Chemicals in Dishwashing Detergent

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Dishwasher detergent is a great invention, as it allows us to speed up the process of doing dishes. Most detergents contain the following three ingredients: sodium silicate, sodium carbonate and Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione dihydrate. Sodium silicate and sodium carbonate both make dishwater a more basic solution, and Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione dihydrate serves as an oxidizer, breaking down food chemicals. It does this by the chlorine atoms in the Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione dihydrate reacting with the basic environment to produce chlorine bleach.

Sodium Silicate

  • Sodium silicate is a sodium-silicon compound with the formula Na2SiO3. It is a white powder that dissolves easily in water and raises the alkalinity of the resulting solution.

Sodium Carbonate

  • Sodium carbonate is a sodium-carbon compound with the formula Na2CO3. It dissolves easily in water and maintains an alkaline pH. The carbon in sodium carbonate also allows it to act as a water softener.

Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione dihydrate

  • Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione dihydrate has two chlorine atoms per molecule. When Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione dihydrate is added to a solution with water the chlorine and sodium react with the water to form chlorine bleach (formula NaClO). This step gives the detergent its cleaning power, as it is the bleach that dissolves food and other particles.

Other possible chemicals

  • Other chemicals in dishwasher detergent can include various proteases, which are enzymes that degrade proteins or a class of proteins, and amylase, which is an enzyme that we carry in our saliva which breaks down starches into simple sugars.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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