Soil Ballast Systems

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wfk Test Materials (wfk Testgewebe GmbH) is the leading producer and supplier of soil ballast systems for performance testing of laundry detergents / laundry systems. We manufacture the standard products listed below as well as custom made systems tailored to your project needs. For more information please contact us.


For a first introduction into the issue of relevance of soil in evaluating laundry cleaning performance you may wish to have a look at the report of a workshop held at the Wageningen University (NL) in 2004. Click here to view or download (pdf, 280 kB). Please note that a lot more experience and data have been gathered since then, and today SBL2004 is an essential part of any reasonable laundry detergent testing using clean ballast loads.



Soil Ballast specified in standards

The A.I.S.E. "Minimum protocol for comparative detergent performance testing" calls for SBL2004.
The "EU Ecolabel Performance Test for Laundry Detergents" calls for SBL2004.
ASTM ASTM Standard D4265-14 ("Standard Guide for Evaluating Stain Removal Performance in Home Laundering") does not specify any specific soil ballast (yet). However, clause 8.6 Fabric Load states: "Natural or artificially soiled ballast may add realism to the testing conditions, but a high level of testing variability may be introduced unless this factor is rigorously standardized."




wfk Ballast Soil Systems for laundry testing


Soil Ballast 'SBL2004'
Order code 10996

SBL2004 is the 'standard' Soil Ballast used for testing laundry processes. The soil composition of SBL2004 is more complex than that of SBL classic. With that we managed to drive the soil ballast impact on stain removal closer to 'reality' (as established in bundle tests).

More info: SBL2004, order code 10996


Soil Ballast 'SBL'07'
Order code 10994

This product is a slightly revised version of SBL2004. No change in concept, no significant modifications in composition. We changed the bleach consuming component - mainly for reasons related to the difficult production process of SBL2004. We finally managed to overcome the production issues and now suggest to use SBL2004. However, SBL'07 is being used by several labs and is therefore still available.

More info: SBL'07, order code 10994

SBL classic

Soil Ballast 'SBL Classic'
Not offered anymore, former order code 10999

This was the first soil ballast system developed by wfk. The concept was based on the results of a wfk research project in the late 1980ies. Today we consider it technically outdated and do not produce it anymore. We suggest to use SBL2004 instead.

More info: SBL Classic, order code 10999