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Publication numberUS3696034 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1972
Filing dateOct 20, 1970
Priority dateOct 20, 1970
Also published asCA973663A, CA973663A1, CA1042613A, CA1042613A1, DE2151177A1, DE2151177C2, DE2164742A1, DE2164743A1, US3896034, US4137345
Publication numberUS 3696034 A, US 3696034A, US-A-3696034, US3696034 A, US3696034A
InventorsAnnie Sue Giordano, Gordon Trent Hewitt
Original AssigneeColgate Palmolive Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mixed alkanolamide fabric softening compositions
US 3696034 A
Liquid or powdery softening agent compositions comprising a combination of (1) a 3-acyloxy-2-hydroxypropyl-tri-alkylammonium compound of the formula OHR1 + CO - O - CH2 - CH - CH2 - N - R2, X<-> (CHOH)mR3 (CB2)n CO-O-A wherein m and n are integers from 0 to 4 and the sum of m + n is an integer from 0 to 4, R1 and R2 are selected from the group consisting of alkyl and alkenyl having from 10 to 24 carbon atoms, R3 is alkyl having 1 to 4 carbon atoms, A is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and OHR1 + - CH2 - CH - CH2 - N - R2, X<-> R3 B is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and, when m = 0 and n = 1, methyl and ethyl, X<-> is an anion, (2) a non-ionic dispersing agent, (3) at least one diluent selected from the group consisting of water, and water-soluble or readily water-dispersible liquid or solid carriers, and (4) optionally other customary ingredients of softening agent compositions, as well as the process of softening washed textiles employing from 0.1 to 2.0 gm/l of the above softening rinsing agent compositions.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct 3, 1972 G. T. HEWITT ErAL 3,696,034

MIXED ALKANOLAMIDE FABRIC SOFTENING COMPOSITIONS Filed 001;. 20, 1970 INVENTORS GORDON TRENT HEWITT ANNIE e mommuo @flm TTORNEY United States Patent US. Cl. 252--8.8 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method of conditioning fibrous materials, such as laundry, comprises tumbling them in contact with an article coated on a surface thereof with an alkanolamide conditioning agent. Preferably, the conditioning is softening of the laundry or treating it to make it antistatic, the coated article is used in an automatic dryer, and the coating is on an exterior surface of the base of the article and does not impregnate the interior thereof. Also preferably, the alkanolamide softening compound is employed in mixture with other such alkanolamide softeners, it being particularly preferred to employ mixtures of various higher fatty acid mono-lower alkanolamides and mixtures of higher fatty acid mono-lower alkanolamide and higher fatty acid di-lower alkanolamide.

Also disclosed are the article used in the treatment of the laundry and a method of manufacturing it by coating a base with a melt of alkanolamide, especially a melt of a balanced composition which has a softening point chosen to provide best treating effects in normal dryer operations.

SUBJECT 'OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the softening of fabrics. More particularly, it relates to the employment of higher fatty acid monoand di-lower alkanolamides in methods, articles and compositions for the treatment of washed laundry in automatic laundry dryers, to make the laundry soft and static-free.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Conditioning of fabrics of washed laundry with various composition designed to make the materials treated soft to the touch, antistatic, so that annoying electrical shocks and clinging of clothing are not experienced, antibacterial, antifungal, fire retardant, shrinkproof, soil repellent, creaseproof, permanently pressed, water repellent, stain resistant, perfumed, sized, starched or lubricated or including combinations of such treatments are known. Treating agents have been of a wide variety of chemical types and physical structures and have been applied in various forms, including solutions, sprays, dispersions and solids. They have been applied at high or low temperature, under high or low pressures and in processes that last either long or short times. Yet, with respect to treating fabrics and washed laundry to make them soft and/or static-free, the bulk of conditioning effected today in the home lanudry is carried out by the use of relatively dilute solutions of cationic softening agents which are added to the water in a final rinse cycle of an automatic washing machine.

Because most of the water is removed from the laundry being washed, with only a small proportion remaining in the wrung out or spun laundry, such conditioning materials must be highly substantive so as to avoid wasting most of the comparatively expensive softening agent. The high substantivity requirement and the nature of the chemical compounds which fulfill it cause difiiculties in the treating of laundry. First, in the presence of certain ice ions, such as heavy metal, ferric or ferrous ions, many of the best cationic compounds employed, the quaternary ammonium salts, become discolored. This tends to cause a yellowing of the treated clothing. It is sometimes attempted to overcome the effects of such yellowing by adding excess brightening agent to the fabric softener to hide the discoloration but such a treatment is not always efiective and it is sometimes objectionable because the clothing appears unnaturally and obviously artificially bright.

In the treatments of laundry in the dryer, the problems encountered in washing machine treatment are magnified. Thus, when more concentrated solutions of cationic materials are used, the discoloration is greater and more objectionable. When solid conditioning composition is rubbed off onto the surfaces of laundry or fabrics being conditioned, the concentration of quaternary ammonium compound is increased further and staining and spotting problems are additionally multiplied. Furthermore, even if there is only an occasional deposit of excess conditioning agent on items being treated the staining of even one such item in a dryer load is enough to cause the housewife to reject the softening product. Thus, it is not enough for a softener or antistatic agent to be able to condition fabrics or washed laundry in the dryer; it should also avoid spotting and straining of the treated materials, which can occur due to excessive treating agents being released onto the material or because of the chemical nature of the fabric softener. The treating agent should have melting, softening, plastic or solubility temperatures within the range of the temperatures obtained in the dryer and should be readily distributed over the surface of the laundry during the tumbling action which occurs in the dryer. The conditioning compound or composition should also be readily removable from the treated clothing on washing so that there is no objectionable biiildup on the fabrics which ultimately leads to discoloration or other undesirable results.

In our US. patent application entitled Fabric Conditioning Methods, Articles and Compositions, filed on the same day as the present application, we have disclosed the utility of a fabric conditioning article comprising a mixture of anionic and nonionic surface active agents or the individual constituents thereof. It has been our discovery that such materials avoid many of the difficulties encountered in employing cationic fabric softeners such as the quaternary ammonium salts. Although the mentioned methods are satisfactory for many purposes research was continued and resulted in the discovery of improvements thereover, which are described in this specification.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION We have discovered that particular nonionic compounds, hitherto primarily considered to be foaming agents for detergent compositions or thickeners for shampoos, are very effective as fabric softeners for employment in automatic laundry dryers and are especially useful as antistatic agents to prevent electrostatic charge buildup and clinging of synthetic fibrous materials. The physical properties of these compounds may be readily adjusted by appropriately mixing them so as to obtain the most desirable softening or fusing of such conditioners to make them readily applied to tumbling laundry. The products made possess a waxy feel, are sufiiciently hard at normal temperatures and are readily removed from treated fabrics by ordinary laundering, in which operation they assist in the removal of dirt and other stains from the laundry.

In accordance with the present invention, a method of conditioning fibrous materials by treating them with a conditioning substance comprises tumbling such materials in contact with a solid alkanolamide softening agent selected from the group consisting of higher fatty acid mono-lower alkanolamides and higher fatty acid di-lower alkanolamides at an elevated temperature until a sufficient amount of alkanolamide is transferred to the fabric to soften it and/or make it static-free. The invention also relates to the conditioning compositions and to articles having such a composition on an external surface thereof.

Various objects, details, constructions, operations, uses and advantages of the invention, in its various aspects, will be apparent from the following description, taken in conjunction with the illustrative drawing of some cmbodiments thereof, in which drawing:

THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a central vertical section of a form-retaining synthetic organic plastic foam coated with a composition of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a central vertical section of a flexible sheet coated with such a fabric conditioning composition;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of a form-retaining, comparatively smooth faced plastic base with holding means molded therein to help retain fabric conditioning composition coating on the base during tumbling; and

FIG. 4 is a central vertical section of a fabric conditioning article comprising a base such as that illustrated in FIG. 3, coated with a fabric conditioning composition, in accordance with this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In FIG. 1, numeral 11 represents a coated spherical fabric softening article made of a polystyrene foam base 13 with a fabric softening coating composition of the present invention 15 on the base. The coating composition penetrates slightly below the surface of the base and into the pores of the open celled foam, as shown at 17, thereby helping to better bind the external coating 11 to the base.

In FIG. 2 there is shown another type of conditioning article 31, which comprises a paper base portion 33 coated on both sides with conditioning composition 53. The paper base is illustrated as having coating composition 35 extending slightly below the surfaces thereof, 39 and 41, respectively, as at 40 and 42.

In FIG. 3 is represented an uncoated spherical synthetic organic plastic base 43 having a substantially non-porous surface 45 in which are depressions 47 having molded overhang portions 49 to help to retain the coating composition to be applied thereto. A sectional view of the base of FIG. 3, with the coating composition in place, illustrated in FIG. 4, shows such composition 51 coating base 43, with indentations 47 filled with portions 48 of coating 51 so as to hold the coating better to the base.

The bases illustrated may be made by any suitable technique known in the art. The production of foamed and molded plastics is conventional. Various other base materials may also be employed, most of which are preferably light weight having a density in the range of 0.01 to 2 grams per cubic centimeter, preferably from 0.2 to 0.5 g./ cc. Such are mentioned in our application entitled Fabric Conditioning Article and Use Thereof, filed the same day as this application. They include various woods, such as balsa wood and other light weight woods, composition boards made from cellulosic materials, e.g., pressed boards, plywoods and resin treated woods. Paperboards, light weight minerals and synthetic organic polymeric plastics, preferably the foamed plastics such as polyurethanes, polyesters, polystyrenes, polyvinyl chlorides or nylons may be used. Such materials may also be employed in molded form, having comparatively smooth surfaces, which preferably are indented or otherwise have surface depressions therein to promote holding of the conditioning composition to the base. Perforated or expanded metals may also be employed. The materials used may be solid or hollow and only the exterior surfaces are normally coated with conditioning composition, to avoid undesirable losses of the composition, since internal deposits are not usually capable of being transferred to fabrics to be treated. The various bases may be made by any of a multiplicity of techniques, including folding, molding, cementing, fusing, stapling and interlocking.

The conditioning composition will normally be applied evenly over the entire base surfaces and to promote uniform deposit of conditioning agent on the article and on the material to be treated, these surfaces normally will be convex and will contain a minimum of sharp corners. It is highly preferable that the base be form-retaining so as to avoid the disadvantages of flexible substrates, the principal disadvantage being that such substrates help to cause cracking and flaking off of conditioning material as the article is bent while being contacted by tumbling laundry in a dryer. Spots and stains result from the fusion of such a flake to the material being treated. However, flexible conditioning article bases such as sheets of paper or cloth, can be treated with the present compositions and improved results will be obtained, compared to depositing other conditioning agents on such substrates. Although a wide variety of volumes and shapes of the present bases may be used, normally they will have a volume of from 5 cubic centimeters to 500 cc. and shapes such as spheres, ellipsoids, cylinders or similar rounded volumes will be preferred. By use of such sizes, best tumbling with the laundry is obtained and most efficient coating results. However, it will be clear the different sizes and shapes may also be used.

The conditioning agents for application to the base or for other use by which they are applied as solid materials to fabrics or laundry to be conditioned, are higher fatty acid mono-lower alkanolamides or higher fatty acid dilower alkanolamides. Such compounds are preferably unsubstituted but various substituents, such as lower alkyl, hydroxyl, halogen, benzyl, phenyl or similarly substituted phenyl or aryl may be present on the compounds, providing that they do not interfere significantly with the conditioning activities thereof. By higher fatty acid is meant a fatty acid of 8 to 22 carbon atoms, preferably from 10 to 20 carbon atoms and usually from 12 to 18 carbon atoms. Of these the 16 to 18 carbon fatty acids, palmitic and stearic acids, are preferred when mixtures of mono-lower alkanolamides and di-lower alkanolamides are used. When mixtures of mono-lower alkanolamides alone are employed, these may have fatty acid groups in the 8 to 18 carbon atoms range, preferably from 12 to 18 carbon atoms. The lower alkanol groups may be from 1 to 5 carbon atoms but are usually of 2 to 3 carbon atoms and preferably are ethanol.

Instead of employing pure alkanolamides of the types mentioned above, although such is possible and sometimes desirable, usually it will be preferred to work with mixtures. When mixtures of monoalkanolamides are used, these will preferably have rather even distributions of higher acyl radicals of even number carbon contents within the 12 to 18 carbon atom range. Thus, at least 15% each of lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic monoalkanolamides will be present, possibly also with a similar proportion of oleic monoethanolamide. A preferred composition will comprise a commercial stearic monoethanolamide (this includes palmitic and oleic monoethanolamide) and coconut oil fatty acids monoethanolamide. In some circumstances, both the stearic and coconut oil fatty acids may be hydrogenated. The proportions of coconut oil fatty acids and stearic monoethanolamides in the treating composition will be from 30 to parts of one to 70 to 30 parts of the other, with the preferred range being from 40:60 to 60:40. It has been found that a most preferrcd composition comprises 50 parts of each. Different results are obtained when the mixture employed is of higher acyl alkanolamide and higher acyl dialkanolamide. In such cases, a major proportion should normally be of the monoalkanolamide and a minor proportion of the dialkanolamide. Preferably, the acyl group will be stearic and the alkanolamides will be ethanolamides, with the proportions being from 60 to 95 parts of stearic monoethanolamide to 40 to parts of stearic diethanolamide, preferably with the ratio being from 7:3 to 9:1 and a most preferred composition being of about 4 parts stearic monoethanolamide and 1 part stearic diethanolamide.

The alkanolamides described have melting or softening points, under the conditions of automatic dryer operation, about in the temperature range encountered therein. For example, stearic diethanolamide melts at about 46 C., and stearic monoethanolamide melts at 88 C. Both are soluble to a limited extent in water and are softenable under the Warm moist conditions of the dryer. Yet, because it is evident that each has a melting point relatively near to an extreme of the ordinary dryer hot air temperature range, a mixture is preferably used to obtain a product which will be made plastic or will soften at a desired temperature in the dryer so that the conditioning agent will be distributed better over the fabrics being treated. Generally, the dryer temperature will be from 10 C. to 90 C., preferably from 50 to 80 or 90 C. and consequently, a mixture that will melt or fuse in this range, while still being solid and hard at most ambient temperatures, will be preferred.

One of the advantages of the present compositions, whether they are single or mixed alkanolamides, is in their suitability for employment as conditioning agents in the automatic dryer without the need for modifying agents. Accordingly it will generally be preferred to use the single or mixed alkanolamides alone as a coating composition for a base material to be employed in the dryer. However, if it is desired to add other conditioning treatments, such as those previously mentioned in the specification, additional materials may be employed. Generally, the sum of such adjuvants will be a minor proportion of the em tire conditioning composition and will normally be less than 20 to 25% thereof. Usually, each adjuvant will comprise no more than 10% of the conditioning composition and preferably, it will be limited to 5%, with the total of adjuvants being less than 10%. In addition to the adjuvants employed to contribute additional conditioning treatments to fabrics being dried, other materials may be used to modify the conditioning agents, when so desired. These may include solvents, thickeners, brightening agents, etc. The proportions thereof will also be within the ranges previously mentioned for other adjuvants.

The thickness of a coating applied to the surface of the treating article base will usually be in the range of from about 0.0005 to 0.5 centimeter but the upper extreme of this range is only rarely useful. However, on occasion, the alkanolamides may be.;'erriployed without being deposited on a base and the strength of the thickness of alkanolamide itself will be sufficient to allow its use. In such cases, greater thicknesses may be used. Normally however, the thickness of the conditioning agent on a form-retaining or flexible base will be from 0.002 to 0.3 cm. and preferably will be from 0.01 to 0.1 cm. The thickness given is that external to the outer surface of the object coated. A porous or rough surfaced object or one having indentations therein may have some of the applied conditioning agent below the surface to a sufficient depth to hold the external coating firmly to the surface and prevent its cracking or flaking off during use. Such a minor proportion of the external thickness below the surface can thereby perform a useful function. It will normally comprise only from 10 or less to 30% of the coating composition external to the base. In terms of weights applied, the conditioning composition will usually be employed in the range of from 0.0005 to 0.5 g./sq. cm., preferably from 0.002 to 0.3 g./sq. cm. and most preferably from 0.01 to 0.1 g./ sq. cm.

The present conditioning compositions, in addition to being at least partially water soluble or dispersible at a temperature within a normal operating range of an automatic laundry dryer, are also form-retaining at temperatures below 3 C. and generally are also form-retaining at all temperatures below 40 C. Thus, the composition does not run or fuse during ordinary storage and becomes satisfactorily softened, dissolved or dispersed only in the dryer. Because the dryer temperature is increasing during operation and the conditioning composition passes through a softening point or range, preferably rather slowly, at this time the material may be removed from the substrate by the rapidly tumbling fabric and may effect its conditioning function. Preferably this softening or coating will be effected at a temperature within the range of 50 C. to or C., more preferably at from 50 C to 70 C.

The method by which the fabric treating articles of this invention are made is chosen to be most appropriate to the particular product being produced. Thus, when solid forms of the alkanolamides are used, not on any substrate, they may be produced by melting the alkanolamide or milling or plodding it, in a manner similar to that employed in the processing of soap. When depositing a coating or external surface onto a substrate, whether it be form-retaining or flexible, melts may be employed, as are described in an application for a patent entitled Process for the Manufacture of Fabric Conditioning Article, filed by Mr. P. J. Falivene on the same day as the present application. The uses of solutions or dispersions of the alkanolamide composition ingredients in aqueous, alcoholic or aqueous alcoholic or other solvent media is also feasible and is described in our previously mentioned patent application entitled Fabric Conditioning Article and use Thereof. When heat is employed to melt the coating composition and facilitate its coating onto the base, it is usually cooled immediately to solidify the coating. When solvents are used they are normally evaporated oif immediately after the correct coating 'weight is deposited on the base.

The use of the present compositions and articles is simple and trouble free. The treating article is added to the laundry in the dryer immediately before the drying or treating operation begins and tumbling is commenced with the laundry moving past the conditioning article or with the article tumbling along with the laundry, so that there is a relative tumbling motion of the article with respect to the laundry. Of course, instead of an automatic laundry dryer, although this is a highly preferred means of applying the present compositions, equivalent industrial or other machines may be employed. In some circumstances, it may be desirable to omit the heat and drying air but usually these will be very useful. Generally, air flow will be such that the volume of gas in the dryer drum will change at the rate of about 5 to 50 volumes per minute and the gas temperature will be from 10 to 90 C., preferably from 50 to 90 C. or 50 to 80 C. The dryer will usually revolve at 20 to revolutions per minute, preferably 40 to 80 revolutions per minute and the weight of laundry employed will normally be from 4 to 10 pounds, dry weight, which will fill from 10 to 70% of the volume of the dryer, preferably from 30 to 60% thereof. Drying and treating will usually take from 5 minutes to 2 hours, with 5 minutes to 1 hour usually being sufficient and normally 20 minutes to 1 hour being employed. With synthetic fabrics, such as nylons, polyesters, synthetic-natural blends, and in some cases resin-treated permanently pressed articles, shorter periods of time are required than 'with cotton laundry and often from 3 to 10 minutes will be sufficient to dry the synthetics.

After completion of the softening operation the conditioning article may be employed again in a subsequent laundry load, if there is still a suflicient quantity of conditioning composition on it. It may be repeatedly used until complete removal of the coating. To obtain different levels of conditioning activity or different conditioning effects a plurality of treating articles may be used. After consumption of the coating, the bases may be discarded or if desired, recoated with coating composition. Such compositions may be marketed in appropriate solvents or as solids and may be melted onto the bases.

Compared to the previously known best methods of conditioning or softening of fabrics and making them antistatic, the present articles, compositions and methods possess many advantages. The materials needed are readily available and moderately priced. They posses a wide rang of physical properties, including melting points, water solubilities, softening points and conditioning effects which make it possible to make desirable blends thereof. They may be formulated into solid cakes which can be used to treat laundry in accordance with the present invention. By adjustment of composition, in accordance with the previous description, a wide variety of nonstaining alkanolamide conditioning products may be produced. Even in those compositions which might contain too much of low melting softener, if minor spotting of treated clothing should result due to entrapment of a conditioning article in the item to be treated, the water dispersible conditioning agent will be readily removable from the clothing upon subsequent washing. In fact, all the alkanolamides described are easy to remove in washing and posses the additional bonus characteristic of aiding in the removal of dirt or stains deposited on top of them on the clothing.

The present compositions are exceptionally good as antistatic and softening agents, do not stain the materials treated, remain hard at normal temperatures and become softened at appropriate dryer temperatures, are non-irritating to the skins of wearers of treated clothing and are economical and convenient to use. They are colorless and odor free and do not give the treated fabrics any unpleasant characteristics. In short, they represent superior means for treating fabrics and are in many of these ways better than other products recently made for use in the dryer, such as those of US. Pat. 3,442,692 and our generic patent application, Fabric Conditioning Methods, Articles and Compositions, filed with the present case.

The following examples are provided to illustrate various embodiments of the invention. Unless otherwise indicated, all parts are by weight, temperatures are in C. and measurements are in the metric system.

EXAMPLE 1 A conditioning article of the type illustrated in FIG. 1 is produced by coating a polystyrene foam ball, cm. in diameter, of a density of about 0.1 g./cc. and with an open pore structure in which the pores of approximately 0.2 cm. in diameter, with an alcoholic solution of 25 parts stearic monoethanolamide, 25 parts coconut oil fatty acids monoethanolamide and 50 parts of SD 40 alcohol. Coating is effected by spraying the solution onto the surface of the polystyrene ball until the thickness thereof has been built up to 0.01 cm. above the external surface of the polystyrene, with the equivalent of about of that amount being deposited below the outer surface of the polystyrene, helping the conditioning agent to be held in place on the base. Between sprayings, the alcohol is evaporated. The weight of active monoethanolamide deposited is about 7 grams. Instead of applying the alkanolamides from solution, they may also be coated onto the base by rubbing thereon a solid alkanolamide composition, by spraying on a melt or by quickly dipping the ball into a melt of the alkanolamides. In some instances, a perfume or other auxiliary conditioning agent is present in the composition, to the extent of about 5% of the total weight thereof.

The coated ball made is waxy white in appearance and the coating is smooth and non-tacky. It retains its hard characteristics at temperatures below 50 C. and, in the hot humid atmosphere of a dryer, softens appreciably at about 65 C.

A load of 7 pounds of mixed laundry, comprising clothing, wash cloths, towels, undergarments, socks and pillow cases is placed in a dryer immediately after removal from a washing machine, in which it was spun dried. On top of the damp clothing, immediately before the beginning of drying, there is inserted the conditioning article described above. The dryer, of the tumbling drum type, is started and the drum rotates at a speed of about 60 r.p.m. Heated combustion gas from the gas dryer is admitted at the rate of approximately 30 volumes per minute and the temperature thereof is C. In the beginning of the drying process, the temperature is lower, due to evaporation of moisture from the clothing, starting at about 30 C., but as drying proceeds, after about 25 minutes the temperature approaches that of the heated gas. During the cycle the alkanolamide conditioning composition becomes sufficiently softened, in contact with still moist laundry, so as readily to coat tumbling articles coming into contact with it. After 30 minutes from the inception of the drying operation, the machine is turned ofi and the dried and conditioned textiles are removed. Of the conditioning composition approximately two grams have been deposited onto the fabrics.

The conditioned items which normally show spotting or staining most readily are permanently pressed garments. Because of their surface finish, they do not tend to spread the conditiong agent about as readily nor do they absorb it into the fibers. However, none of the permanently pressed items in the experimental load of laundry shows any signs of staining. Nor do they exhibit staining upon subsequent exposure to a hot iron, as in a pressing operation. In a very severe test, in which a treating ball of the present type is sewn into a pocket of a permanently pressed item, some spotting does result during the 30 minutes drying cycle, but this can be removed by ordinary machine washing of the article. On the contrary, when similar tests are run using quaternary ammonium salt conditioning agents, especially if iron ions, tannins or color bodies are present in the wash, staining results if the treating article is held in contact with the Wash, and such stains are very difficult to remove.

When a panel of consumers tests the described composition by a method like that described above, comments about its utility are extremely favorable. In addition to the softening of the various items of laundry, the consumers also find the wash to be made antistatic, which is particularly important with respect to articles made from synthetic fabrics and those which are permanently pressed.

EXAMPLE 2 Melts of alkanolamide compositions comprising (A) 80 parts stearic monoethanolamide and 20 parts stearic diethanolamide; (B) 50 parts stearic monoethanolamide and 50 parts coconut oil fatty acids monoethanolamide; and (C) 50 parts stearic monoethanolamide and 50 parts stearic diethanolamide are prepared and are employed to coat cellulosic paper so that deposit of coating agent is at the rate of about 0.004 g./ sq. cm. total on both sides of a paper having a total surface area (both sides) of about 1,000 sq. cm. The thickness of the deposit is about 0.003 cm. and the paper, which is about 0.008 cm. thick, has coating agent penetrating it to a depth of less than about 0.001 cm.

Papers are coated by dipping in melts of each of the compositions and approximately the same weights of conditioning composition are picked up by each paper in fairly uniform coatings thereover. The papers then take on a waxy appearance and become less flexible. Each paper measures aproximately 17 cm. x 30 cm.

The drying conditions recited in Example 1 are repeated, using a single paper coated with either composition A, B or C. After completion of the drying cycle, the conditioned laundry is examined. In each case, it is found to be satisfactorily soft and static-free. Apparently the paper treated with composition B is superior in conditioning to that treated with composition C. However, all of the products are useful and no objectionable staining appears on the treated fabrics. On the contrary, when equivalent weights of cationic softening agent, a quaternary ammonium salt, are employed, especially in the presence of color bodies or ferric or ferrous ions, staining appears.

After using of the conditioned articles they are washed and it is found that the conditioning agents are readily removed by ordinary machine washing. Thus, there is no objectionable buildup of conditioning agent on the clothing. Similar results are obtainable with other alkanolamides, such as lauric myristic diisopropanolamide, stearic diisopropanolamide, lauric isopropanolarnide and lauric mono-t-butanolamide.

EXAMPLE 3 The experiment of Example 1 is repeated but with respect to a polypropylene sphere of the type illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The treating composition comprises 80 parts stearic monoethanolamide and 20 parts stearic diethanolamide. It is applied as a melt to the polypropylene sphere. Laundry is treated, using this conditioning article, under the conditions described in Example 1. The results obtained are comparable to those obtained in Example 1.

The present invention has been described with respect to various illustrations and examples thereof but it is not to be construed as being limited to these. It will be evident to one of skill in the art that equivalents may be substituted for elements and steps in the invention without departing 10 from the spirit of the invention or going outside the scope thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. A solid composition for softening laundry which comprises from 70 to 90% stearic monoethanolamide and 10 to 30% stearic diethanolamide.

2. A solid composition for softening laundry which comprises to coconut oil fatty acids monoethanolamide and 40 to 60% stearic monoethanolamide.

3. A solid composition for softening laundry which comprises 60 to 95% stearic monoethanolamide and 5 to 40% stearic diethanolamide.

4. A solid composition for softening laundry which comprises 30 to coconut oil fatty acids, monoethanolamide and 30 to 70% stearic monoethanolamide.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,968,795 7/1934 Bertsch 117-1395 F 2,047,069 7/ 1936 Hentrich et al. 117-1395 F 2,936,251 5/ 19-60 Garceau et a1 117-1395 F 3,554,784 1/1971 Lyness 117-1395 CQ 2,205,042 6/ 1940 Lenher et al 117-139'.5

WILLIAM D. MARTIN, Primary Examiner T. G. DAVIS, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

117-1395 F, 139.5 CQ; 2528.6

Referenced by
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U.S. Classification510/520, 510/519, 427/242
International ClassificationD06M23/00, D06M13/463, C11D3/00, C11D1/52, D06M13/46, C11D17/04, C11D1/38, D06M13/00, D06M13/402, D06F58/20, D06M13/02, D06M13/322, C11D1/62
Cooperative ClassificationC11D3/001, D06M23/00, D06M13/402, C11D1/523, D06M13/463, C11D17/047, C11D1/62, D06F58/203
European ClassificationC11D1/52D, D06M23/00, C11D1/62, D06F58/20B, C11D3/00B3, D06M13/402, D06M13/463, C11D17/04B6