(19)
(11)EP 3 800 240 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
07.04.2021 Bulletin 2021/14

(21)Application number: 20207725.1

(22)Date of filing:  18.01.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C11D 3/39  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.01.2017 GB 201701356

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
18152266.5 / 3395932

(71)Applicant: Cares Laboratory Limited
Barnsley, Yorkshire S75 3SP (GB)

(72)Inventors:
  • ABBEY, Thomas James
    Leeds, Yorkshire LS24 9LR (GB)
  • TOMS, David John
    Bromley, Kent BR6 9FB (GB)
  • BUTCHER, Alex Georgia
    Sheffield, Yorkshire S75 5LB (GB)

(74)Representative: Sewell, Adrian David 
Tandem Patents Limited Grange Farm Wetherby Road Little Ribston
Wetherby LS22 4EP
Wetherby LS22 4EP (GB)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 16-11-2020 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)HAIR REMOVAL FROM TEXTILES


(57) The present invention provides a method of removing hair on a textile material, comprising, in a washing apparatus, wetting a textile material having hair disposed thereon with a predetermined volume of water at a predetermined temperature; and introducing a predetermined amount of a composition to the water to dissolve the hair, wherein the composition comprises a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator.




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to a composition for removing hair from a textile material. In particular, but not exclusively, the present invention relates to a composition for removing pet hair from pet bedding or the like and from a washing machine used to wash the pet bedding.

[0002] The number of pet owners in the United Kingdom is growing. Recent research indicates that there are currently around 9 million pet dogs and around 8 million pet cats in the UK. A majority of these pets shed hair without seasonality and many pet owners allow their pets to sit on the sofa and/or sleep on the bed. This undesirably results in pet hair being left on the owner's bedding, blankets, sofa covers, and the like. In an attempt to control this problem, many pet owners regularly groom their pets either themselves or by an independent groomer which is undesirably costly. Many use lint rollers to remove pet hair from clothing and expensive vacuum cleaners to remove pet hair from sofas etc. However, the problem of pet hair around the home and on clothing remains resulting in excessive washing and drying of clothing, owner and pet bedding, blankets, seat and sofa covers, or the like, which undesirably uses significant amounts of energy, is time consuming and costly, environmentally unfriendly, and adversely compromises the fabric itself. Furthermore, pet hair is never fully removed from a pet's bedding or blanket by laundering, for example, and also remains in the washing machine and tumble dryer to contaminate the same, typically around the door seal, and subsequent clothing being washed therein, and which may undesirably compromise the operation of the machine.

[0003] It is an aim of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method of using a composition in a washing machine to remove pet hair from a textile material, such as a pet blanket or bed cover, and which leaves the washing machine clean and free from stray hairs.

[0004] It is an aim of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method of using a composition in a washing machine to remove at least around 40% of pet hair from a textile material, such as a pet blanket or bed cover, at aptly at least 80%.

[0005] It is an aim of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method of using a composition in a washing machine to remove odours from a textile material, such as a pet blanket or bed cover, and the washing machine, and which leaves the same hygienically clean.

[0006] It is an aim of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method of using a composition in a washing machine to remove pet hair from a textile material, such as a pet blanket or bed cover, whilst not adversely affecting the textile material or the machine.

[0007] It is an aim of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method of using a composition in a washing machine to remove pet hair from a textile material, such as a pet blanket or bed cover, and which requires less energy and is environmentally friendly.

[0008] It is an aim of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a method of removing hair from a textile material in an efficient, convenient, cost effective, safe and environmentally friendly manner, by aptly using a conventional washing machine.

[0009] According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of removing hair on a textile material, comprising:

in a washing apparatus, wetting a textile material having hair disposed thereon with a predetermined volume of water at a predetermined temperature; and

introducing a predetermined amount of a composition to the water to dissolve the hair, wherein the composition comprises a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator.



[0010] Optionally, a concentration ratio of the bleaching agent to the bleach activator is from 40:1 to 2:1. Optionally, the concentration ratio is from 40:1 to 3.3:1. Optionally, the concentration ratio is 4:1.

[0011] Optionally, the method further comprises agitating the textile in the water.

[0012] Optionally, the method further comprises introducing the composition to the water in a drum or a detergent dispenser of a washing machine.

[0013] Optionally, the method comprises heating the water to 60-95°C.

[0014] Optionally, the method comprises heating the water to 85-90°C.

[0015] Optionally, the predetermined amount of the composition is equivalent to 6g-40g/litre, aptly 10-25g/litre, and aptly 12g/litre, based on the predetermined volume of water.

[0016] Optionally, the composition is in powder form.

[0017] Optionally, animal bedding comprises the textile material.

[0018] According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided use of a composition in a washing apparatus to remove hair on a textile material by dissolution, wherein the composition comprises a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator.

[0019] Optionally, a concentration ratio of the bleaching agent to the bleach activator is from 40:1 to 2:1. Optionally, the concentration ratio is from 40:1 to 3.3:1. Optionally, the concentration ratio is 4:1.

[0020] Optionally, the bleaching agent is around 40% by weight and the bleach activator is around 10% by weight.

[0021] Optionally, the bleaching agent comprises a mixture of sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate.

[0022] Optionally, the bleach activator comprises TAED.

[0023] There is described a composition for use in a washing apparatus to remove hair on a textile material by dissolution, comprising:

a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent; and

a bleach activator.



[0024] Optionally, a concentration ratio of the bleaching agent to the bleach activator is from 40:1 to 2:1. Optionally, the concentration ratio is from 40:1 to 3.3:1. Optionally, the ratio is from 20:1 to 3.5:1. Optionally, the ratio is 4:1.

[0025] Optionally, the bleaching agent is between 10-80% by weight and the bleach activator is between 0.5-50% by weight.

[0026] Optionally, the bleaching agent is 40% by weight and the bleach activator is 10% by weight.

[0027] Optionally, the bleaching agent comprises an inorganic peroxide bleach.

[0028] Optionally, the bleaching agent comprises any one or more of sodium percarbonate, sodium perborate, sodium persulphate, potassium persulphate, ammonium persulphate, or the like.

[0029] Optionally, the bleaching agent is mixed with a salt. Optionally, the salt comprises sodium carbonate.

[0030] Optionally, the mixture comprises 80-90% by weight of the sodium percarbonate and 10-20% by weight of the sodium carbonate.

[0031] Optionally, the bleach activator comprises any one or more of tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED), sodium nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate (NOBS), manganese oxalate, Mn(Byclam)CI2, DECOBS (4-(2-decanoyloxyethoxycarbonyloxy) benzenenesulfonatesodium), Tinocat® TRS KB2 (BASF), decanoyloxybenzoicacid (DOBA), lauroyloxybenzenesulfonatesodium (LOBS), or the like.

[0032] Optionally, the bleach activator comprises TAED.

[0033] Optionally, the composition further comprises sodium carbonate anhydrous.

[0034] Optionally, the sodium carbonate anhydrous is up to 75%, aptly around 45%, by weight.

[0035] Optionally, the composition comprises a mixture of the sodium carbonate anhydrous and a further alkali.

[0036] Optionally, the further alkali is sodium metasilicate.

[0037] Optionally, the composition further comprises any one or more of a water softening agent, a surfactant, a soap, a perfume, an enzyme, a fabric softening agent, a hydrotope, and a free flow agent.

[0038] Optionally, the free flow agent comprises precipitated silica.

[0039] Optionally, the composition is in powder form.

[0040] There is described a method of manufacturing a composition for use in a washing apparatus to remove hair on a textile material by dissolution, comprising the step of:
mixing a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator.

[0041] Optionally, a concentration ratio of the bleaching agent to the bleach activator is from 40:1 to 2:1. Optionally, the concentration ratio is from 40:1 to 3.3:1. Optionally, the concentration ratio is 4:1.

[0042] Optionally, the method comprises mixing sodium carbonate anhydrous with the non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and the bleach activator.

[0043] Optionally, the composition is in powder form.

[0044] There is described a composition for use in a washing apparatus to remove hair on a textile material, comprising:

a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent; and

a bleach activator;

wherein a concentration ratio of the bleaching agent to the bleach activator is from around 40:1 to around 3.3:1



[0045] There is described a method of removing hair on a textile material, comprising:

in a washing apparatus, wetting a textile material having hair disposed thereon with a predetermined volume of water at a predetermined temperature; and

introducing a predetermined amount of a composition to the water to dissolve the hair, the composition comprising a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator;

wherein a concentration ratio of the bleaching agent to the bleach activator is from around 40:1 to around 3.3:1.



[0046] There is described a method of manufacturing a composition for use in a washing apparatus to remove hair on a textile material, comprising the step of:

mixing a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator,

wherein a concentration ratio of the bleaching agent to the bleach activator is from around 40:1 to around 3.3:1


Description of the Drawings



[0047] Certain embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1a illustrates the chemical reaction that occurs when sodium percarbonate is dissolved in water;

Figure 1b illustrates the chemical reaction between tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED) and hydrogen peroxide;

Figure 2 illustrates the ingredients of a composition according to certain embodiments of the present invention;

Figure 3 illustrates a set of test results according to certain embodiments of the present invention; and

Figures 4 and 5 further illustrate the results of Figure 3.


Detailed Description



[0048] The primary component of hair fibre is keratin. Keratins are proteins, long chains (polymers) of amino acids. Keratin proteins form the cytoskeleton (miniature skeleton within a cell) of all epidermal cells. Keratin filaments run within a cell from the inside of the outer membrane to weave a 'basket' around the nucleus of the cell. Keratin accounts for 30% of the cellular protein of living epidermal cells and 85% of cellular protein of the dead cells in the stratum corneum (the scaly, dead or horny layer of the outer skin). In hair fibre, keratin proteins comprise 65-95% of the total hair fibre by weight. There are several subtypes of keratin proteins, some are called 'soft' keratins and others are 'hard' keratins. Soft keratins are found in the skin and are relatively easy to break down whereas hard keratins are very resistant to degradation. Hard keratins do not dissolve in water and they are highly resistant to proteolytic enzymes. Hair fibre is mostly made from hard keratin proteins.

[0049] Hair contains a high amount of sulphur because the amino acid cysteine is a key component of the keratin proteins in hair fibre. The sulphur in cysteine molecules in adjacent keratin proteins link together in disulphide chemical bonds. These disulphide bonds are very strong and very difficult to break apart. These disulphide chemical bonds linking the keratins together are the key factor in the durability and resistance of hair fibre to degradation under environmental stress. They are largely resistant to the action of acids but the disulphide bonds can be broken apart by alkali solutions. This property is exploited in perms and chemical hair straightening processes. Alkali is used to break the disulphide bonds in the keratins and make the hair weak. The hair is formed into a new shape and then acid is applied to neutralize the alkali and enable the disulphide bonds to reform. The reformed disulphide bonds hold the hair in its new shape.

[0050] In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, a composition for dissolving hair (from a human and/or animal) and thus removing the same from textiles, such as clothing, blankets, bedding or the like, has been formulated for use in a washing apparatus such as a washing machine. An example of the constituents of the composition is shown in Figure 2. The sodium carbonate anhydrous is an alkali which is used to break the disulphide bonds in the keratins and weaken the hair. Sodium carbonate is aptly used because it is relatively safe, plentiful and inexpensive, but other suitable alkalis, or mixtures of alkalis, either without or without sodium carbonate, may be used to provide a solution of a certain pH, such as greater than around pH 8.0 and aptly around pH 9.0 -11.5. For example, the sodium carbonate anhydrous may aptly be mixed with sodium metasilicate, or the like. The selected concentration of sodium carbonate anhydrous is around 0-75% (it may not be necessary to add any sodium carbonate, or other suitable alkali such as sodium hydroxide, sodium silicate, sodium metasilicate, potassium carbonate, because there may be sodium carbonate mixed with the sodium percarbonate as described further below) and aptly around 45%, which has been found to help efficiently break down and dissolve the hair.

[0051] The composition further includes a mixture of sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate wherein the mixture is around 10-80% of the composition, aptly around 45%, and wherein the sodium percarbonate is around 88% of the mixture and the sodium carbonate is around 12% of the mixture. The sodium percarbonate is a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and is relatively non-hazardous, plentiful and inexpensive. Other suitable non-chlorine-based bleaching agents may include sodium perborate, sodium persulphate, potassium persulphate, ammonium persulphate, or the like. Oxidising agents, such as inorganic peroxides or chlorine-based bleaching agents such as sodium hypochlorite, oxidise the disulphide bond in the keratin causing the bond to break permanently, breaking up and ultimately dissolving the hair

[0052] Unlike chlorine-based bleaching agents, a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent is safer to use in respect of a person laundering the textile, e.g. operating a washing machine and handling the composition, and/or handling/contacting clothing or bedding that has been washed using the composition. It is also safer in respect of an animal using bedding for example which has been washed using the composition. Furthermore, the non-chlorine-based bleaching agent is non-corrosive to metals so will not adversely affect/damage the drum of a washing machine, and is also kinder on the textile being washed in terms of at least not adversely affecting the integrity and colour of the textile.

[0053] The composition further includes TAED which is a bleach activator. The concentration of TAED in the composition is around 0.5-50% and aptly around 10%. Other suitable bleach activators may include sodium nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate (NOBS), manganese oxalate, Mn(Byclam)CI2, DECOBS (4-(2-decanoyloxyethoxycarbonyloxy) benzenenesulfonatesodium), Tinocat® TRS KB2 (BASF), decanoyloxybenzoicacid (DOBA), lauroyloxybenzenesulfonatesodium (LOBS), or the like.

[0054] The composition optionally further includes precipitated silica at around 1% concentration which is a free flow agent to prevent powder 'cakes' forming and to improve the shelf life of the product. The composition may also include a perfume at a concentration of around 0.05% to provide a desired fragrant to the powder composition.

[0055] As illustrated in Figure 1a, the sodium percarbonate forms hydrogen peroxide when dissolved in water.

[0056] In the presence of a bleach activator, such as tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED) or the like, the hydrogen peroxide is converted to peracetic acid as shown in Figure 1b.

[0057] In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, a number of bench tests were carried out on a scaled down basis relative to a washing machine so that the amount of hair remaining after treatment can be captured and measured for different concentration ratios of sodium percarbonate to TAED. An average washing machine capacity (average volume of water introduced during a wash cycle) of around 8.3 litres was scaled down to a beaker containing 500ml of water at around 85°C. 6g of the composition in powder form (which is the equivalent of introducing 100g of powder composition into a washing machine cycle) was added to the water in the beaker. 0.5g of human hair was accurately weighed and added to the beaker. The solution was then magnetically stirred at 300rpm for 30 minutes. The solution was then filtered with a vacuum/Buchner funnel to capture any undissolved hair. This was then dried for 2 hours at around 50°C and weighed after 5 minutes. The slight delay before weighing was to allow the moisture content to equalise at room temperature giving a direct comparison with the weight before treatment, otherwise the weight of any captured hair could be lower just because it had come straight out of the oven and contained less moisture than the hair before treatment. The percentage change of the weight of hair before and after the test was calculated using the following equation:



[0058] The test was repeated for different concentration ratios of sodium percarbonate to TAED.

[0059] The composition in accordance with the present invention for the purposes of the tests was made up of sodium carbonate anhydrous, sodium percarbonate mixture, Mykon® ATC Blue (TAED) and salt. The amounts of sodium carbonate anhydrous and salt were adjusted according to the ratio of sodium percarbonate to TAED for each respective test composition.

[0060] As shown in Figure 3, in accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, it has been found that a composition having a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent to bleach activator, e.g. sodium percarbonate to TAED, concentration ratio of around 40:1 to around 3.3:1, and aptly around 20:1 to around 3.5:1, and aptly around 4:1, has a significant and desirable technical effect on dissolving hair and thus removing the same from a textile. A similar test was carried out using two conventional in-wash stain removers (Oxi-Power Whites™ and Oxi-Power Colours™ both available from Tesco™ pic.) which the manufacturer indicates as having a sodium percarbonate to TAED concentration ratio of 50:1 and 80:1 respectively. The hair removal results for these two conventional products when carrying out the 100g test in accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention were only 6% and 8% respectively. Further tests for the 100g equivalent test composition using smaller increments of the sodium percarbonate to TAED concentration ratio were also carried out and the results are further illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.

[0061] Furthermore, to demonstrate the significant and desirable performance results compared to the abovementioned known stain removers for different amounts of the composition, and thus different concentrations depending on the volume of water in the washing apparatus, e.g. capacity of washing machine drum, further tests were performed with test compositions equivalent to 50g, 75g, 125g and 200g in an average washing machine cycle (around 6g/litre, 9g/litre, 15g/litre and 24g/litre respectively) having a bleaching agent: bleach activator concentration ratio of 4:1. The results of these additional tests were 22%, 48%, 38% and 30% respectively. Whilst increased performance of hair removal was identified across the range of different quantities/concentrations, it was found that an amount of the composition equivalent to 100g in an average washing machine cycle (around 12g/litre based on the volume of water introduced during an average washing cycle being around 8.3 litres) performed best when compared to the test compositions equivalent to around 6g/litre, 9g/litre, 15g/litre and 24g/litre. Requiring 100g of powder composition in accordance with certain embodiments of the present as opposed to 150g or 200g for example is also desirable in terms of cost and environmental impact and the like. It was also found that the desirable performance of the composition in accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention occurred at a water temperature of around 60-95°C, and aptly around 75-95°C.

[0062] In use, clothing, home fabrics, pet bedding or blankets or the like is placed in the drum of a conventional washing machine. Via a scoop, 100g of the composition according to certain embodiments of the present invention and in powder form is placed in the drum or tray/drawer and optionally along with a conventional washing detergent. The washing machine is run on its longest and hottest cycle, aptly around 85-95°C for around 60-120minutes. When the washing cycle has finished, the textile is removed from the washing machine and dried in a suitable manner, e.g. in a tumble dryer. In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, a major portion, aptly at least 60%, and more aptly at least 80%, of the hairs previously disposed on the textile will have been dissolved and removed therefrom and will also have been removed from the drum of the washing machine with the soiled water during the drain cycle to thereby leave the textile and the washing machine clean and hair and odour free.

[0063] To manufacture the composition for a laboratory sample, the following steps are performed:

weigh a required amount of each powder ingredient as per a desired formula and, in particular, a desired concentration ratio of sodium percarbonate to TAED;

add the powder ingredients in optionally the following order to a container and mix for a predetermined time, such as a few seconds, after the addition of the second ingredient and each subsequent ingredient using a suitable stirrer such as a spatula:

  1. a) Sodium carbonate;
  2. b) Sodium percarbonate;
  3. c) TAED; and
  4. d) Precipitated silica; and

optionally add the perfume liquid and stir for a predetermined time, such as at least 60 seconds.



[0064] In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, the method and use are suitable for many different technical applications and capacity of washing apparatus/volume of water being introduced therein. For example, the method could readily be scaled up to an industrial powder blending process and the composition could be prepared in a desired concentration, such as between around 6g/litre to around 40g/litre, aptly between around 10-25g/litre, and preferably 12g/litre to suit many different applications domestic and industrial applications and capacity of washing apparatus/volume of water being introduced therein.

[0065] Certain embodiments of the present invention therefore provide a method of using a composition in powder form in a washing machine to remove the majority of hairs disposed on a textile or fabric material, such as clothing, bedding or the like, in a safe, efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly manner. Furthermore, the composition does not corrode or adversely affect the washing machine or textile itself and is suitable for use in a wash cycle of a washing machine. The composition leaves the vessel being used for the laundering process, such as a domestic washing machine, clean and free from hair and odour.


Claims

1. A method of removing hair on a textile material, comprising:

in a washing apparatus, wetting a textile material having hair disposed thereon with a predetermined volume of water at a predetermined temperature; and

introducing a predetermined amount of a composition to the water to dissolve the hair, wherein the composition comprises a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator.


 
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the concentration ratio is from 40:1 to 2:1
 
3. The method according to claim 2, wherein the concentration ratio is 4:1.
 
4. The method according to any preceding claim, further comprising agitating the textile in the water.
 
5. The method according to any preceding claim, further comprising introducing the composition to the water in a drum or a detergent dispenser of a washing machine.
 
6. The method according to any preceding claim, comprising heating the water to 60-95°C.
 
7. The method according to claim 6, comprising heating the water to 85-90°C.
 
8. The method according to any preceding claim, wherein the predetermined amount of the composition is equivalent to 6-40g/litre based on the predetermined volume of water.
 
9. The method according to any preceding claim, wherein the composition is in powder form.
 
10. Use of a composition in a washing apparatus to remove hair on a textile material by dissolution, wherein the composition comprises a non-chlorine-based bleaching agent and a bleach activator.
 
11. The use according to claim 10, wherein the concentration ratio is from 40:1 to 2:1.
 
12. The use according to claim 11, wherein the concentration ratio is 4:1.
 
13. The use according to any of claims 10 to 12, wherein the bleaching agent is around 40% by weight and the bleach activator is around 10% by weight.
 
14. The use according to any of claims 10 to 13, wherein the bleaching agent comprises a mixture of sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate.
 
15. The use according to any of claims 10 to 14, wherein the bleach activator comprises TAED.
 




Drawing