Sodium tripoly phosphate (STPP)

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  • Sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) is a sodium salt of triphosphoric acid that has the appearance of white crystal powder. It is odorless and is water soluble.

  • In a highly controlled environment, it is made by combining monosodium phosphate and disodium phosphate.

  • Sodium tripolyphosphate is a strong cleaning ingredient that typically can rid dishes and fabrics of soil and spots.

  • Its key function is that it allows surfactants to work at their full potential. Also, it prevents deposition of soil and acts as a pH buffer.

  • It softens detergent water and can be used as a water treatment, as well. Many household cleaning products, including surface and toilet cleaners, contain STPP due to its cleaning component. 


  • The majority of STPP is consumed as a component of commercial detergents.

  • It serves as a "builder," industrial jargon for a water softener.

  • In hard water (water that contains high concentrations of Mg2+ and Ca2+), detergents are deactivated.

  • STPP is a preservative for seafood, meats, poultry, and animal feeds.

  • In foods, STPP is used to retain moisture.

  • Other uses (hundreds of thousands of tons/year) include "ceramics, leather (as Synthetic Tanning Agent), anticaking, setting retarders, flame retardants, paper, anticorrosion pigments, textiles, rubber manufacture, fermentation, antifreeze."


  • Used as one of the main auxiliaries for synthetic detergent, synergist for soap, water softener, tanning agent for leather making, auxiliary for dyeing.

  • As an effective dispersion agent for suspension solutions of coatings, kaolin, magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate and drilling mud etc.

  • As an oil contamination resistance agent in paper production.

  • In foodstuff industry it is used as quality improver in the process of canned food, fruit juice drinks, foodstuffs from milk or soybeans.

  • It may tender the meat in canned ham and soften the skin of horse bean in canned horse bean.

  • It may also serves as a softener or densifier in foodstuff industry.

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