Soap Vs. Detergent

Found This Helpful

Although soap and detergent are both surfactants, they are not the same. The main difference lies in their material makeup.

Surfactants

  • A surfactant, or surface-active agent, is an ionic chemical that reduces surface tension in water, allowing it to better spread out. Surfactants are useful in cleaning because they emulsify and loosen soil.

Soap

  • Soap is made of natural fat and lye. Its pH level is between 9 and 10, meaning it is alkaline. This makes it an effective cleaning agent.

Detergent

  • Detergent is made from petroleum products. It contains many preservatives and antibacterial agents, which do not have an agreeable smell. As a result, detergents usually contain heavy perfumes to counteract the odor.

Environmental Implications

  • Soap requires very little energy in production and its ingredients are biodegradable. Detergent is made of toxic, synthetic materials that can harm the environment. Therefore, most environmentally conscious people choose to use soap rather than detergent.

Health Implications

  • Many beauty products marketed as soap are actually detergents. The chemicals in detergent often cause allergic reactions. They also can contain a harmful preservative called parabens, a chemical that has recently been associated with cancerous tumors.

References

Comments

Resources

  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

You May Also Like

  • Soap Vs. Detergent Emulsifiers

    Although people often think of soap and detergents as interchangeable, they are two different products employed for the same purpose. Both boost...

  • Difference Between Soap & Synthetic Detergent

    Soap and synthetic detergents are generally thought of in the same light. They are both used for cleaning, but are produced in...

  • The Advantages of Detergent Over Soap

    Soap and detergent are common products used when washing clothes, cleaning the house or bathing. Soap has been around for centuries, while...

  • Powder Vs. Liquid Detergent

    Powder Vs. Liquid Detergent. ... Liquid vs. Powder Washing Machine Soap; How to Clean Up Liquid Laundry Detergent; How to Get Makeup...

  • The Preparation of Soap & Detergent

    No one knows when the first soap was cooked up, but detergents are about a century old. Both come in wide varieties,...

  • Detergent Vs. Non-Detergent Motor Oil

    Soap Vs. Detergent Emulsifiers. ... seeds and fruit of plants. Palm oil... The History of Detergent. Detergents were originally called "synthetic" detergents,...

  • Conventional vs. Plant-Based Detergents

    Soap Vs. Detergent; Natural Vs. Synthetic Detergent; Facts on Vegetable Based Detergent; Comments. Related Ads. Get Ideas Easy-to-Make Wreath Chandeliers You May...

  • What Is the pH of Bath Soap?

    What Is the pH of Bath Soap?. ... Correlation Between pH and Irritant Effects of Cleansers Marketed for Dry Skin; ... laundry...

  • Safest Dishwashing Detergents

    Homemade Dishwasher Detergent; Safest ... for its overall cleaning ability and value. ... Phosphate has many uses and was once widely used...

Featured

Read Article

Make This Modern Tufted Ottoman Coffee Table