Do you know what makes detergents? Where the pleasant smell comes from? How these powders are designed to clean? If your answer is “No”, then let’s explore a few surprising facts about laundry detergents:
1.Laundry Detergents are different from Soap
Do you know that detergents are not soap? They are chemical compounds that clean clothes by keeping the dirt suspended in water. The main components of detergent are chemicals which are derived from Petroleum. Chemicals such as nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) and linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS) contained in detergents can even disrupt the functioning of your endocrine system.
2.History of Laundry Detergent
In ancient times, laundry detergents were made by combining ash, water, silicates and sulphur. First proof of the existence of laundry soap was found in the ancient Babylon about 4800 years ago. Ancient Egyptians also used soaps for bathing and washing clothes. Use of soap and detergent was widespread in the Roman empire. They used a mixture of soap, ash and oils. However, with the fall of the Roman Empire, the tradition of washing clothes too disappeared from Europe.
3. Soaps and Detergents
Soaps were widely used as cleaning agents until the late 1940s. During the World War I, there was a shortage of soaps. Chemical laundry detergents were developed during 1916. However, with the advent of washing machines, laundry detergents became popular during the early 1950s.
4.Fragrance in Detergents
Do you know how the fragrances in the detergents you use are developed? The fragrances are derived from phthalates. These are mostly synthetic odorants. The most widely used synthetic fragrance in detergents is white musk. This fragrance is added to detergents in large quantities and is responsible for the “clean” scent from your washed clothes.
5. The Cleaning Process
Detergents basically work as emulsifiers. It helps the oil particles and water to mix. Once you dip your clothes in detergent water, the dirt is captured in the oil and is thus, removed from the clothes. Most of the modern detergents contain antiredeposition agents and other chemicals which prevent dirt and grime from settling back on the clothes. Detergents also contain fluorescent whitening agents. These agents convert the Ultra Violet radiations into visible blue light which helps in maintaining the whiteness and brightness of the clothes.
Hopefully, these pointers will help you learn the science of the detergents and know the historical facts of their evolution. In case you are looking for a good quality drying rack, then check EziDry clothesline. These are lightweight, super durable and weather resistant and won’t leave rust mark on your clothes.