Surfactants or surface active agents loosen soil and emulsify fats, help hold them in suspension, and leave surfaces clean and free from spots and film. Specially developed surfactants having the lowest foaming characteristic are used.
Phosphates tie up water hardness minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium); so the minerals do not interfere with cleaning or deposit on surfaces. Phosphates also help keep food soil particles in suspension after removal from the soiled surfaces and prevent their re-deposition.
Chlorine or Oxygen Bleaches are added to help prevent spots by leaving a cleaner surface than would be obtained with either surfactants or phosphates alone. The very small amount of bleach helps break own protein soils and aids in removing stains such as coffee or tea.
Corrosion Inhibitors, such as sodium silicate, help provide protection for the dishwasher and the wide variety of materials that are washed. Some materials still should not be washed in the automatic dishwasher (see Washmatic Know more). The corrosion inhibitors also act as soil suspending agents and as an important source of alkalinity.
Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that help break down food and soil residue into small particles. The small particles are then washed away.
Special Additives, such as sodium aluminate, boric oxide or aluminium phosphate may be used to inhibit the removal of over glaze and pattern from fine china. Sometimes antifoams are added to reduce foaming.
Additional Alkalis, such as sodium carbonate, hydroxide or trisodium phosphate, may be used to aid in handling greasy food soils. Polymers help prevent film build-up from hard water.
Colorants are added to lend individuality and an appealing appearance to the product.
Processing Aids, generally inert materials, allow the active ingredients to be combined into a usable form.
Fragrance covers the chemical odour of the base product and stale food odours that might come from the dishwasher.