What Is A Non-Ionic Surfactant?

Often you will find that certain greasy stains present in water cannot be removed easily and hence in order to clean water certain surfactants are added.

These surfactants are a kind of cleaning agent like soap but are smarter chemicals having 2 opposing ends. One of its ends will be soluble in water while the other end will be in the fat. Thus, this chemical can mix oil with water.

Usually, chemistry of such surfactants can be quite complex and there are two different varieties of these surfactants.

  • Ionic surfactants that are having a charge
  • Nonionic surfactants which does not have any charge

In this write up, we shall talk only about the nonionic surfactants.

Here is an example of a non ionic surfactant:

  • Cocamide monoethanolamine
  • Cocamide diethanolamine
  • Amine oxides
  • Fatty alcohol ethoxylates
  • Sulfoxides

As we mentioned before, that nonionic surfactants are having no charge. You can commonly find them in detergents used in the laundry or dishwashers and are widely used surfactants.

Usually, its molecule does not contain any charge and hence they will not produce any soap scum in hard water. They may be little less effective as compared to anionic, but it causes less irritation in the skin.

Mostly, you will find their application in various personal care products and also for disinfectant products used in the industries. Though anionic surfactants may be quite popular, but this variety will be next to them.

The hard water has higher mineral content, mostly nonionic surfactants that can be more heavily marketed because they will not form any soap scum.

Also, they are less likely to create any skin irritation, but these are associated with less potent ability of cleaning.

Generally, these nonionic surfactants can also be found in many different household products, and the basic advantage of these surfactants is that they do not form any ‘soap scum’ particularly in hard water.

In most of the countries, you will not find any legal bindings for cleaning your products or they never specify which surfactants must be used. Hence, you can choose your cleaner as per your convenience.

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