If you have ever looked at the components of most cleaning products in the supermarket, you will have noticed the notation at the end of the ingredients where it says. Surfactants <5%. What are surfactants? Aren't they obliged to say what components these products have?


A surfactant is a substance that influences the contact surface between two phases (e.g. two insoluble liquids in each other) by means of surface tension. Surfactants are substances that make it possible to dissolve two insoluble products in each other.

Surfactants are composed of a hydrophobic or hydrophobic part and a hydrophilic, or water-soluble, remainder.

All surfactants have wetting, dispersing, deflocculating, detergent, emulsifying, suspending and solubilising properties to some degree, but generally one of these properties dominates over the others, which restricts the use of each surfactant for a particular application.

The most common surfactants are carboxylates, which include carboxylate salts (soaps) such as sodium stearate. You also find the sodium lauryl ether sulphate .

In short, surfactants range from soaps to any component that is included to emulsify (allow mixing), give solubility, disperse a product. They are used in cleaning products, cosmetics and foodstuffs. Most of them are the dreaded "chemicals" that are contained in practically all household products and are the ones that tend to be reduced in so-called organic products.

Source: Wikipedia Surfactants, Surfactants


One of the most important parts of the classification of products, be it cleaning products or chemicals in general, is labelling. There is a general European regulation for the labelling of chemical products. All cleaning products must be labelled with hazard symbols and phrases, depending on their composition.


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