Laundry detergents have come a long way since the first bar soaps made from animal fat and lye were offered for sale in the s. The introduction of synthetic detergents to the marketplace in the s offered homemakers more options for fabric care. But it was the s that brought the most significant innovation in the laundry, the addition of enzymes that "attack" specific types of stains. It is those enzymes that separate the men from the boys when it comes to clean laundry.
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- Laundry Detergents
- Soap Manufacturing Process
- Laundry Detergent Ingredients and How They Work
- Almost extinct in the US, powdered laundry detergents thrive elsewhere in the world
- Soaps and detergents
- Laundry detergent
- Detergents and soaps
- 11: Fats, Fatty Acids, Detergents
- Only one detergent removes all stains
Laundry DetergentsVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: Fats, Oils & Detergents-2
W hen you're young, "bathtime" is another word for "torture" and a harmless block of soap can seem like an offensive weapon. Fortunately, most of us soon grow out of that little problem and learn to recognize soap and water for what they are: a perfect way to shift the daily grime. Soap seems like the simplest thing in the world.
Just splash it on your face and it gets rid of the dirt, right? In fact, it's quite a cunning chemical and it works in a really interesting way. Let's take a closer look! Photo: Some typical household detergents. All of them, except for the soap, are liquids. Environmentally friendly detergents, such as those produced by Ecover, are made with plant-based ingredients to reduce their environmental impact. Photo: Soap: the detergent we know best.
This one describes itself as "pure" because it contains no added chemicals or perfumes. Often we use the words "soap" and "detergent" interchangeably, but really they're quite different things. A detergent is a chemical substance you use to break up and remove grease and grime, while soap is simply one kind of detergent. Soap has a long history and was originally made from purely natural products like goat's fat and wood ash.
Today, detergents are more likely to be a mixture of synthetic chemicals and additives cooked up in a huge chemical plant and, unlike traditional soap, they're generally liquids rather than solids. Detergents are used in everything from hair shampoo and clothes washing powder to shaving foam and stain removers. The most important ingredients in detergents are chemicals called surfactants—a word made from bits of the words surf ace act ive a ge nts.
Photo: Surface tension makes water "bead" form tight droplets when it sits on leaves like these. That's what you want water to do when rain hits the surface of waterproof clothing: you don't want it to make you wet. But it's really not helpful when it comes to washing clothes: we want the water to spread out and wet our things properly.
That's why we need surfactants. You might think water gets you wet—and it does. But it doesn't get you nearly as wet as it might. That's because it has something called surface tension. Water molecules prefer their own company so they tend to stick together in drops. When rain falls on a window, it doesn't wet the glass uniformly: instead, it sticks to the surface in distinct droplets that gravity pulls down in streaks.
To make water wash better, we have to reduce its surface tension so it wets things more uniformly. And that's precisely what a surfactant does. The surfactants in detergents improve water's ability to wet things, spread over surfaces, and seep into dirty clothes fibers. Surfactants do another important job too. One end of their molecule is attracted to water, while the other end is attracted to dirt and grease. So the surfactant molecules help water to get a hold of grease, break it up, and wash it away.
The cleverest part of a washing machine isn't the drum or the drive belt, the electric motor that spins it around or the electronic circuit that controls the program: it's the detergent soap powder or liquid you put in right at the start. Water alone can't clean clothes because it won't attach to molecules of grease and dirt.
Detergent is different. The surfactants it contains are made of molecules that have two different ends. One end is strongly attracted to water; the other is attracted to oily substances like grease. Suppose you got some grease on your favorite jeans. No problem! Throw them into the washing machine with some detergent and this is what happens:. This is why soap and water clean better than either one of these things alone. Photo: Soap and water can clean almost anything thanks to detergent action.
Surfactants aren't the only thing in detergents; look at the ingredients on a typical detergent bottle and you'll see lots of other chemicals too. In washing detergents, you'll find optical brighteners which make your clothes gleam in sunlight. Biological detergents contain active chemicals called enzymes , which help to break up and remove food and other deposits.
The main enzymes are proteases which break up proteins , lipases which break up fats , and amylases which attack starch. Other ingredients include perfumes with names like "limone", while household cleaning detergents contain abrasive substances such as chalk to help scour away things like burned-on cooker grease and bath-tub grime. When it comes to the laundry, from the explanation above, you can see two different effects that are helping to get your clothes clean: there's the chemical action of the detergent and the mechanical action of the washing machine.
While the water and detergent work together to remove dirt, all that tumbling and bashing also plays an important role. And there's a third factor too: thermal action , from hotter water, speeds up the chemical reactions. Photo: Detergent makers are doing their best to encourage low-temperature washing. Thinking about laundry as a scientific problem, we're most likely to see it as a matter of chemistry. But we can also understand how the three cleaning actions in a clothes washing machine are a problem of physics—connected with a basic law called the conservation of energy.
Consider this: if there's a certain amount of dirt in your clothes, you need to use a certain, minimum amount of energy to remove it, which will be part chemical, part mechanical, and part thermal. In theory, you can reduce any one of these, but only by increasing one or both of the others. So, for example, if you use less detergent or none at all , you'll need to use hotter water more thermal energy or wash for longer more mechanical energy. Similarly, if you reduce the temperature of your wash less thermal energy , you'll generally need to use more detergent.
The laundry detergents that are specifically designed for low temperatures are either more concentrated or have a completely different "recipe" of ingredients that clean using less thermal energy and coat fibers to stop them getting so dirty in future. If you're environmentally minded , you might have given some thought to how much energy is needed to make your clothes.
In fact, during the typical lifetime of a piece of clothing, you'll use three to four times more energy for washing and drying it than was used making it in the first place; cooler washing can help to reduce that impact.
Typically, 75—90 percent of the energy you use washing a load of clothes comes from getting the water hot; only a quarter is used to tumble and spin the clothes and operate the machine. Cooler washing stops clothes shrinking or stretching out of shape and helps colors last longer. Artwork: Even pioneers need clean hands! Its "floating" quality was an accidental discovery, but featured prominently in advertisements like this one from , in which a pioneer washes his hands at camp.
We all love clean clothes, but most of us also love a clean planet. Do the two things go together? Look at the ingredients label on a typical bottle of detergent and you'll see a chemical cocktail. What are all these things and what do they do? More to the point, do they have any harmful effect on our health or the planet on which we all depend? There's very good reason to think so. That's why some detergent brands deliberately position themselves as eco-friendly, not by comparing themselves to soap and water the basic dynamic-duo of the detergent world but by drawing attention to the potentially harmful chemicals used by their rivals.
Photo: "The last thing a loved up butterfly needs You might think this is a matter of opinion; mostly it's a matter of science: the effects of detergent chemicals are well documented. What's less well understood is that all chemicals are added to detergents for a specific purpose watch the BBC video in the links below to learn more , and some of the additives actually reduce the harmful impacts that detergents would otherwise have.
As we've already seen, these play a crucial part in helping water to attack and remove dirt. But once they flush away down the drain, surfactants don't stop working: they start to play similar tricks on aquatic life, for example, attacking the natural oils in the mucus membranes of fish, stopping their gills from working properly, and increasing their risk of attack from other chemicals in the water.
Some surfactant ingredients including one called nonylphenol ethoxylate or NPE produce what are called endocrine-disruptors , which can affect the hormonal balance of animals including humans , causing a variety of health problems and sometimes changing their sex characteristics.
Although surfactants can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life some are even listed as persistent organic pollutants POPs —ones that remain in the environment for many years without breaking down , most surfactants biodegrade relatively quickly in sewage treatment plants before they can do much harm to the natural world.
When the phosphates in detergents enter freshwater, they can act like fertilizers, promoting the growth of tiny plants and animals. The biggest problem they can cause is a huge growth of algae, known as an algal bloom , which kills fish life by reducing oxygen. Although phosphates enter water in many different ways, detergents contribute significantly to the problem. Enzymes are catalysts, which means they're chemicals that help to make chemical reactions happen more quickly or easily.
Generally, they're added to detergents to make them more effective at tackling tricky forms of dirt that ordinary detergents struggle with. They also help to lower the environmental impact of detergents by reducing the need for surfactants.
Although it's widely believed that enzymes can cause skin problems, a recent scientific review by David Basketter et al in the British Journal of Dermatology suggested that's a myth: "the irritating and allergenic hazards of enzyme raw materials do not translate into a risk of skin reactions.
Woodford, Chris. Detergents and soaps. How detergents work The cleverest part of a washing machine isn't the drum or the drive belt, the electric motor that spins it around or the electronic circuit that controls the program: it's the detergent soap powder or liquid you put in right at the start. Throw them into the washing machine with some detergent and this is what happens: During the wash cycle, the surfactant represented here by the orange blob mixes with water.
The grease-loving ends of the surfactant molecules start to attach themselves to the dirt on your jeans shown by the brown blob on the leg. The tumbling motion beats your jeans about and breaks the dirt and grease into smaller, easier-to-remove pieces. During the rinse cycle, water molecules blue blob moving past attach themselves to the opposite, water-loving ends of the surfactant molecules.
The water molecules pull the surfactant and dirt away from the jeans.
Detergent Ingredients. Manufacturing Process. Bar Soaps. Liquid Detergents.
Soap Manufacturing Process
Laundry Detergent Ingredients and How They Work
NAICS-Based Product Codes: , , , through , and through Soap is a substance that when mixed with water produces suds for washing and cleaning. Suds are produced by the surfactant that holds dirt and oil particles in suspension so they can be rinsed off with clean water. Soap, as such, is not found in nature, but it can be produced using simple processes to combine animal or vegetable fat with wood ashes or lye. In this way, soap is similar to other useful items produced by resourceful people most likely first by accident and then by design, such as bread, beer, wine, and cheese.
We've seen that carboxylic acid derivatives react with nucleophiles to give substitution products in which the leaving group is replaced by the attacking nucleophile. This same pattern describes the first steps in the reaction of esters with lithium aluminum hydride and Grignard reagents, but in both cases the reaction proceeds further because the first product formed also reacts with the reagent. For an example, lets look at the reduction of an ester with lithium aluminum hydride. When the "hydride ion" H: - from lithium aluminum hydride replaces the OR' group of the ester, an aldehyde is formed. We've already seen that and aldehyde is reduced by lithium aluminum hydride, so it comes as no surprise that the aldehyde is immediately reduced to a primary alcohol. In fact, the aldehyde is more electrophilic than the ester, so as soon as a few molecules of aldehyde are formed, they are attacked by the hydride in preference to the ester. The reaction is completed by the later addition of aqueous acid to protonate the O - atoms. The result is that esters are reduced by lithium aluminum hydride to primary alcohols in which the ester carbon has become the alcohol carbon. Sodium borohydride is not reactive enough to carry out this reduction. This is a useful way to make primary alcohols.
Almost extinct in the US, powdered laundry detergents thrive elsewhere in the world
Healthy Cleaning This section is intended to be a valuable information resource about cleaning products for consumers, educators, students, media, government officials, businesses and others. Water, the liquid commonly used for cleaning, has a property called surface tension.
Environmental life-cycle inventory of detergent-grade surfactant sourcing and production edited by Arthur D. Stay up to date with the latest events in the global textile care industries. Featured Event. The US fatty chemical industry found it difficult to consistently maintain acceptable levels of profits. Source direct from verified suppliers on Manufacturer. Strip the build up. You can purchase the lye below. During the colonial period and the eighteenth century, Americans made their own soap at home, where most continued to produce it until soap manufacture shifted away from individual homes to become an industry during the s.
Soaps and detergents
Japan Soap and Detergent Association is an industrial association producer's group consisting of soap and detergent manufacturers, as well as the manufacturers of oil and fat products which are ingredients used in soap and detergent manufacturing. In order to preserve the health of children who bear the next generation, JSDA had been carrying a few programs to arouse public attention to cleanliness of the whole society, as one of social contribution activities. Hand washing is a fundamental practice to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Ever since our foundation, JSDA has been conducting a hand washing educational program among young children to let children keep hand washing a habit. The Japan Soap and Detergent Association engages in various activities with the aim of preventing accidents related to the handling of consumer products, including accidental ingestion or contact with the skin and eyes, which may lead to serious problems. JSDA Profile Japan Soap and Detergent Association is an industrial association producer's group consisting of soap and detergent manufacturers, as well as the manufacturers of oil and fat products which are ingredients used in soap and detergent manufacturing. Poster Contest In order to preserve the health of children who bear the next generation, JSDA had been carrying a few programs to arouse public attention to cleanliness of the whole society, as one of social contribution activities. School-based Hand Washing Promotion Hand washing is a fundamental practice to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Voluntary Standard for Use and Applications of Product Safety Icons The Japan Soap and Detergent Association engages in various activities with the aim of preventing accidents related to the handling of consumer products, including accidental ingestion or contact with the skin and eyes, which may lead to serious problems.
If turkey-red oil—i. The first synthetic detergents for general use, however, were produced by the Germans in the World War I period so that available fats could be utilized for other purposes. These detergents were chemicals of the short-chain alkylnaphthalene-sulfonate type, made by coupling propyl or butyl alcohols with naphthalene and subsequent sulfonation, and appeared under the name of Nekal. These products were only fair detergents but good wetting agents and are still being produced in large quantities for use in the textile industry. Again, these were available as the sodium salts extended with sodium sulfates. Both the alcohol sulfates and the alkylaryl sulfonates were sold as cleaning materials but did not make any appreciable impression on the total market. By the end of World War II the alkylaryl sulfonates had almost completely swamped the sales of alcohol sulfates for the limited uses to which they were applied as general cleaning materials, but the alcohol sulfates were making big inroads into the shampoo and fine detergent fields. Historically, synthetic detergents began as mainly a substitute for fat-based soap but developed into a sophisticated product, superior in many respects to soap.
Detergents and soaps
W hen you're young, "bathtime" is another word for "torture" and a harmless block of soap can seem like an offensive weapon. Fortunately, most of us soon grow out of that little problem and learn to recognize soap and water for what they are: a perfect way to shift the daily grime. Soap seems like the simplest thing in the world. Just splash it on your face and it gets rid of the dirt, right?
11: Fats, Fatty Acids, Detergents
Need to remove tomato sauce, grease, ink, or other tricky spots? Get rid of your toughest stains using our stain guide. The ingredients in your cleaning products fall into several different categories, added to provide different characteristics and cleaning functions.
Only one detergent removes all stains
Laundry detergent , or washing powder , is a type of detergent cleaning agent used for cleaning laundry. Laundry detergent is manufactured in powder and liquid form. While powdered and liquid detergents hold roughly equal share of the worldwide laundry detergent market in terms of value, powdered detergents are sold twice as much compared to liquids in terms of volume. From ancient times, chemical additives were used to facilitate the mechanical washing of textile fibres with water.