The amount consumers spend on laundry detergents depends largely on where they live, the type of clothing they own and how well-off they are, according to Peter Smallwood of Chemical Associates. Meanwhile, sustainability is a worldwide consumer trend, and companies are responding with products that are biodegradable and include surfactants made from renewable processes. "Developments in the cleaning product industry, such as changing formulation preferences and demand for better performance at lower temperatures, are driving the requirement for new types of surfactants," Smallwood said.

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