Grasas y Aceites, Vol 47, No 6 (1996)

Detergency. Its main mechanisms

Carlos Gómez Herrera
Profesor de Investigación (CSIC) jubilado y Académico Numerario de la Real Academia Sevillana de Ciencias, Spain


Advances on research, technology and applications for detergent processes increase rapidly. They keep provoking, as during last decades, repercussions on several fields (domestic, industrial, sanitary, energetic, environmental, legislative). To control as much as possible these repercussions, it is necessary to assess the actual knowledge about detergency mechanisms.
This informative article starts by reviewing the essential elements for detergent processes (substrate, soil, cleaning bath). Subsequently several physico-chemical key factors for effectiveness of the textile washing are discussed. These factors are: a) removal of liquid oily soils (by rolling-up, or by spontaneous microemulsification); b) separation of solid particles (by interfacial or electrostatic interactions); c) antiredeposition effects (by solubilization, emulsification or suspension); d) water hardness influence; e) washing physical conditions (temperature, agitation, time). The article ends by establishing the necessity for maintaining close collaboration among experts on different fields to optimize both detergent processes and their repercussions.


Detergency; Dispersion; Electrostatic effect; Information (paper); Interfacial effect; Mechanism; Microemulsion

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Copyright (c) 1996 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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