Today’s home care consumers demand advanced hard surface cleaners, while formulators are challenged with delivering high levels of differentiation in this competitive market. Although traditional cleaners provide good performance, natural rheology modifiers have become an integral ingredient in the processing of today’s most innovative and naturally-based hard surface cleaners, as they enable improved performance and sensory experiences in an array of formulations. Solvay’s broad portfolio of rheology modifiers provides formulators with a wide range of compatible ingredients to positively manipulate modern cleaning solutions and deliver unrivaled hard surface formulations for easy cleaning. 

"Our extensive portfolio of natural rheology modifiers provides formulators with the ability to develop both acidic and alkaline mediums for today's most advanced hard surface cleaners."

David Grandeau, EMEA Marketing & Business Development Manager, Home & Oral Care at Solvay

Rheology Modifiers for Enhanced Performance

Rheology modifiers contribute to the performance of hard surface cleaners in a variety of beneficial ways. By enabling formulations to achieve the optimal texture, the final product may, for example, demonstrate enhanced adhesion and more efficiently cling to the surface. Specifically, Rheozan® is a biodegradable, 100% natural thickener for hard surface cleaners that provides superior adhesion and excellent solubility, which also helps to suspend all types of particles and formulate transparent formulations at acidic pH. Rhodaterge® TBC 290, for example, is a specialty blend of surfactants optimized to thicken highly acidic formulations such as toilet bowl cleaners with a high tolerance to perfume and fragrances. 


Rheology Modifiers for Improved Aesthetics

Many hard surface formulations provide easy cleaning. However, with increasingly conscious consumers, improved texture and aesthetics have become significantly more important in buying decisions. Rheology modifiers provide formulators with a means of developing discernible effortless cleaning formulations with desirable textures for an enjoyable consumer experience. The best viscosity enhancers for home care formulations facilitate more pleasurable sensory benefits in today’s advanced, thickened hard surface cleaners. 

Specifically, Rheomer® 33T is a HASE polymer designed to provide efficient thickening, shear-thinning rheology and a pleasant texture to a wide range of transparent cleansers. Especially in the formulation of alcohol-based hand sanitizers where good sanitation requires high loads of alcohol, poor sensorial features is often a key barrier for formulators. Jaguar® HP-120 COS is a natural-based rheology modifier that is compatible with high loads of alcohol and cationic surfactants. It provides a non-tacky afterfeel and even a conditioning and moisturizing skin feel.    


Challenges Of Using Rheology Modifiers

Home care formulations, including hard surface cleaners, typically require processes that involve extreme conditions. As consumer demand for eco-friendly formulations continues to increase, formulators are challenged to incorporate naturally-based ingredients that can tolerate the harsh environments used to process surface cleaners. 

One of the unique challenges is to thicken antibacterial surface cleaners that contain cationic antibacterial agents. Rheomer® FC NAT, for example, provides formulators with a guar-based rheology modifier that serves as an efficient, non-ionic viscosifier for hard surface cleaners. Well-suited for all surface cleaners and detergents, Rheomer® FC NAT is compatible with cationic surfactants, which makes it ideal for antibacterial formulas. 

Acidic formulation processes, such as those utilized for toilet cleaners with the ability to remove scale and other minerals, require acid-compatible rheology modifiers. Alkaline formulations, such as those utilized for detergents and kitchen cleaners that remove stubborn grease and stains, require hydrophobically modified alkali-soluble emulsion (HASE) polymers and alkaline-compatible rheology modifiers, such as Rheomer® 33T. Depending on the solution, formulators face the arduous task of procuring well-suited rheology modifiers for a given formulation. 


Natural Rheology Modifiers for Acidic and Alkaline Formulations

Acidic mediums and formulations are typically difficult to thicken, with a limited number of stable ingredients to choose from. Additionally, as today’s consumers prefer naturally-derived ingredients, the options continue to diminish. However, Solvay’s Rheozan® is a 100% naturally derived, biodegradable thickener and stabilizing agent with the ability to efficiently thicken even the most acidic solutions, such as those used in the formulation process of toilet bowl cleaners. 

Alkaline formulations, higher on the pH scale, require a different composition of compatible ingredients to establish an effective final solution. Specifically, Rheomer® 33T, a synthetic-based HASE polymer and rheology modifier, provides elasticity and thickening properties to a wide range of transparent hard surface cleaners. 

For more information on our rheology modifiers for hard surface cleaners, contact our experts.