Home Care - Introduction


For detergents and maintenance products, the following legal regulations are especially important:

- Detergents Regulation (EC) No. 648/2004
- Chemicals Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (“REACh”)
- Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging (EC) No. 1272/2008
- Biocidal Products Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012
- German Food, Feed and Commodities Act

The Home Care division of IKW provides information for members and guidelines and organises information events on a regular basis on current legal developments concerning detergents, care and cleaning products. It is the contact partner for ministries and public authorities on a federal and regional level as well as for the members of the German Parliament and the European Parliament. The goal is to obtain regulations which are helpful for consumer and environmental protection and feasible for the member companies.


The dialogue platform FORUM WASCHEN (Forum Washing) has originated from a sustainability initiative of IKW, taken in 2001. FORUM WASCHEN has a total of 37 stakeholders including public authorities and ministries, professional organisations, industry, environmental and consumer associations, universities, institutes and schools from Germany, see: www.forum-waschen.de. The IKW Home Care division acts as a co-ordination office for FORUM WASCHEN. FORUM WASCHEN has organised an annual action day on sustainable washing(up) on 10 May since 2004. Every year up to 200 activities are deployed throughout Germany. The goal of the action day is to motivate consumers and pupils through opinion leaders to support more sustainability in washing(up) and cleaning.

The patroness of the Action Day 2015 is Maria Krautzberger, the President of the German Environment Agency. She placed her welcome address for the 2015 Action Day under the motto: “Small changes can have a big impact” and referred, amongst other things, to the following: “The energy consumption per wash cycle for coloureds can, for instance, be reduced by more than 30% if the 30 degree programme is used instead of the 40 degree programme.”

The WASHING FORUM has been distinguished in 2015 for the third time by the Sustainable Development Council of the German Government as a project with the “Workshop N” quality hallmark. 100 projects and impulses recognised by the jury of the Sustainable Development Council are awarded this title, which applies during the year of the distinction.


The Home Care division of IKW has been conducting surveys since 2007, asking its member companies (selling detergents and maintenance products to private consumers in Germany) about registered intolerances. In the period between 2006 and 2013 13.1 billion packages were sold and the following case data was registered:

Skin Irritations

Total number of cases from 2006 to 2013

Number of cases per 1 billion of sold packages

Described plausibly by the consumer



Medically confirmed:




Total number of cases from 2006 to 2013

Number of cases per 1 billion of sold packages

Inquiries by Doctors



Medically confirmed



 These numbers reflect the high safety status of detergents and maintenance products for private consumers.