Topic: detergent

why do we use detergents for washing our clothes?


Re: detergent

Detergents are made of sodium carbonate. It makes water soft. The ions created in the process removes dirt and dust particles present in the threads of clothing.


Re: detergent

मला वाटतं संतोषसराफ यांनी दिलेलं उत्तर योग्य नाही. कारण डिटर्जंटमध्ये लांब साखळीच्या स्वरूपातली काही विशिष्ट प्रकारची सेंद्रीय रसायनं असल्याचं वाचलेलं आठवतं. (या रसायनांमुळेच कपडे स्वच्छ करण्याच्या बाबतीत सर्वसाधारण साबणापेक्षा डिटर्जंट हे अधिक प्रभावी ठरतात.) तज्ज्ञांनी कृपया खुलासा करावा...

Last edited by शंकासूर (23-08-2011 <> 11:54:59 AM)


Re: detergent

Basically, soaps as well as detergents both are surfactants, i.e. they reduce the surface tension of water. In simpler words, they reduce intermolecular attraction between water molecules. This leads to higher penetration of water into the cloth making the cleansing process more effective. Secondly, they exhibit cleansing action even on oily clothes due to their typical chemical nature.

Soaps are salts of long chain fatty acids. These salt molecules have two portions that differ in the behaviour. One portion of the molecule is of polar nature and is soluble in water. Other portion of the molecule is of non-polar nature and is soluble in oily material. As part of the soap molecule can dissolve in oil and part of the same soap molecule can dissolve in water, it leads to dispersion of oil into water. This not only removes oil from the clothes but also sets the dust particles sticking to the oily portion of the cloth free. Detergents also behave in similar way. Chemically detergents can be alkylbenzenesulfonates, quaternary ammonium compounds, ethoxylates, etc.

In presence of hard water, soap forms insoluble salts of calcium and magnesium. This leads to formation of precipitate, thereby reducing the effectiveness of soap. Salts of calcium and magnesium with detergent, on the other hand, are fairly soluble in water and no precipitation is observed in presence of hard water. This retains the effectiveness of detergent even in presence of hard water.


Re: detergent

In short, we use detergent because it removes dust, oil and stains from our clothes and cleans it. But there is no chance of sticking dust,oil and stains on our inner wear ( underwear, banyan etc.) They only absorb the salty water ( which the body prespires ) This can be easily removed just by putting the inner wears in the hot water. Then why do we wash them also by using detergents? Is it because of influence of advertisements of detergent products?


Re: detergent

Our body has sebaceous glands under our skin. These glands produce oily substances. This oily material adheres to our clothes. The oily matter, in turn, holds the dirt strongly making the cleansing difficult. Detergents help in removing this oily material and hence also the dirt sticking to it.


Re: detergent

Ya, I'm satisfied with this answer. Thank u Waman.