Best Garment Washing Chemicals List and Their Functions

Garment Washing Chemicals

Garment washing chemicals play a vital role in different types of garment washing processes to get desired changes according to buyer requirements. However, there are lots of garment washing plants established in Bangladesh to do these garment washing processes. In the washing plant, different types of washing chemicals are used for doing this job. Basically, chemicals are found in different brand names but the technician uses his best chemicals in the washing process. So, it is important to use accurate chemicals for getting the best performance. As a result, the user should have vast knowledge about different types of garment and denim washing chemicals features with their application area.

Garment Washing Chemicals
Garment Washing Chemicals List and Their Functions

List of Garment Washing Chemicals and Their Functions

Garment chemicals are manufactured by different chemicals and auxiliaries manufacturing companies. Here, I have presented some garment washing chemicals’ name lists with their functions. I am sure these might help you to select the correct chemicals for application. The following is the list of different garment washing chemicals and their functions. They are-

  1. Anti Staining Agent
  2. Enzyme
  3. Acetic acid [CH3-COOH]
  4. Potassium Permanganate [KMnO4]
  5. Detergent
  6. Bleaching powder [Ca(OCl)CL]
  7. Caustic Soda [NaOH]
  8. Sodium hyposulfite [Na2S2O2]
  9. Soda ash [Na2CO3]
  10. Sodium bicarbonate [NaHCO3]
  11. Cationic/ nonionic flax softener
  12. Micro Emulsion Silicon
  13. Salt
  14. Buffer
  15. Hydrogen peroxide [H202]
  16. Stabilizer
  17. Fixing agent
  18. Optical brightener
  19. Resin
  20. Wetting Agent
  21. Hygroscopic Agent
  22. Defoaming Agent
  23. Rubbing Fastness Improvers
  24. Sequestering Agent
  25. Stiffening Agent
  26. Chlorine Bleach
  27. Leakage
  28. Ant Mildew Agent
  29. Bio Polishing
  30. Water Proofing Agent

Anti Staining Agent 

The anti-staining agent is one of the vital garments washing chemicals in garment washing. However, it is a pale yellow flow liquid in appearance and nonionic in nature. It is soluble in cold and hot water.


  • Firstly, the anti-staining agent can improve color fastness after stone washing.
  • Secondly, it has good dispersing, emulsifying, and absorbing abilities.
  • Thirdly, these agents can prevent indigo back staining and improve color contrast and fabric brilliance for indigo dyes.
  • After that, as it is highly concentrated it dilutes before use, and a stable diluted solution can be used easily.
  • Lastly, if it uses an enzyme or general washing process, it improves the washing effect.


The enzyme is another important washing chemical and it plays an important role. However, it is one of the most used chemicals in garment washing. Basically, different types of fashionable outlooks are added to the garments by enzyme washing.


  • Firstly, the ‘’Anti-pilling’’ properties are improved by enzyme wash.
  • Secondly, it gives a very smooth surface when it attacks the surface of the fabrics.
  • Thirdly, catalyze enzymes can be used to remove residual hydrogen peroxide from the fabric after bleaching treatments.
  • After that, the cellulose hydrolyzes by enzyme, and a faded effect is produced when it attacks the projecting fiber and the yarn portion inside the fabric.
  • As a result, the GSM of the garment is reduced by enzyme wash.
  • Then, the neutral enzyme is used for Dark shades because it comes fading effect slowly.
  • Afterward, it produces a soft feel in the fabric.
  • Additionally, it helps to produce the fading effect in the sewing area.
  • The acid enzyme uses for medium and light shade because it comes to enzyme effect more quickly than neutral enzyme.
  • Bio-polishing effect on denim also produces an eco-friendly way.
  • Lastly, enzyme increases the color fastness and rubbing fastness properties of the garments.

Acetic Acid (CH3COOH)

Acetic acid is another garment-washing chemical. Basically, it is used in the textile industry for dyeing purposes. However, it is a colorless and corrosive liquid with a pungent smell. It is weak organic acid – the key ingredient in vinegar. Moreover, it has no adverse effects on the environment except for the use of oxygen for degradation because it is readily degradable.


  • Firstly, Acetic Acid is a neutralizing compound used to neutralize the garment from the alkaline conditions and to control the pH value in the wash bath.
  • Secondly, it uses in an Enzyme bath.
  • After that, it is often used for this purpose in professional laundries although it is not a fabric softener in principle.

Potassium Permanganate [KMnO4]

Potassium permanganate solution applies on the garments which oxidizes the cellulose and the color is partially removed according to the intensity and solution. However, it is sprayed on the area of the garment after the de-sizing process. However, it helps color out from the garment during Enzyme wash.


  • Firstly, fading effects on garments are produced when rubbing a particular area of the garment by hand.
  • It is mainly used for specific portion oxidizing in the garment industry.
  • It is also used as a pp bleach in garment wash baths.


Detergent is a washing chemical and it helps to remove impurities from the Garment fabric surfaces. It is the most used chemical in the washing industry. However, it applies in a specific temperature range and temperature helps detergent to enhance its action. It also develops fading effects on the garments.


  • Firstly, a detergent is commonly used as a cleaning agent in garment washing.
  • Secondly, it removes stain or dust and dirts.
  • After that, it helps to improve water ability to wet things.
  • Additionally, it improves brightness of the washed garments.
  • Lastly, it also use in de-sizing process.

Bleaching Powder

Bleaching agent is mainly used dyeing process in the pre-treatment stage. However, it helps to remove natural color from the fabric and it makes it white from the natural grey color.


  • Firstly, it removes natural color from the garment.
  • Secondly, it improves brightness of the fabric.
  • Lastly, it helps fabric to be properly dyed.

Caustic Soda (NaOH)

Caustic soda a strong alkali. However, it is mainly used for mercerizing cotton. Basically, it is a deliquescent white crystalline solid, which readily absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


  • Firstly, it producing fading effect or old looking on garments rapidly.
  • Secondly, it use to introduce an alkaline condition in the washing bath.
  • Lastly, it has cleaning power which is more powerful than soda Ash.


Soda ash is a alkali and it is a white crystalline solid containing water of crystallization. However, it has cleaning power for this It is used in laundry as washing soda. It is also used for softening the water.


  • Firstly, it helps to create color fading effect to garments.
  • After that, it creates alkaline medium for the breakdown of pigment dye.
  • It has also a cleaning power.

Sodium Meta Bi Sulfite

Chemical formula of Sodium meta bi sulfite is Na2S2O5 and it is an inorganic compound composed of sodium, sulfur and oxygen. Basically, it typically comes in a white, or yellowish-white crystalline powder.


  • It is used as a bleaching agent as well as a reducing agent in pulp and textile manufacturing.
  • It is used to neutralize the garment from potassium permanganate.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide plays an vital role in bleach wash technique. Basically, hydrogen peroxide breaks up and gives some perhydroxhylion in alkaline medium, which discolor the coloring materials and fading effect is developed. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide is used in scouring, bleaching bath in the pre treatment stage to make ready gray fabric garments for dyeing. It is  also used to neutralize the garment from alkaline condition.


  • It use best in the home as an all-purpose cleaner.
  • It uses as antibacterial, antifungal agent.
  • It also kills mold and mildew.

Silicone Softener

Silicon softener is another important chemicals in washing. We know that, when a fabric treated with different types of chemicals it may loss its softness and it becomes hard which is not expected by anyone. So, it needs to make the fabric soften for better use. So, silicon softener can bring the softening characteristics to the fabric which can give comfort to the consumer.


  • It imparts softness with a wet feel with body.
  • It gives excellent inner softness and silky touch to the all type of fabric.

Pumice Stone

Pumice stone is commonly used in garment washing process. However, when the impurities amount will be 10% of a pumice stone its density increases to 1 gm/cm3. Then the stone will not float. Stone weight should be wt. /fabric wt. = 0.5 to 3 /1. Generally, dia. of stone is 1-7 cm. on the other hand, moisture content should be less than 5%. Surface properties may be less than 5% fines. Also, apparent density should be 0.5-0.75gm/cm3. Abrasion loss should be 35%. Moreover, large, hard stones last longer and may be suited for heavy weight fabrics only besides smaller, softer stones would be used for light weight fabrics and more delicate items.


  • This stone is used for washing purpose.
  • Fading effects also comes by pumice stone action.


Softener is another chemicals for washing process. Basically, the purpose of adding fabric softeners at the end of the process is to neutralize the very small amounts of detergents left in the textiles and thus prevent static electricity. However, when softener is applied on the garments then the each and every treads to slip over another.


  • Firstly, softener is creating softer handle over the garments.
  • Softener is used to make the garments treated textiles is surface feel that is bath sickly and soft.
  •  Lastly, it also provides excellent lubricating properties.

Optical Brightener:

Optical brightener is generally used for improve the brightness of garments. Two types of optical brightener are used in the washing plant they are red brightener and blue brightener. Optical brightener is applied to the fabric after bleaching process. It improves brightening properties of the textile materials.


  • It gives brightening properties.
  • It also help to improve the fabric value in the market.

Wetting Agent

The wetting agent is mainly used to increase the wet property of the garments during the washing process. When this chemical is used in the washing bath it helps other chemicals to work properly during washing.

Rubbing Fastness Improvers

A rubbing fastness improver is used to increase the rubbing fastness of the garment.

Sequestering Agent

The sequestering agent is used to remove water hardness to make it easy to proceed with the washing process.

Water Proofing Agent

This chemical is used to protect water absorption.

Stiffening Agent

A stiffening agent is used to increase the hardness of the fabric.

Leakage Enzyme

Leakage enzyme is used to get the grey cast color of the garments. However, we use this chemical when the garments and denim show too much blue but need a reddish or gray tone.

Anti Mildew Agent

The anti-mildew agent is used to protect the garments from mold and mildew.

Bio Polishing

Bio polishing is used in garment washing for removing brush for its special action. However, after using bio polishing, garments achieved more softness.

In sum, above all chemicals are used in garment washing process.

Worker Safety:

We know that, chemicals are commonly used in the wet processing technology. So, when we work with chemicals such as bleach or chlorine or PP, be sure to protect workers by wearing mask and aprons, so it is best to be fully prepared. Besides, it is highly recommended to wear protective rubber gloves and safety glasses, these products can burn skin and eyes pretty badly. So, we should be careful about work safety in the chemical or dyeing, printing or washing industries.

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