Detergents & Cleaners

Surface Chemists of Florida has been developing and evaluating products for household and industrial cleaning markets for over 40 years. We are particularly experienced and proficient at devising methods to evaluate new concepts, and can also perform most standard evaluations.

The SCF laboratory is fully equipped to carry out testing and evaluation of essentially all household, industrial, and institutional detergents and cleaners. Our facilities include:

  • Tergotometer and launderometer equipment for evaluating laundry products on a laboratory scaleĀ tergotometer 1
  • Household horizontal axis washer and dryer for evaluating detergents under use conditions, and also for evaluating fabric softening and antistatic activity (insert picture)
  • Reflectometer for quantifying detergency, soil redeposition, dye transfer, yellowing, hard surface detergency, optical brightening, bleach performance, and the like (insert picture)
  • Gardner straight line washability and abrasion machine for evaluating hard surface detergents or determining scrubability or abrasion resistance of finished surfaces
  • Household mechanical dishwashers with controllable water hardness and wash temperatures for evaluating autodish products
  • Apparatus for the CSPA test procedures for carpet cleaning and soil repellency
  • Standard laboratory equipment for determining physical and chemical properties of surfactants and polymers, such as viscosity, surface tension, foam properties, chlorine stability, emulsion stability, and the like.


Specific areas where we can evaluate products either by using existing test procedures or modifications thereof, or by devising new procedures or soils include:

Laundry Detergency
This can be evaluated under U.S. or European conditions, using standard soils from Scientific Services, U. S. Testing, Testfabrics, or others, or we can devise specific soils or stains for testing specialized products. For routine evaluation of heavy duty laundry products we use Scientific Services Dust-sebum soiled fabrics for evaluating detergency against oily soils, and Scientific Services Ground-in-clay soiled fabrics for evaluating particulate detergency. Enzyme activity and bleach activity can be evaluated using specialized soils.

Laundry Soil Redeposition
Our test procedures can be performed under any conditions of detergent concentration, temperature, fabric loading, water hardness, agitation and number of cycles. We can use Scientific Services emulsified dust sebum and dispersed clay, and also have devised a more highly pigmented clay soil dispersion and a carbon black dispersion that can further differentiate performance.

Calcium Salt Deposition or Encrustation
Multicycle tests are performed under the conditions of interest. To quantify the build-up we routinely extract the hardness ions from the laundered fabric and titrate to either an electrometric endpoint with a calcium specific ion electrode, or a colorimetric endpoint with Eriochrome Black T. We can also perform ash determinations. We can also evaluate the harshness of the laundered fabric, which gives information regarding the size and shape of the deposited particles.

Hardness Ion Sequestration
We are experienced in specific ion techniques, and can determine calcium binding efficiencies under varying conditions of concentrations and solution compositions.

Softening and Static Protection
These properties can be evaluated on detergent or rinse cycle or dryer applied softeners. Softening is evaluated by panel testing with cotton terry towels, and static is measured with a hand held static voltmeter.

Dye Transfer Inhibition and Color Care
We have devised a number of procedures using commercially important fabric dyes to show this effect with various detergent formulations and fabric types. Effects tend to be quite specific to dyes, formulations, and fabrics.

Bleaching and Bleach Activation
We are familiar with procedures and analytical methods for determining package stability of both chlorine and oxygen bleach products. We can evaluate bleach activators both by assessing perhydrolysis rates and by laundry methods using standard stains.

We routinely use the CSPA procedure with modified used motor oil as the soil.

Hard Surface Detergency
We can run the CSPA & ASTM procedures or devise tests specific to the application.

Mechanical Dishwashing Products
We use the CSPA method for evaluating detergents. Modifications in the conditions can be made to show specific effects.

Carpet Shampoos and Antisoiling Products
We routinely use the CSPA procedure for determining detergency and antisoiling effects.

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