The Clean Chemistry Of Laundry Detergents

How does laundry detergent work?

You may know that laundry detergent cleans dirt from your clothes and eliminates nasty odors that you don’t want hanging around. Your clothes end up looking fresh and smelling clean after you wash them using a laundry detergent.

You may not know how detergent works when you do the laundry. The basic job of a detergent is to remove the dirt from clothes and keep it away long enough for it to be carried away by the rinse water. Choosing a non-toxic detergent will be gentle on your clothes and leave them looking and smelling clean.

What is the role of chemicals in laundry detergent?

Surface Active Agents, more commonly referred to as surfactants, are chemicals found in laundry detergents. It’s these surfactants that help to deal with the problem of water not mixing with oil and grease. The molecules of the surfactants have one end which is attracted to oil and grease and one end which is attracted to water. This means that the surfactants can help pull substances away from clothing and enable them to mix with the wash water.

Water completes the process

The surfactants pull debris such as oil and grease away from clothing fibers, but it’s the water that completes the process. As you know, water in your washing machine swirls around at fast pace when the wash cycle begins. This movement causes the surfactants and debris to completely detach from the clothing fibers. Once this has happened, the surfactants and dirt become suspended in the water and can be washed away once the rinse cycle begins. At the end of the entire process your clothes are left fresh, clean and ready to be dried, ironed and worn.

Why using the right amount of detergent is important

As you can see, laundry detergent is created using chemicals which have properties that enable them to remove dirt and grime from your clothes. The recommended amount of detergent to be used takes into account these cleaning properties. Using this amount means that your clothes will be cleaned effectively.

Unfortunately, many people believe that adding additional laundry detergent to the wash will result in clothes being cleaner. This is not true. Excess laundry detergent becomes trapped in clothing fibers and it keeps unpleasant doors trapped with it. This means that when you remove your clothes from the machine, instead of smelling fresh and clean, they may smell sweaty or stale. You end up having to re-wash the clothes which is a waste of water, energy, detergent and time. Stick to manufacturers guidelines when it comes to deciding how much laundry detergent to use.

We all take laundry detergent for granted. It’s there when we need it, to help return our clothes to a clean and fresh condition. It’s interesting to see exactly what is going on inside the detergent to make this happen, and to understand why there is such a thing as too much detergent.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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