"The fabric softening composition contains a fabric softener material. In certain embodiments, the softener is a cationic softener selected from among esterquats, imidazolinium quats, difatty diamide ammonium methyl sulfate, ditallow dimethyl ammonium chloride, and mixtures thereof.
"In certain embodiments, the cationic fabric softener is an esterquat. The esterquats of the following formula:
"wherein R.sub.4 is an aliphatic hydrocarbon group having from 8 to 22 carbon atoms, R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 represent (CH.sub.2).sub.s--R.sub.5, where R.sub.5 is an alkoxy carbonyl group containing from 8 to 22 carbon atoms, benzyl, phenyl, C.sub.1-C.sub.-4 alkyl substituted phenyl, OH or H; R.sub.1 is (CH.sub.2).sub.t--R.sub.6, where R.sub.6 is benzyl, phenyl, C.sub.1-C.sub.-4 alkyl substituted phenyl, OH or H; q, s, and t, each independently, are an integer from 1 to 3; and X.sup.- is a softener compatible anion.
"The esterquat is produced by reacting about 1.65 (1.5 to 1.75) moles of fatty acid methyl ester with one mole of alkanol amine followed by quaternization with dimethyl sulfate (further details on this preparation method are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,915,867). Using this ratio controls the amount of each of monoesterquat, diesterquat, and triesterquat in the composition. In certain embodiments, the alkanol amine comprises triethanolamine. In certain embodiments, it is desirable to increase the amount of diesterquat and minimize the amount of triesterquat to increase the softening capabilities of the composition. By selecting a ratio of about 1.65, the triesterquat can be minimized while increasing the monoesterquat.
"Monoesterquat is more soluble in water than triesterquat. Depending on the AI, more or less monoesterquat is desired. At higher AI levels (usually at least 7%), more monoesterquat as compared to triesterquat is desired so that the esterquat is more soluble in the water so that the esterquat can be delivered to fabric during use. At lower AI levels (usually up to 3%), less monoesterquat is desired because during use, it is desired for the esterquat to leave solution and deposit on fabric to effect fabric softening. Depending on the AI, the amount of monoesterquat and triesterquat are adjusted to balance solubility and delivery of the esterquat.
"In certain embodiments, the reaction products are 50-65 weight % diesterquat, 20-40 weight % monoester, and 25 weight % or less triester, which are shown below:
"In other embodiments, the amount of diesterquat is 52-60, 53-58, or 53-55 weight %. In other embodiments, the amount of monoesterquat is 30-40 or 35-40 weight %. In other embodiments, the amount of triesterquat is 1-12 or 8-11 weight %.
"The percentages, by weight, of mono, di, and tri esterquats, as described above are determined by the quantitative analytical method described in the publication 'Characterisation of quaternized triethanolamine esters (esterquats) by HPLC, HRCGC and NMR'
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