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Questions tagged [surfactants]

Questions about compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid.

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32 views

Making a soapy (bubble) solution

There are fun and practical applications of soapy solutions for bubble making. An example of a practical one is detection of gas leaks from fittings and unions. Given various household products, ...
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2answers
244 views

Why do surfactants lower the surface tension

Everybody knows that detergents, or generally amphiphilic substances, lower the surface tension. Of water, usually. I wonder if that's true for any polar solvent (most likely)? What happens in a ...
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2answers
48 views

Surface Chemistry - Dipole Moment of Surfactant with Water and Phases of a Monomolecular Layer

Recently, I have been trying to study surface chemistry and I have come across questions that I do not understand how to answer. I understand what a dipole moment is, defined as a charge separation ...
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0answers
92 views

Is borax redundant to trisodium phosphate as a cleaner?

I know that trisodium phosphate (TSP) is used as a rinse aid in cleaning solutions, but I have also seen borax as an (alternative?) ingredient as well. Is borax redundant to TSP, in other words, is ...
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1answer
79 views

Is an alcohol-based spray cleaner ok for cleaning an aluminum heat exchanger?

Simple alcohols such as ethanol can, apparently, corrode aluminum. However, this corrosion reaction seems to be very slow at room temperature and below. Is an ethanol based, non-foaming spray cleaner, ...
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3answers
3k views

Is there such a thing as a “minimal soap” molecule?

Wikipedia's Soap gives sodium stearate as an example of soap, and apparently I've been eating it: Sodium stearate is the sodium salt of stearic acid. This white solid is the most common soap. It is ...
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1answer
55 views

How can I make an alloy wetter?

I'm trying to make a Bismuth-Indium based low-melt alloy wetter (specifically, better at wetting to solid metals and glass). I've tried adding gallium, which obviously works, but due to its metal-...
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2answers
62 views

Wetting agent for H2O2 solution

I need to increase the wetting of an $\ce{H2O2}$ solution on ceramic surfaces. Does anyone know of a common chemical I can use for this? The properties it would ideally have are: Increases wetting ...
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0answers
56 views

What does borax do in and to the washing machine? [closed]

Does borax actually do anything to make clothes cleaner? If it does .... Does it do something with the detergent to remove more dirt from clothes? Does it make it easier to rinse detergent and dirt ...
7
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1answer
2k views

What are “tensides”?

I was reading about chemicals that control pore size of polyurethane foams and there it was mentioned that "tensides" decrease pore size. What are tensides? I assume it's the opposite of a surfactant, ...
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1answer
81 views

Uncertainty in measuring the mass of the palm oil and the base in saponification

I am a student coming from the domain of mathematics, and I am working on error analysis and uncertainty, but I have a question in the domain of chemistry. I am studying the effect of the ...
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1answer
1k views

Why does Dead Sea water feel greasy?

The best explanation I found so far is this: These salts (magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc.) are responsible for the "greasy" feel of the water. But it doesn’t say which salts exactly are ...
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29 views

failed simple experiment with surfactant

I wanted to show my son the effect of a surfactant. So I filled two small glasses with tap-water, added a squirt of RinseAid to one and stirred. Then I sprinkled powdered flour on both. My ...
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0answers
141 views

How can I decrease the Krafft temperature of an hexadecyl sulfate surfactant?

I need to prepare an anionic surfactant from a treatment of cetyl alcohol (hexadecanol) and $\ce{H2SO4}$, and then neutralize it using $\ce{NaOH}$ or $\ce{NH3}$; but sodium hexadecyl sulfate has a ...
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1answer
1k views

Why does copper sulphate (CuSO4) in water increase surface tension?

So, recently for school, I did an experiment on surface-tension. We tested Water, Salt, Sugar, Dissolvable Panadol, Coffee Powder, Vinegar, Detergent, Flour, Methylated Spirits, Oil & Detergent, ...
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0answers
45 views

Functionalizing CTAC stabilized nanoparticles

I am working on functionalizing silver-gold bimetallic nanoparticles. My nanoparticles are stabilized by CTAC(cetyltrimethylammonium chloride).The most articles which I found, are about the ...
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3answers
2k views

How do I lower the surface tension of water without using a detergent?

For many years I've used a Rainbow vacuum, which uses a reservoir of water as the filter. While I'm quite pleased with it, I've found that when trying to vacuum cement dust or wood ash not all of ...
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3answers
769 views

Is it known for sure that bases feel slippery because of the production of soap/surfactant?

Discussion around the question Why does bleach feel slippery? has started me thinking about the saponification explanation for the slippery feeling of basic solutions. According to Wikipedia: ...
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1answer
44 views

Figuring out if a surfactant is present

I have recently starting distilling my own essential oils using a still that I built out of an old diesel barrel. Before the first run with the still, I cleaned the inside using soap and water. I ...
5
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1answer
127 views

Can cationic species form micelles?

Most of the books dive into formation of micelles by soaps. They go on talking about alkyl sulphate and carboxylates, but never do they mention anything about cations. My textbook says that at ...
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1answer
812 views

Salt and sugar surfactants?

How do daily compounds such as table salt ($\ce{NaCl}$) and sugar ($\ce{C6H12O6}$) affect adhesion or surface tension of water? Considering their polarity, I guess they both increase it.
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2answers
560 views

Why does shower gel / shampoo foam a lot more on hairy than non-hairy body parts?

We usually use shower gel by rubbing it on our palms and then applying it to each body part in turn in order to clean oily substances that clung to it since our last shower. This procedure does not ...
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0answers
19 views

How to create a Non Water loving Vegatable Oil Foam?

I am trying to create a vegetable oil foam (or large quantity of air bubbles) and as I am not a Chemist by far. First I was thinking of using Amphiphilic surfactant, but I don't want this foam to be ...
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2answers
9k views

How does NaCl (or any inorganic salt) increase surface tension?

Does the compound "prefer" to stay in the solution? If yes, wouldn't the surface tension of the solution be equal to that of pure water, since only water is in the surface? See: Does NaCl reduce the ...
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2answers
451 views

What exactly happens while washing clothes

I am reading about soaps , micelles and all that. I understand how soap behaves in water contaminated by oil. Soap helps in emulsifying the oil into water. Let us suppose now we have dirt(i.e oil, ...
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0answers
158 views

What is the surfactant's role in the non-coalescence of water droplets?

I have recently seen many videos that talk about the noncoalescence of water droplets; however, I do not understand the purpose of adding surfactants into the water. From my knowledge (high school), ...
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0answers
516 views

Benzalkonium chloride breakdown time

I wonder if and how long (approximately) it will take for benzalkonium chloride (shown above; $n = 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18$) to breakdown (degrade fully or partly) in a closed water loop with continuous ...
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0answers
310 views

How do I create a transparent liquid for ferrofluid display?

Hello~ I am a media art artists working in Korea. Recently, create a kinetic artwork using ferrofluid. I need to create an artificial pond with a diameter of 3 meters. So I need a lot of suspension ...
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0answers
631 views

What would be a safe/good surfactant for ultrasonic cleaning vinyl records + distilled water and isopropyl alcohol

Title pretty much says it all besides the type of records I believe are pvc (60s - current, someone correct me if there may be other materials but I absolutely don't have any shellac records) and I ...
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0answers
120 views

Why are critical micelle concentrations so large?

Dissolving a non-polar molecule in water incurs a free energy cost of about $10 kJ/(mol \cdot nm^2)$ (source: http://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/bionumber.aspx?&id=101826) The entropy gained from ...
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1answer
249 views

How to disperse salicylic acid in sodium lauryl sulfate solution? [closed]

Anti-dandruff shampoo contains salicylic acid as an active ingredient, but when salicylic acid powder comes in contact with a base solution such as sodium laurylsulfate and water (1:3 wt/wt) caking of ...
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1answer
558 views

Do surfactants exist in a gas phase?

I am wondering if there are surfactants that exist in a gas state that can be used to reduce the surface tension of a liquid. I know its a broad question, so for example, are there any gases that ...
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0answers
551 views

Understanding observations of dissolving surfactants in methanol, water and hexane combinations

I added various solvents to a shower gel product to see what would happen. The main surfactant ingredients in it are Methyl Gluceth 20, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Lauryl Glucoside. First I diluted ...
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0answers
248 views

Difference between starch surfactant and CTAB, SDS, Tx-100

I am doing a research on the effect of surfactant on ZnO nanoparticles properties. There is a confusion here between starch surfactant and CTAB, Tx-100 and SDS. I need point on what is the difference ...
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2answers
6k views

Why does shampoo lather much more the second time it is applied?

When I shampoo my dirty hair, the first time it does not lather very much. The second time it lathers a lot. Why is this?
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2answers
901 views

What is the purpose of froth in washing clothes?

I stay at a rented place and there is no washing machine. I, now, wash clothes in a bucket. When I add detergent, sometimes there is froth, sometimes there is not. I wonder if this had any impact on ...
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2answers
27k views

Why does soap reduce surface tension of water

One explanation I read is that soap's long non-polar end will seek the air at the interface between water and air, and that the ionic end will form ionic-dipole bonds with the water. In the process of ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there a type of detergent/surfactant that evaporates at STP?

Are there any type of detergent/surfactant chemicals that would be good for removing dirt and grease from fabric that also would evaporate from the clothes within, say, 24 hours leaving no residue? ...
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3answers
2k views

Lemon juice, the ultimate anti-foaming agent?

As an amateur soda maker, I have noticed an odd phenomenon: lemon juice sodas do not foam. Virtually every juice I have tried foams to some degree when mixed with carbonated water. Lemon juice does ...
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0answers
77 views

What can I use instead of AOT in the following protocol?

We want to nanoencapsulate our pesticide using the following protocol; but we don’t have AOT surfactant. So, what can I use instead of AOT in the following protocol? Sodium alginate solution in ...
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1answer
4k views

What turns clear liquid soap blue?

Liquid soap that sits in metal pump handles turns blue after a week or so, as in this photo comparing the soap in its initial clear state and then after pumping from the dispenser. The pumps are ...
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1answer
90 views

What non-poisonous chemicals can get rid of SLS effectively?

Whenever I brush teeth, there are some kind of bubbles sticking inside the cavity and that's uncomfortable, it should be SLS as found on the internet. Does anyone know how do I get rid of those ...
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0answers
390 views

Mixing borax and shampoo [closed]

I use borax to clean everything. the other day I thought it would be a good idea to mix a little borax with my shampoo while showering. After lathering it on my scalp about 30 seconds it began to ...
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0answers
25 views

ordering the hydrophilicity of some polymers

I need to compare the hydrophilicity of those materials to compare contact angles of water with those materials' surfaces for surface tension measurement. Materials are: PTFE (Teflon), PVC, PS, PVDF, ...
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0answers
36 views

Microorganism preventative solution safe for using on a roof and will last in the sun

Information is scarce in the roof cleaning industry and the big guys are making a killing selling chemicals that are harmful to the person using it and everything around the home. I would like to find ...
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1answer
129 views

The sponge isn't foaming up, why?

When I add dish soap to a sponge it is able to foam up. But if I leave the sponge alone for an hour, it doesn't foam up, not even if it is wetted. Why? The sponge should still contain dish soap an ...
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1answer
159 views

Why isn't washing up liquid dry

Washing up liquid is wet and it is added to water. Why does it not come in a half size package and you add the water yourself? In the same way washing powder is?
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1answer
2k views

Soap and rain water, why does it not rinse off?

I am in Papua New Guinea at the moment, where rain water harvesting is the most common way of getting water. When washing hands, the soap feels hard to rinse off, and my skin feels "greasy". I read ...
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1answer
786 views

What is the difference between the reactivity of Lead subacetate and Lead II acetate undergoing a hydrothermal process?

I am attempting to adapt a hydrothermal method for synthesizing $\ce{PbS}$ nanocrystals to my school that contains a mixture of cationic and anionic surfactants sodium dodecyl sulfate (.05 mmol, SDS) ...
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1answer
105 views

What are the differences between the various household surfactants?

In a typical household, the following surfactants are found, among others: Soap / handwash Shower gel Shampoo Dishwashing agent Washing powder / liquid From my understanding, the role of all these ...