11 February 2017

The science behind laundry soap

Hello again laundry washers!

We are busy doing our best to keep up, so there isn’t much time to wonder about the little things. Someone recently asked me how their machine ACTUALLY gets the clothes clean. While the machine does a great job of providing the right environment for the clothes to be cleaned, the clothes cleaning magic really comes from the soap!

Laundry detergent has been around since the 1930’s. The detergent is made up of several parts which work together to give us the fresh smelling clothes we love. This incredible stuff is made up of enzymes, bleaches, surfactants, fragrance and colors. The enzymes help by breaking down and ‘loosening’ of the actual stains from the clothes. The bleaches help to keep the color of your clothes looking new. Some bleaches can actually absorb ultraviolet light which can yellow your clothes, helping them to stay bright! Surfactants, a mix of the words surface active agents, bind themselves both to the water AND the stains on the clothes. These special little molecules in the detergent move the stains from your clothes to the water inside your washer. Lastly, the colors and fragrances make the detergent more appealing to use.

For something as small as a cup of liquid or a pod in our machines, there sure is a lot of big science behind it!

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