Tue September 20, 2011 By: Venkat Rao

what is the difference between cationic and anionic soap????? which one is most effective? which one also works good in hard water?////

Expert Reply
Wed September 21, 2011

Anionic surfactants-In solution, the head is negatively charged. This is the most widely used type of surfactant for laundering, dishwashing liquids and shampoos because of its excellent cleaning properties and high sudsing potential. The surfactant is particularly good at keeping the dirt away from fabrics, and removing residues of fabric softener from fabrics. Anionic surfactants are particularly effective at oily soil cleaning and oil/clay soil suspension. The most commonly used anionic surfactants are alkyl sulphates, alkyl ethoxylate sulphates and soaps. These are a good option for use in hard water.

 Cationic surfactants-In solution, the head is positively charged. In fabric softeners and in detergents with built-in fabric softener, cationic surfactants provide softness. Their main use in laundry products is in rinse added fabric softeners, such as esterquats, one of the most widely used cationic surfactants in rinse added fabric softeners. An example of cationic surfactants is the esterquat. In laundry detergents, cationic surfactants (positive charge) improve the packing of anionic surfactant molecules (negative charge) at the stain/water interface. This helps to reduce the dirt/water interfacial tension in a very efficient way, leading to a more robust dirt removal system. They are especially efficient at removing greasy stains.

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