The word surfactant is derived from a sequence of words called “Surface Active Agents.” The actual surfactants are molecules that are used to help reduce the tension of water on a given surface and helps it spread more evenly. To simplify this statement, why don’t we say that surfactants make water even wetter. Surfactants are also penetrating agents that are designed to get deep into the crevices of any service and loosen the soil so that cleaning becomes more efficient.
You can learn more by reading these books about surfactants.
So How Does A Surfactant Work?
When you add chemical surfactants to water, you help the water spread more evenly over a surface. If you clean your kitchen counter and spray a chemical on the surface, you may notice that the liquid beads up on the surface of the counter. This chemical reaction allows the water to spread more evenly across the surface of your counter, penetrate cracks and crevices, loosen dirt and grime, and clean the surface more efficiently. Surfactants are made up of multiple molecular elements, products like Aqua-Cleen are found in everyday cleaning supplies. There is a head and a tail, one attracts water (head), and the other repels water (tail). When surfactants are not present in water, the water will bead tightly. When surfactants are added to water they the beads flatten and cover more surface area. Adding surfactants to cleaning products helps the solution to spread more evenly and covers more of the surface you are trying to clean.
Why Surfactants Are Perfect For Cleaning
When you spray a cleaning solution on a surface for cleaning purposes, the tail of the surfactant works its way into direct contact with the surface area. During this process, it will wedge itself between the surface and the dirt and grime that is on the surface area. By doing this, the surfactant element is loosening the dirt particles from the surface area, making it easier to clean. This process is referred to as roll-up and is referencing the event when the surfactant roll up the dirt particles as it makes contact with the surface area. As this happens, the hydrophobic tails of the surfactant cling to the dirt since it is not water. This allows the cleaning solution to bind with the soil and will enable you to clean more efficiently.
Surfactants In The Home
Most household cleaning solutions consist of surfactants that help you every time you clean your kitchen or bathroom. Surfactants make cleaning faster and help keep surface areas clean and free of dirt particles. Surfactants can be found in laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, toilet cleaners, shower cleaners, and other interior and exterior residential cleaning supplies.
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