Chemistry of soaps and detergents

Soaps and Detergents

Liquids work best on oily soils and for pre-treating soils and stains. These include the duration and frequency of exposure to the ingredient; the concentration of the ingredient at the time of exposure; and the route and manner in which the exposure occurs for example, eye, skin or ingestion.

Sodium carbonate and sodium silicate are precipitating builders. At the surface, however, these molecules are surrounded by only those water molecules that are on the water side.

Chemistry of Soaps

A carboxylic acid group consists of two oxygen O atoms, one carbon C and one hydrogen H atom with a hydrocarbon chain attached to the carboxylic acid group. This is done either by sequestration or chelation holding hardness minerals in solutionby precipitation forming an insoluble substanceor by ion exchange trading electrically charged particles.

In the washing of fabrics and similar materials, small oil droplets or fine, deflocculated dirt particles are more easily carried through interstices in the material than are relatively large ones. The scalp gets coated with sebum, the product of the sebaceous appendages that flows into hair follicles and a natural lubricating oil that contributes luster to the hair, on the one hand, but entraps dirt, on the other.

In a strictly chemical sense, any compound formed by the reaction of a water-insoluble fatty acid with an organic base or an alkali metal may be called a soap. Washing the skin consists of the removal of the outer layer of grease lipid in which the soil no matter what kind is embedded.

Absorption of a layer of the soap or detergent at the interfaces between the water and the surface to be washed and between the water and the soil.


In those days soapmakers had to pay a duty on all the soap they produced. Fats and Oils Fats and oils that are used in the manufacturing of soaps come from plant or animal sources. The Interaction of Soaps with the Skin Surgeons need to scrub. The liquid may be very slow-flowing viscous and contain concentrated acid, so be careful and take your time over this.

Used daily in the home? They work by producing heat to melt fats, breaking them down into simpler substances that can be rinsed away, or by oxidizing hair and other materials.

Making soaps and detergents

Starches, fabric finishes and sizings, used in the final rinse or after drying, give body to fabrics, make them more soil-resistant and make ironing easier. Although some soap manufacture developed in Germany, the substance was so little used in central Europe that a box of soap presented to the Duchess of Juelich in caused a sensation.

Anionic detergents[ edit ] Typical anionic detergents are alkylbenzenesulfonates. Creation of the formula of a soap is a complicated enterprise and it requires, in addition to a knowledge of chemistry and even engineering, both imagination and inspiration. Amphoterics include both acidic negative and basic positive groups, and nonionics contain no ionic constituents.

If the risk cannot be reduced, the product will not be marketed. Manufacturers of cleaning products have been leaders in reducing packaging waste and encouraging sound waste disposal practices.

Soap and detergent

The presence of free fatty acids certainly helped to get the process started. However, when the concentration is increased an interesting change occurs.Detergents were developed in response to the shortage of the animal and vegetable fats used to make soap during World War I and World War II.

Detergents are primarily surfactants, which could be produced easily from petrochemicals. Detergents are commonly available as powders or concentrated solutions.

Detergents, like soaps, work because they are amphiphilic: partly hydrophilic (polar) and partly hydrophobic (non-polar). Their dual nature facilitates the mixture of hydrophobic compounds (like oil and grease) with water.

There is a difference between soap and detergent - between their chemistry and the applications they are used for.

Differences and examples are provided. Soaps & Detergents: Chemistry To understand what is needed to achieve effective cleaning, it is helpful to have a basic knowledge of soap and detergent chemistry.

Water, the liquid commonly used for cleaning, has a property called surface tension. Detergent: a substance used for cleaning that is often made from synthetic or man-made materials and can perform better than soap under certain conditions.

How Soap Works Now, on to how soap works. Chemistry of Soaps and Detergents “It's a Wash: The Chemistry of Soap” explains how soap and detergents — surfactants — affect the surface tension of H 2 O to break up greasy dirt.

We also profile 21 st Century Chemist Facundo Fernandez at Georgia Tech, who uses chemistry to detect dangerous or ineffective fake pharmaceutical drugs and medicines.

Chemistry of soaps and detergents
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