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Antifoams for Household and Cleaning

Cleaning Agents and Detergents

Modern cleaning agents and detergents are highly specialized, complex products. Consumers expect them to be fully functional, easy to handle and to reduce water consumption. This means that foam control is paramount: only those who can control foam effectively are capable of producing high-quality cleaning agents and detergents.

The Right Product for Every Application

WACKER has antifoam additives to suit every class of detergent and every application: SILFOAM®antifoam compounds, antifoam emulsions and antifoam powders for powder detergents and diverse liquid detergents and SILFOAM® antifoam systems developed specifically for the detergents industry.

For powder detergents, we recommend SILFOAM® antifoam compounds and antifoam powders. For liquid detergents, we offer self-dispersing SILFOAM® antifoam agents and antifoam emulsions that exhibit exceptional compatibility and activity. With SILFOAM®, you can be sure of getting the best results.

SILFOAM® antifoam agents also offer cleaning agents that deliver outstanding performance and good compatibility across many different formulations. Here, too, controlled foam formation is key to producing an efficient end product. WACKER offers you a broad portfolio of highly effective antifoam agents for this purpose. All our products have been developed with your specific formulations and applications in mind.


  • Highly effective in all kinds of surfactant systems and at all application temperatures
  • Easily combined with other antifoam agents
  • Effective, irrespective of the water hardness
  • Easily dispersed, with no deposits

Experts on High Efficiency in Liquid Detergents

Liquid detergents have had a large share of the US market for many years. And, while the share may not be as high in Europe, it is nonetheless rising steadily there. Consumers prefer modern liquid detergents to powder detergents, especially at low wash temperatures and for colored laundry. Also feasible here are consumer-friendly dosing and application forms, such as gels.

Silicone-based SILFOAM® antifoam agents are the ideal products for this segment. They are equally at home in both structured and non-structured liquid detergents. SILFOAM® products are also eminently suitable for gel detergents, which have different rheological properties from their liquid counterparts.

SILFOAM® antifoam agents also offer compelling foam control in fabric softeners. They are especially compatible with quaternary ammonium compounds, the main ingredients of fabric softener formulations.

Foam Control Systems for Non-Structured Liquid Detergents

Self-dispersing, water-free WACKER antifoam dispersions can be used for non-structured liquid detergents, with SILFOAM® ensuring foam-controlled washes.

Foam-Control Systems for Gel Detergents

High-viscosity gel products made with SILFOAM® antifoam agents deliver optimum foam control during washing. These products also make good filling aids – enabling accurate, high throughput container filling without bubbles. If it’s low-viscosity gel detergents you need, then silicone antifoam emulsions from the SILFOAM® series are the answer. All foam-control systems are field-tested to ensure they meet your specific requirements.

Foam-Control Systems in Liquid Detergents and Fabric Softeners

Whether fabric softener, standard detergent or mild detergent – SILFOAM® provides effective foam control in liquid detergents and care products. This is one area where compatibility between products is crucial. In liquid detergents, the antifoam must disperse without leaving any deposits and must then stay reliably dispersed. It must produce the desired effect, and continue to do so under the usual storage conditions until all of it has been consumed. Silicone antifoam agents are also effective processing auxiliaries for filling liquid detergents and fabric softeners.

Filling Aids

Foam produced by liquid detergents and fabric softeners hampers the smooth filling of containers and pushes up costs substantially. Effective deaeration can be achieved with SILFOAM® antifoam agent emulsions.

WACKER offers different systems for different production processes:

  • Post-addition of a silicone antifoam powder to your product.
  • In-house production of your own antifoam powder via a powder premix setup.
  • Spraying on the antifoam powder, along with other heat-sensitive components, after spray-drying. Silicone antifoam agents for deaerating a suspension are also used prior to the spray drying process.

Spray-On Method

We recommend the spray-on method for phosphate-based powder detergents. It offers many compelling advantages over post-addition of silicone antifoam powders: it is more economical and always ensures homogeneous distribution of the antifoam product in the powder detergent, because the additives adhere to the individual detergent granules. It also provides greater formulating latitude, as the compound with a 100% silicone content can be metered in much lower amounts.

Powder Premix Production

These silicone antifoam compounds are suitable for producing antifoam powders or granules as so-called in-house premixes. They are incorporated as active ingredient in proportions of 5 to 20% into the powder matrix. The antifoam activity increases as the viscosity of the compound increases. Heating lowers the viscosity and allows the product to be sprayed.

Suspension Deaeration

WACKER silicone antifoam agents are also used to deaerate the detergent suspension in the spray-drying process. This ensures pulsation-free and compression-free material flow and also regulates the powder density.

Experts in Powerful Cleaning Agents

WACKER offers a broad range of SILFOAM® products specially tailored to individual applications in the cleaning agents market. Our products possess a range of properties to help meet the varied requirements of effective foam control in these specific applications.

Floor Polishes

In floor polishes, especially wax-based products, good flow and optimum deaeration are crucial for producing a smooth, bubble-free film on drying.

Carpet Cleaning

Carpet cleaners need a defoamer dispenser in the dirty-water tank to ensure that the dirty water is defoamed as it is being sucked up.

Glass Cleaning

Foam control in glass cleaners is readily achieved with the hydrophilic, polar products of the SILFOAM® series of antifoams.

Sanitary Cleaning

Foaming of sanitary cleaners chiefly occurs at the filling stage in production. Using SILFOAM® antifoam agents as a filling aid ensures that bottles can be filled at high throughput rates.


A key problem in disinfectants is compatibility with the commonly employed quaternary ammonium compounds (quats). Since cleaning products are normally mixed with water, hydrophilic defoamer formulations are a key focus of our portfolio.

Filling Aids

SILFOAM® silicone-based antifoam agents from WACKER also make ideal filling aids in production.