Laundry Detergents

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How a Laundry Detergent Work

Detergent contain long molecules where one end attaches to dirt and the other end attaches to water. This way dirty clothes washed in clean water and detergent will become clean clothes and dirty water.

A key ingredient in laundry detergent is a surfactant, a substance that reduces the surface tension of the water. This makes it easier for the water to soak into the laundry.

Some laundry detergents contain ingredient that control the pH of the water to make sure it's not too acid.

Builders in laundry detergent lower the water hardness by scavenging calcium and magnesium ions. This enhances the effect of the surfactant.

Bleach is used in detergent for white clothes to remove the yellow tone that builds over time. In North America sodium hypochlorite is commonly used while in Europe peroxide-based bleaches are dominating.

Whiter than white detergents commonly contain optical brighteners. These convert some of the ultraviolet light to blue making your old white laundry look bright white instead of pale yellow.

Fillers are used to modify the physical properties of the detergent to make a powder more fee flowing, to lower the freezing point of the detergent or reduce the amount of foam.

Enzymes are used in some types of laundry detergent to remove organic stains like blood or grass.

Brands of Laundry Detergent

All, AlmaWin, Ariel, Arm & Hammer, Biokleen, Biz, Bold, Bounty, Brusmann, Charlie's Soap, Cheer, Clorox, Comfort (detergent/fabric conditioner), Country Save, Daz, Downy, Dropps, Dynamo, Ecover, Era, Everyday Elegance, Everyday Living, Fab, Fairy Nonbio, Gain, Helios, Method, Moonworks, Mr. Clean (Philippines), New Hampshire All Natural Laundry Soap, Omo, OxiClean, Persil, Purex, Radion, Rinso, SA8 Bioquest, Safeway Select, Sears Ultra Plus, Seventh Generation Inc., Soap Nuts, Sun, Starwin, Sunlight, Surf, Tide, Trend, Twenty-Mule-Team Borax, Ultra, Wisk, Wonderful, Xtra, Nirma, Text


Laundry detergent. (2008, July 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:33, July 28, 2008, from

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