Optical Brightening Agent for Detergent

Optical brightening agents (OBAs), or fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs), or fluorescent brightening agents (FBAs) are chemical compounds with the ability to absorb ultraviolet light and re-emit it in the blue region by fluorescence. This light-reflecting process provides an effect of extraordinary whiteness/brightness. Optical brightener gets absorbed from the formula by textile fibers, without getting removed in rinsing.

For that purpose, they are commonly utilized as additives with a role to enhance the color appearance of fabric and paper through a “whitening” effect. By compensating for the deficit in blue and purple light reflected by the material, fluorescent brightening agents minimize the visibility of yellow and orange hues.


Once deposited on fabrics, optical brighteners improve the crispiness of white or light-colored fabrics. Even at low levels, their contribution to the overall whiteness performance of the detergent formulas is significant. That asset made OBAs a popular ingredient in almost all kinds of detergents. Most white fabrics in the market have already been brightened during the manufacturing process. This initial brightener gets progressively removed by successive washes. The optical brightener’s function in the solution is to take the role of that brightener and gradually replace it while preserving the original features of the fabric.


As the fluorescent material loses energy, some slight changes in colour may occur. New optical whiteners, applied during the next laundering process, reverse that effect.

Chemically, brighteners are large organic molecules derived from stilbenes or biphenyls.

While the optical brightening agents resemble old-style laundry bluing in several ways, there are significant distinctions between the two methods. The first process results in blue dye or pigment absorbing yellow light falling on the fabrics, thus reflecting light richer in blue hues that enhance the brightening effect. With the bluing process, however, the material absorbs a portion of the light falling on it, reflecting less light than it receives. That leads to a whiter, but not brighter appearance of the fabric.



Common industry uses of optical brighteners in Detergent:


    Detergent whitener, replacing bleach/bluing

    Paper brightening, as coating or internal

    Internal fiber whitening

    External textile whitening for fabric finishes

    Brightening/color-correcting additive in cosmetic formulas


Standard dosage in detergents:


    Powder detergent: 0.05-0.25% (home care)

    Liquid detergent: 0.05-0.10% (home care)

    Bar soap: 0.02-0.10%

    Softeners: 0.02-0.05%



Sunwhite Chemicals – Optical Brightening Agents for Detergents

We are one of the leading manufacturers, supplier and exporter of Optical Brightening Agent for Detergent. These Oba helps to brighten the detergent colour. The other names for OBA, Detergent Brighteners or Detergent Whiteners

Posted in Business blogs on June 15 at 02:42 AM

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