Evaluation of the Cleaning Performance of a Detergent Formulated with Gum Resin Extract from Commiphora Abyssinica.

Commiphora abyssinica is found abundantly in Kajiado. Previous research has shown that the ethanol extracts of the gum resin of this plant have surface active properties. Physical and chemical analyses have shown that the gum resin extract can be used as a surfactant. The objective of this project is to evaluate the cleaning efficiency of a laundry detergent formulation containing the gum resin extract. Three formulations with approximately 12% total surface active matter were prepared. The first one, a standard, contained linear alkyl benzene sulphonic acid (LABSA), sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES), nonyl phenyl ethoxylate, (NPE) and coconut diethanoamide (CDE) as the surface active matter. In the second and third formulations, all the SLES and LABSA were substituted respectively, with the gum resin ethanol extract. Square swatches cut from a white cotton towel were soiled with used engine oil dissolved in hexane and left to dry at room temperature. 5 ml, 10 ml, and 15 ml of the prepared formulations and a sample of a commercial detergent were each diluted with 100ml distilled water. The soiled swatches were then soaked in the prepared solutions for 17 hours, subjected to three separate rinses with distilled water and subsequently dried at room temperature. The performance results were analyzed with respect to percentage change in the reflectance and soil removal. The solutions of 15ml detergent samples containing 1.04% active concentration gave percentage changes in reflectance of 72.14%, 76.17% and 69.62% for the standard, SLES-substituted and LABSA-substituted formulations respectively while the commercial detergent containing 3.01% active matter gave 89.92% change in reflectance. Percentage soil removal for the same concentrations were 53.72%, 61.67%, 50.69% and 91.34%, respectively, this time for heavily soiled swatches. A further optimization of the SLES-substituted formulation gave 93.24% soil removal with 3.05% active concentration as compared to 92.53% for the commercial detergent, in this case moderately soiled swatches were used. From the results of the study it is evident that the gum resin extract can be used to effectively replace SLES in commonly used laundry detergents formulations.

Keywords: detergent, gum resin, soil removal, reflectance, surfactant.

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