Surfactants in Detergents for Carpet Cleaning

Effect off Emulon emulsifier on oil mixed with water

Definition: Surfactants (surface active agents) are compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids (such as between a cleaning agent and oil) or between a liquid and a solid (such as dirt). Surfactants are the most important ingredient in detergents.

Most surfactants used in carpet cleaning detergents are positively charged (anionic) or have no charge (nonionic). Negatively charged surfactants (cationic) are not allowed to be used in carpet cleaning detergents because they destroy the stain retardant or stain blocker in most nylon carpet such as Stainmaster®.

Surfactants used in cleaning agents such as PCA™ Formula 5, Booster™ and Preface® Carpet Cleaning Prespray are usually organic compounds that contain both lipophilic groups (oil-loving) and hydrophilic groups (water-loving). In addition to surfactants, most cleaning agents also contain pH buffering agents, fragrance, dye, water softeners and sometimes solvents.

Related Carpet and Rug Cleaning Products Articles:

Related Carpet and Rug Cleaning Products:

  • Booster
  • PCA™ Formula 5
  • Preface® Prespray/Traffic Lane Spotter improves cleaning without the risk of overwetting.

VIDEO: Bane-Clene® Carpet Cleaning Detergents and Emulsifiers

Presented by Bane-Clene’s chemist, this video shows how PCA™ Formula 5, Booster™ and Per-Scent® are used in a Bane-Clene truckmount carpet cleaning machine.

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