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LAUNDRY SOAP

 

From ancient times, chemical additives were recognized for their ability to facilitate the mechanical washing with water. The Italians used a mix of sulfur and water with charcoal to clean cloth.

Egyptians added ashes and silicates to soften water. Only in the latterpart of the century with the availability of 

thermally robust bacterial enzymes did this technology become mainstream.

 

At the present time, soap has largely been displaced as the main cleaning agent in developed countries.

Soap is, by weight, relatively ineffective, and it is highly sensitive to deactivation by hard water. 

LABs remain the main detergents used domestically. Other detergents that have been developed include the linear alkylsulfonates and olefinsulfonates, which also resist deactivation by hard water. Both remain specialty products, for example only an estimated 60 million kilograms of the sodium alkylsulfonates are produced annually. 

During the early development of non soap surfactants as commercial cleaning products, the term syndet, short for synthetic detergent, was promoted to indicate the distinction from so-called natural soaps.

 


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