid detergent for laundering fabrics comprising a mixture of substantially equal amounts of anionic and nonionic surfactants, alkanolamines and magnesium salts, and, optionally, zwitterionic surfactants as suds modifiers.

U. S. Patent No. 4, 224, 195 discloses an aqueous detergent composition for laundering socks or stockings comprising a specific group of nonionic detergents, namely, an ethylene oxide of a secondary alcohol, a specific group of anionic detergents, namely, a sulfuric ester salt of an ethylene oxide adduct of a secondary alcohol, and an amphoteric surfactant which may be a betaine, wherein either the anionic or nonionic surfactant may be the major ingredient.

The prior art also discloses detergent compositions containing all nonionic surfactants as shown in U. S. Patent Nos. 4, 154, 706 and 4, 329, 336 wherein the shampoo compositions contain a plurality of particular nonionic surfactants in order to effect desirable foaming and detersive properties despite the fact that nonionic surfactants are usually deficient in such properties.

U. S. Patent No. 4, 013, 787 discloses a piperazine based polymer in conditioning and shampoo compositions which may contain all nonionic surfactant or all anionic surfactant.

U. S. Patent 4, 671, 895 teaches a liquid detergent composition containing an alcohol sulfate surfactant, a nonionic surfactant, a paraffin sulfonate surfactant, an alkyl ether sulfate surfactant and water but fails to disclose an alkyl polysaccharide surfactant.

U. S. Patent No. 4, 450, 091 discloses high viscosity shampoo compositions containing a blend of an amphoteric betaine surfactant, a polyoxybutylene polyoxyethylene nonionic detergent, an anionic surfactant, a fatty acid alkanolamide and a polyoxyalkylene glycol fatty ester. But, none of the exemplified compositions contains an active ingredient mixture wherein the nonionic detergent is present in major proportion, probably due to the low foaming properties of the polyoxybutylene polyoxyethylene nonionic detergent.

U. S. Patent No. 4, 595, 526 describes a composition comprising a nonionic surfactant, a betaine surfactant, an anionic surfactant and a Cl 2-Cl 4 fatty acid monoethanolamide foam stabilizer.

Summary of the Invention This invention relates to a high foaming liquid cleaning composition containing an anionic surfactant, cosurfactant, methyl ethoxylated ester, a water insoluble organic compound and water.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel, light duty liquid composition with desirable high foaming and cleaning properties which is mild to the human skin.

Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

Detailed Description of the Invention The present invention relates to a light duty liquid composition which can be in the form of a microemulsion comprises approximately by weight : (a) 15% to 35%, more preferably 20% to 30% of an anionic sulfonate surfactant ;

(b) 1 % to 14%, more preferably 4% to 10% of an ethoxylated alkyl ether sulfate surfactant and/or alkyl sulfate surfactant ; (c) 1% to 10%, more preferably 3% to 9% of a cosurfactant ; (d) 1% to 10%, more preferably 3% to 9% of an ethoxylated methyl ester ; (e) 0 to 10%, more preferably 1 % to 7% of a zwitterionic surfactant ; (f) 0 to 3%, more preferably 0. 5% to 2. 5% of an inorganic magnesium salt ; (g) 0. 05 to 3%, more preferably 0. 1% to 2. 5% of a water insoluble organic compound such as a water insoluble hydrocarbon, perfume or essential oil ; (h) 0 to 8%, more preferably 0. 5% to 5% of a low temperature stability agent which prevents phase separation of the composition at 4C, wherein the preferred low temperature stability agent is urea ; (i) the balance being water, wherein the composition does not contain an ethoxylated nonionic surfactant, ethoxylated/propoxylated nonionic surfactant, amine oxide surfactant or an alkyl polyglucoside surfactant.

Other suitable water-soluble nonionic detergents are marketed under the trade name"Pluronics."The compounds are formed by condensing ethylene oxide with a hydrophobic base formed by the condensation of propylene oxide with propylene glycol. The molecular weight of the hydrophobic portion of the molecule is of the order of 950 to 4000 and preferably 200 to 2, 500. The addition of polyoxyethylene radicals to the hydrophobic portion tends to increase the solubility of the molecule as a whole so as to make the surfactant water-soluble. The molecular weight of the block polymers varies from 1, 000 to 15, 000 and the polyethylene oxide content may comprise 20% to 80% by weight. Preferably, these surfactants will be in liquid form and satisfactory surfactants are available as grades L 62 and L 64.

The anionic sulfonate surfactants which may be used in the composition of this invention are water soluble and include the sodium, potassium, ammonium and ethanolammonium salts of linear Cg-C1 6 alkyl benzene sulfonates ; C1 0-c20 paraffin sulfonates, alpha olefin sulfonates containing about 10-24 carbon atoms, Cg-C18 alkyl

sulfates and Cg-C1 g ethoxylated alkyl ether sulfates. The preferred anionic sulfonate surfactant is a C12-18 paraffin sulfonate present in the composition at a concentration of about 14% to 24 wt. %, more preferably 15% to 22%.

The paraffin sulfonates may be monosulfonates or di-sulfonates and usually are mixtures thereof, obtained by sulfonating paraffins of 10 to 20 carbon atoms. Preferred paraffin sulfonates are those of C12-18 carbon atoms chains, and more preferably they are of C14-17 chains. Paraffin sulfonates that have the sulfonate group (s) distributed along the paraffin chain are described in U. S. Patents 2, 503, 280 ; 2, 507, 088 ; 3, 260, 744 ; and 3, 372, 188 ; and also in German Patent 735, 096. Such compounds may be made to specifications and desirably the content of paraffin sulfonates outside the C14-17 range will be minor and will be minimized, as will be any contents of di-or poly- sulfonates.

Examples of suitable other sulfonate anionic detergents are the well known higher alkyl mononuclear aromatic sulfonates, such as the higher alkylbenzene sulfonates containing 9 to 18 or preferably 9 to 16 carbon atoms in the higher alkyl group in a straight or branched chain, or Cg-15 alkyl toluene sulfonates. A preferred alkylbenzene sulfonate is a linear alkylbenzene sulfonate having a higher content of 3- phenyl (or higher) isomers and a correspondingly lower content (well below 50%) of 2- phenyl (or lower) isomers, such as those sulfonates wherein the benzene ring is attached mostly at the 3 or higher (for example 4, 5, 6 or 7) position of the alkyl group and the content of the isomers in which the benzene ring is attached in the 2 or 1 position is correspondingly low. Preferred materials are set forth in U. S. Patent 3, 320, 174, especially those in which the alkyls are of 10 to 13 carbon atoms.

The C8-18 alkyl ether sulfate surfactants have the structure -+ R- (OCHCH2) nOS03M wherein n is about 1 to about 22 more preferably 1 to 3 and R is an alkyl group having about 8 to about 18 carbon atoms, more preferably 12 to 15 and natural cuts, for example, C12-14 or C12-16 and M is an ammonium cation or a metal cation, most

preferably sodium. The ethoxylated alkyl ether sulfate is present in the composition at a concentration of about 2. 0 to about 5. 0 wt. %, more preferably about 2. 5% to 4. 5 wt.

%.

The alkyl ether sulfate may be made by sulfating the condensation product of ethylene oxide and C8 10 alkanol, and neutralizing the resultant product. The ethoxylated alkyl ether sulfates differ from one another in the number of carbon atoms in the alcohols and in the number of moles of ethylene oxide reacted with one mole of such alcohol. Preferred ethoxylated alkyl ether polyethenoxy sulfates contain 12 to 15 carbon atoms in the alcohols and in the alkyl groups thereof, e. g., sodium myristyl (3 EO) sulfate.

Ethoxylated C8-18 alkylphenyl ether sulfates containing from 2 to 6 moles of ethylene oxide in the molecule are also suitable for use in the invention compositions.

These surfactants can be prepared by reacting an alkyl phenol with 2 to 6 moles of ethylene oxide and sulfating and neutralizing the resultant ethoxylated alkylphenol.

The concentration of the ethoxylated alkyl ether sulfate surfactant is about 1 to about 8 wt. %.

The water-soluble zwitterionic surfactant (betaine), which can be used in the light duty liquid detergent composition, provides good foaming properties and mildness to the present nonionic based liquid detergent. The zwitterionic surfactant is a water soluble betaine having the general formula : wherein X-is selected from the group consisting of S03-and C02'and R1 is an alkyl group having 10 to about 20 carbon atoms, preferably 12 to 16 carbon atoms, or the amido radical :

wherein R is an alkyl group having about 9 to 19 carbon atoms and a is the integer 1 to 4 ; R2 and R3 are each alkyl groups having 1 to 3 carbons and preferably 1 carbon ; R4 is an alkylen or hydroxyalkylene group having from 1 to 4 carbon atoms and, optionally, one hydroxyl group. Typical alkyldimethyl betaines include decyl dimethyl betaine or 2- (N-decyl-N, N-dimethyl-ammonia) acetate, coco dimethyl betaine or 2- (N- coco N, N-dimethylammonia) acetate, myristyl dimethyl betaine, palmityl dimethyl betaine, lauryl dimethyl betaine, cetyl dimethyl betaine, stearyl dimethyl betaine, etc.

The amidobetaines similarly include cocoamidoethylbetaine, cocoamidopropyl betaine and the like. A preferred betaine is coco (Cg-C1 g) amidopropyl dimethyl betaine.

The water insoluble organic compound which is a water insoluble saturated or unsaturated organic compounds contain 4 to 20 carbon atoms and up to 4 different or identical functional groups and is used at a concentration of about 1. 0 wt. % to about 8 wt. %, more preferably about 2. 0 wt. % to about 7 wt. %. Examples of acceptable water insoluble saturated or unsaturated organic compound include (but are not limited to) water insoluble hydrocarbons containing 0 to 4 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble aromatic hydrocarbons containing 0 to 4 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble heterocyclic compounds containing 0 to 4 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble ethers containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble alcohols containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble amines containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble esters containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble carboxylic acids containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble amides containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble nitriles containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional group, water insoluble aldehydes containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble ketones containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble phenols containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble nitro compounds containing 0 tO 3 different

or identical functional groups, water insoluble halogens containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, water insoluble sulfates or sulfonates containing 0 to 3 different or identical functional groups, limonen, dipentene, terpineol, essential oils, perfumes, water insoluble organic compounds containing up to 4 different or identical functional groups such as an alkyl cyclohexane having both three hydroxys and one ester group and mixture thereof.

Typical heterocyclic compounds are 2, 5-dimethylhydrofuran, 2-methyl-1, 3- dioxolane, 2-ethyl 2-methyl 1, 3 dioxolane, 3-ethyl 4-propyl tetrahydropyran, 3- morpholino-1, 2-propanediol and N-isopropyl morpholine A typical amine is alpha- methyl benzyldimethyiamine. Typical halogens are 4-bromotoluene, butyl chloroform and methyl perchloropropane. Typical hydrocarbons are 1, 3-dimethylcyclohexane, cyclohexyl-1 decane, methyl-3 cyclohexyl-9 nonane, methyl-3 cyclohexyl-6 nonane, dimethyl cycloheptane, trimethyl cyclopentane, ethyl-2 isopropyl-4 cyclohexane.

Typical aromatic hydrocarbons are bromotoluene, diethyl benzene, cyclohexyl bromoxylene, ethyl-3 pentyl-4 toluene, tetrahydronaphthalene, nitrobenzene and methyl naphthalene. Typical water insoluble esters are benzyl acetate, dicyclopentadienylacetate, isononyl acetate, isobornyl acetate and isobutyl isobutyrate.

Typical water insoluble ethers are di (alphamethyl benzyl) ether and diphenyl ether.

Typical alcohols are phenoxyethanol and 3-morpholino-1, 2-propanediol. Typical water insoluble nitro derivatives are nitro butane and nitrobenzene.

Suitable essential oils are selected from the group consisting of : Anethole 20/21 natural, Aniseed oil china star, Aniseed oil globe brand, Balsam (Peru), Basil oil (India), Black pepper oil, Black pepper oleoresin 40/20, Bois de Rose (Brazil) FOB, Borneol Flakes (China), Camphor oil, White, Camphor powder synthetic technical, Cananga oil (Java), Cardamom oil, Cassia oil (China), Cedarwood oil (China) BP, Cinnamon bark oil, Cinnamon leaf oil, Citronella oil, Clove bud oil, Clove leaf, Coriander (Russia), Coumarin 69°C (China), Cyclamen Aldehyde, Diphenyl oxide, Ethyl vanilin, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptus oil, Eucalyptus citriodora, Fennel oil, Geranium oil,

Ginger oil, Ginger oleoresin (India), White grapefruit oil, Guaiacwood oil, Gurjun balsam, Heliotropin, Isobornyl acetate, Isolongifolene, Juniper berry oil, L-methyl acetate, Lavender oil, Lemon oil, Lemongrass oil, Lime oil distilled, Litsea Cubeba oil, Longifolene, Menthol crystals, Methyl cedryl ketone, Methyl chavicol, Methyl salicylate, Musk ambrette, Musk ketone, Musk xylol, Nutmeg oil, Orange oil, Patchouli oil, Peppermint oil, Phenyl ethyl alcohol, Pimento berry oil, Pimento leaf oil, Rosalin, Sandalwood oil, Sandenol, Sage oil, Clary sage, Sassafras oil, Spearmint oil, Spike lavender, Tagetes, Tea tree oil, Vanilin, Vetyver oil (Java), Wintergreen, Allocimene, Arbanex, Arbanol#, Bergamot oils, Camphene, Alpha-Campholenic aldehyde, I- Carvone, Cineoles, Citral, Citronellol Terpenes, Alpha-Citronellol, Citronellyl Acetate, . Citronellyl Nitrile, Para-Cymene, Dihydroanethole, Dihydrocarveol, d-Dihydrocarvone, Dihydrolinalool, Dihydromyrcene, Dihydromyrcenol, Dihydromyrcenyl Acetate, Dihydroterpineol, Dimethyloctanal, Dimethyloctanol, Dimethyloctanyl Acetate, Estragole, Ethyl-2 Methylbutyrate, Fenchol, FernIoITM, FlorilysTM, Geraniol, Geranyl Acetate, Geranyl Nitrile, GlidmintTM Mint oils, GlidoxTM, Grapefruit oils, trans-2-Hexenal, trans-2-Hexenol, cis-3-Hexenyl Isovalerate, cis-3-Hexanyl-2-methylbutyrate, Hexyl Isovalerate, Hexyl-2-methylbutyrate, Hydroxycitronellal, lonone, Isobornyl Methylether, Linalool, Linalool Oxide, Linalyl Acetate, Menthane Hydroperoxide, I-Methyl Acetate, Methyl Hexyl Ether, Methyl-2-methylbutyrate, 2-Methylbutyl Isovalerate, Myrcene, Nerol, Neryl Acetate, 3-Octanol, 3-Octyl Acetate, Phenyl Ethyl-2-methylbutyrate, Petitgrain oil, cis-Pinane, Pinane Hydroperoxide, Pinanol, Pine Ester, Pine Needle oils, Pine oil, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, alpha-Pinene Oxide, Plinol, Plinyl Acetate, Pseudo lonone, Rhodinol, Rhodinyl Acetate, Spice oils, alpha-Terpinene, gamma-Terpinene, Terpinene-4-OL, Terpineol, Terpinolene, Terpinyl Acetate, Tetrahydrolinalool, Tetrahydrolinalyl Acetate, Tetrahydromyrcenol, Tetralol (3), Tomato oils, Vitalizair, Zestora, TM.

As used herein and in the appended claims one of the organic chemicals is a perfume which is used in its ordinary sense to refer to and include any non-water

soluble fragrant substance or mixture of substances including natural (i. e., obtained by extraction of flower, herb, blossom or plant), artificial (i. e., mixture of natural oils or oil constituents) and synthetically produced substance) odoriferous substances. Typically, perfumes are complex mixtures of blends of various organic compounds such as alcohols, aldehydes, ethers, aromatic compounds and varying amounts of essential oils (e. g., terpenes) such as from 0% to 80%, usually from 10% to 70% by weight. The essential oils themselves are volatile odoriferous compounds and also serve to dissolve the other components of the perfume.

The cosurfactant may play an essential role in the formation of the dilute o/w microemulsion and the concentrated microemulsion compositions. Very briefly, in the absence of the cosurfactant the water, detergent (s) and hydrocarbon (e. g., perfume) will, when mixed in appropriate proportions form either a micellar solution (low concentration) or form an oil-in-water emulsion in the first aspect of the invention. With the cosurfactant added to this system, the interfacial tension at the interface between the emulsion droplets and aqueous phase is reduced to a very low value. This reduction of the interfacial tension results in spontaneous break-up of the emulsion droplets to consecutively smaller aggregates until the state of a transparent colloidal sized emulsion. e. g., a microemulsion, is formed. In the state of a microemulsion, thermodynamic factors come into balance with varying degrees of stability related to the total free energy of the microemulsion. Some of the thermodynamic factors involved in determining the total free energy of the system are (1) particle-particle potential ; (2) interfacial tension or free energy (stretching and bending) ; (3) droplet dispersion entropy ; and (4) chemical potential changes upon formation. A thermodynamically stable system is achieved when (2) interfacial tension or free energy is minimized and (3) droplet dispersion entropy is maximized.

Thus, the role of cosurfactant in formation of a stable o/w microemulsion is to (a) decrease interfacial tension (2) ; and (b) modify the microemulsion structure and increase the number of possible configurations (3). Also, the cosurfactant will (c)

decrease the rigidity. Generally, an increase in cosurfactant concentration results in a wider temperature range of the stability of the product.

The major class of compounds found to provide highly suitable cosurfactants for the microemulsion over temperature ranges extending from 5°C to 43°C for instance are water-soluble polyethylene glycols having a molecular weight of 150 to 1000, polypropylene glycol of the formula HO (CH3CHCH20) nH wherein n is a number from 2 to 18, mixtures of polyethylene glycol and polypropylene glycol (Synalox) and mono and di C1-C6 alkyl ethers and esters of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol having the structural formulas R (X) nOH, R1 (X) nOH, R (X) nOR and R1 (X) nOR1 wherein R is C1- C6 alkyl group, R1 is C2-C4 acyl group, X is (OCH2CH2) or (OCH2 (CH3) CH) and n is a number from 1 to 4, diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol, an alkyl lactate, wherein the alkyl group has 1 to 6 carbon atoms, 1 methoxy-2-propanol, 1 methoxy-3-propanol, and 1 methoxy 2-, 3-or 4-butanol.

Representative members of the polypropylene glycol include dipropylene glycol and polypropylene glycol having a molecular weight of 150 to 1000, e. g., polypropylene glycol 400. Other satisfactory glycol ethers are ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (butyl cellosolve), diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (butyl carbitol), triethylene glyco ! monobutyl ether, mono, di, tri propylene glycol monobutyl ether, tetraethylene glycol monobutyl ether, mono, di, tripropylene glycol monomethyl ether, propylene glycol monomethyl ether, ethylene glycol monohexyl ether, diethylene glycol monohexyl ether, propylene glycol tertiary butyl ether, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether, ethylene glycol monomethyl ether, ethylene glycol monopropyl ether, ethylene glycol monopentyl ether, diethylene glycol monomethyl ether, diethylene glycol monoethyl ether, diethylene glycol monopropyl ether, diethylene glycol monopentyl ether, triethylene glycol monomethyl ether, triethylene glycol monoethyl ether, triethylene glycol monopropyl ether, triethylene glycol monopentyl ether, triethylene glycol monohexyl ether, mono, di, tripropylene glycol monoethyl ether, mono, di tripropylene glycol monopropyl ether, mono, di, tripropylene glycol monopentyl ether, mono, di,

tripropylene glycol monohexyl ether, mono, di, tributylene glycol mono methyl ether, mono, di, tributylene glycol monoethyl ether, mono, di, tributylene glycol monopropyl ether, mono, di, tributylene glycol monobutyl ether, mono, di, tributylene glycol monopentyl ether and mono, di, tributylene glycol monohexyl ether, ethylene glycol monoacetate and dipropylene glycol propionate. When these glycol type cosurfactants are at a concentartion of about 1. 0 to about 14 weight %, more preferably about 2. 0 weight % to about 10 weight % in combination with a water insoluble hydrocarbon which is at a concentration of at least 0. 5 weight %, more preferably 1. 5 weight % one can form a microemulsion composition.

While all of the aforementioned glycol ether compounds provide the described stability, the most preferred cosurfactant compounds of each type, on the basis of cost and cosmetic appearance (particularly odor), are dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether and diethylene glycol monobutyl ether. Other suitable water soluble cosurfactants are water soluble esters such as ethyl lactate and water soluble carbohydrates such as butyl glycosides.

The amount of cosurfactant required to stabilize the microemulsion compositions will, of course, depend on such factors as the surface tension characteristics of the cosurfactant, the type and amounts of the primary surfactants and water insoluble hydrocarbon, and the type and amounts of any other additional ingredients which may be present in the composition and which have an influence on the thermodynamic factors enumerated above.

The ethoxylated methyl esters used in the instant compositions are depicted by the formula : wherein x is a number from 6 to 12 and n is a number from 2 to 12.

The ability to formulate mild, acid or neutral products without builders which have grease removal capacities is a feature of the present invention because the prior art o/w microemulsion formulations most usually are highly alkaline or highly built or both.

The instant microemulsion formulas explicitly exclude alkali metal silicates and alkali metal builders such as alkali metal polyphosphates, alkali metal carbonates, alkali metal phosphonates and alkali metal citrates because these materials, if used in the instant composition, would cause the composition to have a high pH as well as leaving residue on the surface being cleaned.

The instant compositions can optionally contain a Lewis base, neutral polymer which is selected from the group consisting of an ethoxylated polyhydric alcohol, a polyvinyl pyrrolidone polymer and a polyethylene glycol. The Lewis base neutral polymer is used at a concentration of 0 to 10 wt. %, more preferably 0. 5 to 8 wt. %.

One Lewis base is an ethoxylated polyhydric alcohol which is depicted by the following formula : wherein w equals one to four and x, y and z have a value between 0 and 60, more preferably 0 to 40, provided that (x+y+z) equals about 2 to about 100, preferably about 4 to about 24 and most preferably about 4 to about 19, and wherein R'is either hydrogen atom or methyl group. A preferred ethoxylated polyhydric alcohol is glycerol 6EO.

Another Lewis base is a polyvinyl pyrrolidone polymer which is depicted by the formula : wherein m is about 20 to about 350 more preferably about 70 to about 110.

Another Lewis base is a polyethylene glycol which is depicted by the formula HO- (CH2-CH20-) nH wherein n is about 8 to about 225, more preferably about 10 to about 100, 000, wherein PEG1000 is preferred which is a polyethylene glycol having a molecular weight of about 1000.

In addition to the above-described essential ingredients required for the formation of the cleaning compositions, the compositions of this invention may often and preferably do contain one or more additional ingredients which serve to improve overall product performance.

One such ingredient is an inorganic or organic salt of oxide of a multivalent metal cation, particularly Mg++. The metal salt or oxide provides several benefits including improved cleaning performance in dilute usage, particularly in soft water areas, and minimized amounts of perfume required to obtain the microemulsion state.

Magnesium sulfate, either anhydrous or hydrated (e. g., heptahydrate), is especially preferred as the magnesium salt. Good results also have been obtained with magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, magnesium acetate, magnesium propionate and magnesium hydroxide. These magnesium salts can be used with formulations at neutral or acidic pH since magnesium hydroxide will not precipitate at these pH levels.

Although magnesium is the preferred multivalent metal from which the salts (inclusive of the oxide and hydroxide) are formed, other polyvalent metal ions also can be used provided that their salts are nontoxic and are soluble in the aqueous phase of the system at the desired pH level.

Thus, depending on such factors as the pH of the system, the nature of the anionic surfactant and cosurfactant, as well as the availability and cost factors, other suitable polyvalent metal ions include aluminum, copper, nickel, iron, calcium, etc. It should be noted, for example, that with the preferred paraffin sulfonate anionic detergent calcium salts will precipitate and should not be used. It has also been found that the aluminum salts work best at pH below 5 or when a low level, for example 1

weight percent, of citric acid is added to the composition which is designed to have a neutral pH. Alternatively, the aluminum salt can be directly added as the citrate in such case. As the salt, the same general classes of anions as mentioned for the magnesium salts can be used, such as halide (e. g., bromide, chloride), sulfate, nitrate, hydroxide, oxide, acetate, propionate, etc.

The liquid cleaning compositions of this invention may, if desired, also contain other components either to provide additional effect or to make the product more attractive to the consumer. The following are mentioned by way of example : Colors or dyes in amounts up to 0. 5% by weight ; bactericides in amounts up to 1 % by weight ; preservatives or antioxidizing agents, such as formalin, 5-chloro-2-methyl-4- isothaliazolin-3-one, 2, 6-di-tert. butyl-p-cresol, etc., in amounts up to 2% by weight ; and pH adjusting agents, such as sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide, as needed.

Furthermore, if opaque compositions are desired, up to 4% by weight of an opacifier may be added.

The instant composition can contain 0 to 10 wt. %, more preferably 0. 1 to 8 wt.

% of an antibacterial agent which is selected from the group consisting 2, 4, 4'-trichloro- 2-hydroxy diphenyl ether, essential oils, 3, 4, 4'-trichloro carbanilide, benzoic esters and parachloro metal xylenol and mixtures thereof.

The instant compositions contain about 0 to about 10 wt. %, more preferably 0. 1 to 8 wt. % of a disinfectant agent selected from the group consisting of Cg-C16 alkyl amines, Cg-C16 alkyl benzyl dimethyl ammonium chlorides, Cg-Cie diatky) dimethy) ammonium chlories, Cg-C16 alkyl, Cg-Cl4 alkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride and chlorhexidine and mixtures thereof. Some typical disinfectant agent useful in the instant compositions are manufactured by Lonza, S. A. They are : Bardac 2180 (or 2170) which is N-decyl-N-isonoxyl-N, N-dimethyl ammonium chloride ; Bardac 22 which is didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride ; Bardac LF which is N, Ndioctyl-N, N-dimethyl ammonium chloride ; Bardac 114 which is a mixture in a ratio of 1 : 1 : 1 of N-alkyl-N, N- didecyl-N, N-dimethyl ammonium chloride/N-alkyl-N, N-dimethyl-N-ethyl ammonium chloride ; and Barquat MB-50 which is N-alkyl-N, N-dimethyl-N-benzyl ammonium chloride.

Another disinfecting agent is dimethyl benzyl alkonium chloride (BASF).

The instant compositions can contain a booster agent for the disinfecting agent which improves the bacterial activity of the disinfecting agent thereby increasing the bacterial kill. The booster agent is selected from the group consisting of hydroxy containing organic acids such as citric acid and latic acid and mixtures thereof and chelatants such as methyl glycine triacetate, imino disuccinate and glutamic N, N- diacetate and mixtures thereof. The booster agent is used at a concentration of 0 to about 5 wt. %, preferably about 0. 1 wt. % to about 3 wt. %.

The final essential ingredient in the inventive microemulsion compositions having improved interfacial tension properties is water. The proportion of water in the microemulsion compositions generally is in the range of 30% to 82%, preferably 40% to 70% by weight of the usual diluted o/w microemulsion composition.

In final form, the instant compositions exhibit stability at reduced and increased temperatures. More specifically, such compositions remain clear and stable in the range of 5°C to 50°C, especially 10°C to 43°C. Such compositions exhibit a pH of 5 to 8. The liquid microemulsion compositions are readily pourable and exhibit a viscosity in the range of 6 to 300 milliPascal. second (mPas.) as measured at 25°C. with a Brookfield RVT Viscometer using a #1 spindle rotating at 20 RPM. Preferably, the viscosity is maintained in the range of 10 to 200 mPas.

The following examples illustrate liquid cleaning compositions of the described invention. Unless otherwise specified, all percentages are by weight. The exemplified compositions are illustrative only and do not limit the scope of the invention. Unless otherwise specified, the proportions in the examples and elsewhere in the specification are by weight.

Example 1 The following compositions having a pH of 7 in wt. % were prepared by simple mixing procedure : A B C Ref. D C14-17 Paraffin sulfonate sodium salt 25. 5 25. 5 25. 5 25. 5 C12-14 AEOS 2 : 1 EO 8. 5 8. 5 8. 5 8. 5 Perfume 0. 5 0. 5 0. 5 0. 5 Limonen 6 Urea 5 5 5 5 C11 fatty acid 2E0 CH3 6 C11 fatty acid (5EO) CH3 6 C11 fatty acid (1 OEO) CH3 6 Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether 6 6 6 6 Water Bal. Bal. Bal. Bal. pH 7. 0 7. 0 7. 0 7. 0 Miniplate test 35 37 48 45 Brookfield viscosity 100 100 100 100 Baked on food removal (numbers of strokes) 44 31 38 30