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US Patent 7,786,064, assigned to Hecht et al., teaches:
Ionic liquids can be used as replacements for traditional actives such as surfactants, and are easier to incorporate into formulations. Moreover, new classes of ionic liquids can be derived from selective pairings between functional actives (e.g., surfactant-derived anions can be paired with softener-derived cations) such that the resulting ionic liquids can have multiple active functionalities to provide multiple benefits that previously require multiple actives in the formulation to achieve.
Ionic liquids derived from compounds that have been used as surfactants in detergent formulations for laundry, dish washing and hard surface cleaning, can be made by reacting or mixing various surfactants commonly used in detergent formulations with properly chosen counterions.
Ionic liquid compositions may be applied to the fabric or dish directly, or may be diluted with water to form a wash liquor, which contacts the fabric or dish.
Ionic liquid compositions may be in the form of a liquid, which can be applied to the target surface as a liquid spray, as an aerosol spray, or as a pour-on liquid, which can be poured onto the target surface directly or indirectly.
The ionic liquid-containing compositions may be formulated in the form of liquid, gel, paste, foam, or solid.