Detergents are primarily used for removal of oil, grease, dirt and stains, which cannot be removed by plain water. They are a mixture of surfactants. They show cleaning properties in dilute solutions. They are also referred as alkylbenzenesulfonates, a class of compounds, which are similar to soap. These compounds are less affected by hard water (water containing minerals). The surfactants present in the detergents lower the surface tension of the water.
Like soaps, these cleaning agents also have hydrophilic (water loving) components and hydrophobic (water hating) components. The hydrophobic parts of the molecules are attracted to oil, grease and other dirt particles and repelled by water. The hydrophilic parts of the molecules are attracted to water. Rinsing the clothes or utensils with water washes away the cleaning agent as well as the dirt particles.
These modern cleaning products are manufactured from oleochemicals or petrochemicals derived from animal and plants. Other chemicals present in modern detergents are alkalis, oxidizing agents, enzymes, bleaches and blue dyes. The components present in these cleaning agents function in the following ways:
Oleochemicals/Petrochemicals: These oils and fats are hydrocarbon chains that are attracted to grease, oil and dirt particles.
Alkalis: The potassium and sodium hydroxides present in these cleaning products provide positively charged ions for facilitating chemical reactions.
Oxidizers: Sulfuric acid, ethylene oxide and sulfur trioxide are the molecules, which are used to produce the hydrophilic components of the cleaning products.
The oxidizers present in the cleaning products promote chemical reactions.
The enzymes present in the detergents help to remove protein based stains; bleaches help to remove de-color stains and blue dyes help to remove yellowness of the clothes.
Laundry detergent is a cleaning agent used for cleaning laundry, such as bed sheets, towels, clothing, clothes, linens, dish clothes and curtains. The laundry cleaning agents are mainly of two types, high suds and low suds cleaning agents. The high suds cleaning products produce a lot of foam and low suds cleaning products produce less lather. In case you are using washing machine to wash your clothes, it is preferable to use low suds cleaning products. Laundry cleaning products are available in different forms including washing liquid, washing powder, washing tablets, cakes and washing soap.
Every stain and dirt particle requires a different treatment. It is important to choose a laundry cleaning agent carefully to fight all types of stains and maintain the quality of your clothes. It is preferable to purchase a laundry cleaning agent depending on the type of clothes you use and wear. You may use a heavy washing powder for cleaning tough laundries, such as bed sheets and rugs. You may use a mild cleaning agent for washing delicate clothes, such as baby clothes, silk and woolen clothes. It is advisable to purchase laundry detergents from a reliable online retailer. Online retailers usually give heavy discounts on bulk purchases.