Johann A. Benckiser set up a chemical business ten years later to Colman setting up his business and the two companies became rivals for two centuries. Isaac Reckitt in around 1840 also setup a company that dealt in starch, polish, washing blue and other household products. His company went international within forty years. Colman and Reckitt merged in 1938 and formed Reckitt & Colman Ltd.
Reckitt Benckiser is divided into two sections, the fabric care and surface care. The fabric care deals with products such as water softeners, pre wash treatment products, easy ironing aids, fabric softeners, etc. The Surface care section deals with all types of surface products like specialty cleaners, lavatory cleaners, surface polish, etc.
Water containing high quantities of magnesium, calcium and other dissolved minerals is called hard water; hard water leaves layers of mineral deposits on surfaces that come in contact with it this deposit is generally termed as "limescale". It reduces the cleansing power of soap. "Water is described as "hard" when it contains too much calcium. This can be a problem, because the calcium prevents soap from lathering properly, and it also clogs up pipes" (Thomas 19).
Due to this nature of hard water it causes failure of detergent to foam which reduces the performance of the detergent and initiates use of more detergent. The limescale gets deposited on the fabrics and it makes the fabric feel rough and due to this the cloth looses its natural suppleness thus leaving the fabric rough and uncomfortable. It also leaves deposits on the inner surface of washing machine pipes which causes failure of the equipment and shortened overall life.
A chemical that reduces the hardness of water is called a water softener; these chemicals reduce the quantities of dissolved magnesium, calcium and to some extent the ferrous iron and manganese concentration in hard water thus softening it and the most common water softener is sodium carbonate. "Calgon has a unique formulation with active ingredients being polycarboxylates which softens hard water, preventing limescale from forming in the first place" (Calgon Water Softener).
These ions that cause hardness in water cause three kinds of major problems. As mentioned above these ions react with the components present in soaps and detergents affecting the performance of the detergents, they form precipitates and hinder the detergents in forming lather.
Other than this the second point is magnesium and calcium carbonates precipitate as hard deposits on heat exchanger surfaces and pipe surfaces. This is fundamentally caused either due to the thermal decomposition of the ions of bicarbonates or even in their absence. Due to this deposition the flow of water is restricted in the pipes. The flow of heat into water is also affected due to these deposits in boilers because they act as insulation, which overheats the components of the boiler and therefore reduces the heating efficiency. This results in the failure of the boiler in a pressurized system. "Calgon has the property of holding calcium and magnesium salts in solution, even when boiling" (Anchell 20).
The third point is if the ions are present in the electrolyte which happens in this case, it may result in galvanic corrosion of hard water when one metal is corroded by another when it comes into contact, especially