In China, detergents/cleaners should comply with various standards, including China national standard (GB) and industrial standard (QB). The amount of detergent standards exceeds twenty, but not required to comply with all standards. Due to cleaning categories (A, B and C.) and product functions, appropriate national standards and industrial standards could be identified. Detergents/cleaners company can conduct testing as standard required to evidence their product comply with the GB or QB.
Besides national standards (GB) and industrial (GB), other regulatory requirements will be triggered by their claims, targets, chemical classification and China chemical inventory.
In accordance with GBT 26396-2011 - Technical specification for safety of soap and detergent, detergents/cleaners shall be classified as 3 categories:
Category A: Detergent/cleaner used for food, utensils and food relevant facilities, including tableware cleaner, vegetable and fruit cleaner and so on.
Category B: Detergent/cleanser used for personal hygiene, such as toilet soaps, shower gels and hand washes etc.
Category C: Detergent/cleaner used for other objects, e.g. washing powders, washing gels, washing soaps, toilet bowl and ceramic tile cleansers, detergents for kitchen, glass cleansers, carpet detergents, furniture detergents, fabric softeners and animal shampoos.
Detergents/cleaners will be regulated by different China national standards according to categories.
Category A: Food related cleanser
The food related cleansers are defined as the objects used for cleaning food, tableware and food contact tools, equipment, containers and packaging materials. The food related cleaner are regulated by China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). The raw materials of food related detergent must comply with relevant national standards. The raw materials are classified as 3 Tiers:
Tier 1: The detergent materials can be used for cleaning food (including fruits, food raw materials and semi-finished food), tableware and food processing equipments. (121 types in total)
Tier 2: The detergent materials only can be used for cleaning tableware and food processing equipments.
Tier 3: The detergent materials only can be used for food processing equipments.
Note: The cleaner that contacts with food directly only can use Tier 1 materials.
When food related detergents are manufactured or sold in China, they shall be tested to prove the product quality is over the national standard. As GB14930.1-2015 - National Food Safety Standard-Detergent required, the food related cleaner should conduct following testing in China qualified/certified laboratories:
1. Arsenic (As) content
2. Heave metal content (as Pb)
3. Methanol content
4. Methanal content
5. Total bacteria account (CFU/g or CFU/mL)
6. E-coil colony (CFU/g or CFU/mL)
8. Active ingredient content in total
9. Fluorescent brightener
Category B: Personal hygiene cleaner
The main types of personal hygiene cleaner are shower agent (including gel, cream and solid), toilet soap and hand cleaner.
For bath agent and shower agent, detergents/cleaners could be divided into 4 types according to product concentration and their users:
1. General type for adult
2. Concentrated type for adult
3. General type for children
4. Concentrated type for children
Category C: General object cleaner
Generally, the classifications of cloth cleaners are liquid detergent, and laundry powder. And the laundry powder can be sorted by phosphate.
There are three type liquid detergents for fabric, as QBT 1224-2012 Liquid detergent for fabric shows:
1. Liquid laundry detergent: used on textile and knitwear
2. Silk & wool detergent: used on silk, feather filled product, fur and cashmere product
3. Collar & cuff pre-detergent: used on heavy-dirty part, such as collar and cuff
In addition, liquid laundry detergent and silk & wool detergent are separated to general type and concentrated type.
General phosphorous laundry powder and general phosphate-free powder are named “HL-A” and “WL-A” while concentrated phosphorous laundry powder and concentrated phosphate-free powder are named “HL-B” and “WL-B”.