(as a noun) is a material intended to assist cleaning. The term is sometimes used to differentiate between soap and other surfactants used for cleaning. As an adjective pertaining to a substance, it (or "detersive") means "cleaning" or "having cleaning properties"; "detergency" indicates presence or degree of cleaning property.
Components of detergent :-
Detergents, especially those made for use with water, often include different components such as:
* Surfactants to 'cut' (Emulsify) grease and to wet surfaces
* Abrasive to scour
* Substances to modify pH or to affect performance or stability of other ingredients, acids for rescaling or caustics to break down organic compounds
* Water softeners to counteract the effect of "hardness" ions on other ingredients
* oxidants (oxidizers) for bleaching, disinfection, and breaking down organic compounds
* Non-surfactant materials that keep dirt in suspension
* Enzymes to digest proteins, fats, or carbohydrates in stains or to modify fabric feel
* Ingredients that modify the foaming properties of the cleaning surfactants, to either stabilize or counteract foam
* Ingredients to increase or decrease the viscosity of the solution, or to keep other ingredients in solution, in a detergent supplied as a water solution or gel
* Ingredients that affect aesthetic properties of the item to be cleaned, or of the detergent itself before or during use, such as optical brighteners, fabric softeners, colors, perfumes, etc.
* Ingredients such as corrosion inhibitors to counteract damage to equipment with which the detergent is used
* Ingredients to reduce harm or produce benefits to skin, when the detergent is used by bare hand on inanimate objects or used to clean skin
* Preservatives to prevent spoilage of other ingredients
Sometimes materials more complicated than mere mixtures of compounds are said to be detergent. For instance, certain foods such as celery are said to be detergent or detersive to teeth.
Types of detergent :-
There are several factors that dictate what compositions of detergent should be used, including the material to be cleaned, the apparatus to be used, and tolerance for and type of dirt. For instance, all of the following are used to clean glass. The sheer range of different detergents that can be used demonstrates the importance of context in the selection of an appropriate glass-cleaning agent:
* a chromic acid solution—to get glass very clean for certain precision-demanding purposes such as analytical chemistry
* a high-foaming mixture of surfactants with low skin irritation—for hand-washing of dish ware in a sink or dishpan
* any of various non-foaming compositions—for dish ware in a dish washing machine
* other surfactant-based compositions—for washing windows with a squeegee, followed by rinsing
* an ammonia-containing solution—for cleaning windows with no additional dilution and no rinsing
* ethanol or methanol in windshield washer fluid—used for a vehicle in motion, with no additional dilution
* glass contact lens cleaning solutions, which must clean and disinfect without leaving any eye-harming material that would not be easily rinsed
* Can be used even with hard water for washing clothes.
* Helps us to save vegetable oils for human consumption.
* It has a stronger cleansing action than soap.
* It is more soluble in water than soap.
* It is not biodegradable. This means it is not decomposed by microorganisms.
* They cause water pollution in air.