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Posts Tagged ‘Soap’

Use and Misuse of Detergent, continued

  Image via Flickr             Textile care and detergents created some interesting discussions in addition to conversations with mothers and which detergents to use.  Performance fabrics which are found in sports apparel also require knowledge of laundery equipment and products.Pearl Izumi Women’s Barrier Convertible Jacket,Green Flash,Large … pearlwomensbarrierconvertiblejacket2013.wordpress.com1/30/13 … Never use detergents with fabric softeners, perfumes or any additive type product; The general rule of thumb is the simpler the better.; Many detergents with additives leave “surfactants” behind on a fabric’s fibers that inhibit … Perfumes aren’t the only additive left on textiles after washing.  In addition to optic whiteners, additives that “kill bacteria”, soften fabric, there are other additives like soda.  One experiment we all could try is to put a load of clean towels in the washer and run through the wash and rinse cycle without any detergent.  During the wash cycle check to see if the water is clear.  When I did this I found soap suds in the water.  Using half of the detergent suggested on the detergent container is one answer, loading the washing machine with smaller amounts of clothes is yet another answer.Allergy & Acne-free Clothes – Kat Khadija Leverette katleverette.com2/1/10 Problem: Laundry detergents, additives and fabric softeners can leave harmful residues that can irritate sensitive skin, cause a severe case of contact dermatitis, and worsen your acne or eczema. What to look for: Acne or dermatitis on one …   Some suggest vinegar as a natural fabric softner however fabric softners coat the fibers, vinegar doesn’t.  What vinegar does is help rinse away the detergent.  Kitchen Hint: Natural fabric softener « The EssentiaList essentialstuff.org1/6/13 Kitchen Hint: Natural fabric softener. by Catherine Haug, January 6, 2013. To see all kitchen hints on this site, see: Kitchen Hints. If you’d like to submit a kitchen hint, send it to me and I’ll publish it. Note that if you don’t want your name used, …   Conclusios?  Wash smaller loads with less detergent and run the clothes through the rinse cycle twice.  Is this harming the environment or using too much water?  It may be 6 of one half a dozen of the other if a comparison was made with the cost of chemicals added to soften clothes or the cost of water used to rinse clothes twice. Please let us know your thoughts and experiences.                

Synthetic Surfactant or Soap?

Provided by High Tech Detergent You may well ask why soap, which served well for so many years, was eventually displaced. Soaps are cheap and they are manufactured from a renewable source, whereas many of the synthetic detergents are made from petrochemicals. Soaps are also biodegradable; that is, they are readily broken down by bacteria, and thus they do not pollute rivers. However, due to their gelling properties, soaps do have a greater tendency to clog sewerage reticulation systems than synthetic detergents. The grease trap of a non-sewered house was often laden with soap. But the most important reason for the displacement of soap is the fact that, when a carboxylic acid soap is used in hard water, precipitation occurs. The calcium and magnesium ions, which give hardness to the water, form insoluble salts with the fatty acid in soap and a curd-like precipitate occurs and settles, of course, on what ever is being washed. By using a large excess of soap, it is possible to redisperse the precipitate, but it is extremely sticky and difficult to move. This problem with soap can be demonstrated by a simple experiment in which a concentrated solution of hard-water salts is added to a 0.1% solution of soap and also to a 0.1% solution of synthetic surfactant. The soap precipitates, but the synthetic surfactant remains clear because it’s salts are water soluble. You may live in an area where the water is extremely soft. But calcium and magnesium ions are present in the dirt that you wash out of your clothes, so that some precipitation still occurs if soap is used, and gradually deposits are built up in the fabric. There are other disadvantages with soap; it deteriorates on storage, and it lacks cleaning power when compared with the modern synthetic surfactants, which can be designed to perform specialised cleaning tasks. Finally and very importantly from a domestic laundry point of view, soap does not rinse out; it tends to leave a residue behind in the fabric that is being washed. A residue gradually builds up and causes bad odour, deterioration of the fabric and other associated problems. What’s the Difference ? What’s the difference between a surfactant and soap ? In general terms, the difference can be likened to the difference between cotton and nylon. On the one hand, soap and cotton are produced from natural products by a relatively small modification. On the other hand, synthetic surfactants and nylon are produced entirely in a chemical factory. Synthetic surfactants are…
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More Q & A on Soaps and Detergents!

Why are there oil spots on freshly dried clothes? Why does ordinary shampoo sometimes clean better? What is Soap? What is Detergent?” The first question is probably about the spots caused by fabric softener, and I’ve come across info about that in your Fabric Care article. That article attributes the spots to the softener sheets, but I first encountered the spots on polyester garments in the days when I used liquid softener in my washer. Re-washing always removed them. See (Q) and (A) below. As for the last three, shampoo contains our friend sodium lauryl sulfate. The soap/detergent question would be answered by the post that I agreed to send you. A major revision of it is below. (Thanks for bringing that to the top of my “to do” list; I should’ve answered long before now.) Q & A (Q) Why are there oil spots on freshly dried clothes? (A) Fabric softeners, both liquid and dryer sheets, can leave greasy spots on polyester garments. The spots can be removed by re-washing and drying without the softener. See the article “Fabric Care” at http://info.fabrics.net/fabric-facts/fabric-care/. (Q) Why does ordinary shampoo sometimes clean better? (A) Shampoos contain detergents which are are especially good cleaners of substances which are proteins. Hair, silk and wool are all proteins. See “Soaps and Detergents” below. (Q) What is Soap? (A) See the articles “Soaps and Detergents” at —— and “Synthetic Surfactant or Soap?” at http://info.fabrics.net/fabric-facts/fabric-care/ (Q) What is Detergent? (A) See the articles “Soaps and Detergents” at ——- and “Synthetic Surfactant or Soap?” at http://info.fabrics.net/fabric-facts/fabric-care/ SOAPS AND DETERGENTS A DETERGENT is a chemical compound that cleans. In the sense that a SOAP cleans things, it can be considered a detergent. However, chemists generally make a distinction between soaps and detergents, since soaps are salts of carboxylic acids, and detergents are sulfate or sulfonate salts. SOAPS Soaps are FATTY ACID SALTS made by a reaction of fats (an animal fat or a vegetable oil) with LYE (sodium hydroxide). SODIUM LAURATE, the sodium salt of lauric acid, is generally considered to be one of the finest soaps. HARD WATER (water containing the dissolved salts of calcium, magnesium and/or iron) causes a problem: the dissolved salts combine with soap molecules to produce a water-insoluble scum (“ring-around-the-tub”). A lot of soap is wasted in the formation of this scum, as all of the minerals in the water have to be removed as scum before the soap can do its cleaning work.One solution to this problem is to wash only…
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