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How Are Surfactants Used in Cleaning Agents

May. 18, 2022

Surfactants are the main components of cleaning agents. The term surfactant refers to a surface-active agent. As the name implies, surfactants stimulate the activity of the surface you are cleaning to help trap dirt and remove it from the surface.
Surfactants have a hydrophobic (water-repellent) tail and a hydrophilic (water-loving) head. The hydrophobic tail of each surfactant surrounds the soil. The hydrophilic head is surrounded by water.


How Are Surfactants Used in Cleaning Agents

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How surfactants work

When enough surfactant molecules are present in a solution, they bind together to form structures called micelles. When micelles form, the surfactant heads position themselves so they are exposed to water, while the tails gather in the center of the structure and are protected from water.
The micelles act as a unit to remove dirt. The hydrophobic tails are attracted to the soils and surround them, while the hydrophilic heads pull the surrounding soils out of the surface and into the cleaning solution. The micelles then reorganize and the tails suspend the soil in the center of the structure.

Anionic detergents are synthetic detergents in which the lipophilic hydrocarbon group of the molecule is anionic. The detergent molecule consists of a long hydrocarbon chain and a water-soluble anionic group. Examples: sodium n-dodecyl benzene sulfonate and sodium dodecyl sulfate.
Nonionic surfactants have uncharged molecules, which enable them to resist deactivation by water hardness. This makes them ideal for use in laundry detergents, toilet bowl cleaners and dishwashing detergents.


How Are Surfactants Used in Cleaning Agents

For cleaning agents

Surfactants are key ingredients in cleaning products. One thing that distinguishes cleaning products is how they are made. A cleaner made from a single chemical for a specific type of soil is called a commercial cleaner. Cleaners made from a blend of chemicals designed to work in concert to remove various types of soils are called formulated cleaners.
Formulated cleaners typically contain four basic elements: a surfactant, a water soluble booster, a detergent aid, and a carrier. Water soluble booster is the chemical that keeps otherwise incompatible surfactants and detergent aids stable in solution. Carriers are water or solvents. These elements work together to produce a mechanical action that removes dirt. The end result is a product that can attack surface dirt through a variety of cleaning mechanisms, including emulsification, lifting, dispersion, isolation, suspension, and breakdown of various types of dirt. The type of surfactants used in cleaning products largely determines which dirt they are best suited to remove.


How Are Surfactants Used in Cleaning Agents

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Examples of detergents


Laundry detergents

Laundry detergents actually have both nonionic and anionic surfactants. Anionic surfactants have a negatively charged head, which gives them excellent cleaning properties and high foaming potential. This complements the resistance of non-ionic surfactants to hard water deactivation.

Toilet bowl cleaners

Cleaning a toilet is a situation where hard water must be resisted. This is why most toilet bowl cleaners, both manual and automatic, use non-ionic surfactants.


Dishwashing detergents

In addition to resisting hard water deactivation, nonionic surfactants are also good at breaking down fats and oils. This makes them very good at cleaning dishes. The hydrophobic tails bind and trap fats and oils, preventing them from reattaching to the dishes.


Please follow SANCOLO to buy the detergents and surfactants you want, we produce CDBS, anhydrous calcium salts, nonionic surfactants, pesticide emulsifier, polycarboxylicacid cement water-reducer with greater monomers.These products function as Surfactant (surface active agents) and find application in personal care products, detergents, fabric softeners, emulsion polymerization, leather and textile processing. 


How Are Surfactants Used in Cleaning Agents


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