Detergent is split between two categories, with two options within each. Fist the form it comes in,

1. Tablet form

2. Powder form

Then there is the chemical composition of the detergent, which, due to environmental concerns within the wider society, is split between two camps,

1. Biodegradable

2. Non-Biodegradable

Obviously the first category is self explanatory, but the second category is less clear. What separates biodegradable and non-biodegradable detergent is most usually phosphates. Phosphates are used by detergents to combat hard water. Hard water can be found in most midland and southern areas of England.

Hard water contains Magnesium and Calcium ions which produce scaling. Phosphates aim to soften the water by lowering the mineral content of it. But, the problem with phosphates is they do not naturally biodegrade and therefore are a problem for the environment.

The actual cleaning composites of the detergents is a mix of either chlorine or oxygen bleaching agents, enzymes, starch, anti cake and foam agents and gels. These composites help to break down the food deposits and then to bleach them.