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Advantages of Soaps and Detergents

Soaps and detergents are substances when dissolved in water have the ability to remove dirt from surfaces like the human skin, textiles and other solid surfaces.

Soaps are salts of sodium or potassium of higher fatty acids. Soaps are used mainly for bathing, washing and cleaning. Soaps are also used in textile spinning and are also important components of lubricants. Soaps are made from oils and fats with strong alkaline solutions.

Detergents are non-soapy cleaning agent that uses a surface-active agent for cleaning a substance in solution. Detergents are chemical agents or a mixture of chemical agents in dilute solutions. Synthetic detergents are soapless soaps, they ar effective on hard and salt water and they foam no scum.

Synthetic detergents are alkyl or aryl sulphonate that are produced from petroleum or coal and sulphuric acid.

Synthetic detergents can be defined as the sodium or potassium salts of long chain alkyl benzene sulphonic acid or potassium salt of long chain alkyl hydrogen sulphate.

Advantages of Detergents:
  • Laundry detergent - One of the major applications of laundry detergents is washing clothes. The formulation of these detergents is complex; it depends on the demands of application and competitive consumer market. Laundry detergents generally contains surfactants, softeners, bleach, enzymes, fragrances, wand many other agents.
  • Fuel additives - To prevent fouling detergents are used in Otto engines components like the carburetors and the fuel injectors.
  • Biological Reagents - In biological cells, for the isolation and purification of integral membrane proteins detergents in the grade of reagents is used.
Advantages of Soap:
  • Soaps are antibacterial, they can help kill germs.
  • Mild soaps can wash off the corrosive acids that drop on your skin and neutralize it.
  • Soaps are used for bathing, cleaning, and washing.
  • It helps keep skin clean.
  • They also remove dirt, oil, makeup and other impurities on skin.

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From Wikipedia

Laundry detergent

Laundry detergent, or washing powder, is a substance which is a type of detergent (cleaning agent) that is added for cleaning laundry. Most commonly, "detergent" refers to mixtures of chemical compounds including alkylbenzenesulfonates, which are similar to soap but are less affected by " hard

From Encyclopedia


soap a cleansing agent. It cleanses by lowering the surface tension of water, by emulsifying grease, and by absorbing dirt into the foam. Ancient peoples are believed to have employed wood ashes and water for washing and to have relieved the resulting irritation with grease or oil. In the 1st cent. AD, Pliny described a soap of tallow and wood ashes used by Germanic tribes to brighten their hair. A soap factory and bars of scented soap were excavated at Pompeii. Soap fell into disuse after the fall of Rome but was revived in Italy probably in the 8th cent. and reached France c.1200; Marseilles became noted as a soapmaking center. Although soap was known in England in the 14th cent., the first English patent to a soapmaker was issued in the 17th cent. The industry was handicapped in England from 1712 to 1853 by a heavy tax on soap. In the American colonies soap factories appeared at an early date, and many housewives made soap from waste fats and lye (obtained by leaching wood ashes). The manufacture of soap was stimulated by Chevreul's discovery of oleic and stearic acids in the early 19th cent. and by Leblanc's method (1791) of preparing soda from salt. Chemically, soaps are metallic salts of fatty acids . The manufacture of soap is based on a chemical reaction (saponification) in which an alkali acts upon a fat to form a metal salt (soap) and an alcohol (glycerol). A number of methods may be employed to make soap, but all are based on the same principle of operation. Fats and oils (often blended) are heated in a large vessel, then enough alkali to react with all the fat is stirred in. Salt is added, and the soap then forms a light curd that floats to the surface. Glycerol, a valuable byproduct, can be distilled from the liquid residue. To produce a purer soap, the curds are washed with salt solution, water is later added, and the solution is allowed to settle; the upper of the two layers thus formed is the pure soap, called settled soap. It is thoroughly churned, poured into huge frames, cut with wires, shaped, and stamped. Hard-milled soap is run over chilled rollers and is scraped off as chips which are rolled into ribbons, cut, and shaped. Soap is marketed also as chips, flakes, and beads and in powdered form. Soap powders, as distinguished from powdered soap, contain builders that assist in rough cleaning. Soaps differ according to the lathering properties of the fat or oils and according to the alkali employed. When sodium hydroxide is used as the alkali, hard soaps are formed; potassium hydroxide yields soft soaps. Aluminum, calcium, magnesium, lead, or other metals are used in place of sodium or potassium for soaps used in industry as paint driers, ointments, and lubricating greases and in waterproofing. Fillers are added to many soaps to increase lathering, cleansing, and water-softening properties; the sodium salt of rosin is commonly used in yellow laundry soap to increase lathering. Soap substitutes include saponin-containing plants such as soapwort and shagbark and the modern soapless detergents (usually sulfonated alcohols), which may be used in hard water and even in saltwater without forming curds.

From Yahoo Answers


Answers:Soap isn't so harsh.Its made mostly from veg oils.So kinder:-) The chemicals in detergent can cause skin irritations for some people.But if thats no problem to you and you don't mind using chemicals, then the detergent is more powerful at removing dirt.


Answers:1. Detergents don't form soap scum as soaps do in hard water 2. Detergents don't have to have the high pH that soap naturally does


Answers:Soaps don't react with anything really. What happens is the soap or detergent forms a micelle (micro bubble of fat) that goes in and absorbs other fats. The micelle is then washed away with water. Most dirts are just a combination of salts and are washed away with water.

Question:Most cleaning products today are not soap. More commonly they are synthetic detergents. What advantage does synthetic detergent have over soap?

Answers:Syndets are cheaper to produce and are not as affected by hard water (no ring around the bathtub, for example).

From Youtube

Sensitive Skin, IC & Vulvodynia - Soaps and Detergents (Interstitial Cystitis Network) :Interstitial cystitis patients often struggle with sensitive skin. ICN President Jill Osborne talks recommends several soaps and detergents that should not exacerbate IC and vulvodynia symptoms.

Invisible Soap :Using invisible soap has many advantages and it is lemon scented.