Our society is very sensitive for the cleanliness of car as it is in every issue. Therefore, this situation consumption of car wash and care products to high levels. In addition, retail sales for individual use in these products are also quite high. All of these data makes dealership of auto cleaning products a very profitable and good investment.
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Surfactants in Detergents
A detergent is an effective cleaning product because it contains one or more surfactants. Because of their chemical makeup, the surfactants used in detergents can be engineered to perform well under a variety of conditions. Such surfactants are less sensitive than soap to the hardness minerals in water and most will not form a film.
Detergent surfactants were developed in response to a shortage of animal and vegetable fats and oils during World War I and World War II. In addition, a substance that was resistant to hard water was needed to make cleaning more effective. At that time, petroleum was found to be a plentiful source for the manufacture of these surfactants. Today, detergent surfactants are made from a variety of petrochemicals (derived from petroleum) and/or oleochemicals (derived from fats and oils).
Petrochemicals and Oleochemicals
Like the fatty acids used in soapmaking, both petroleum and fats and oils contain hydrocarbon chains that are repelled by water but attracted to oil and grease in soils. These hydrocarbon chain sources are used to make the water-hating end of the surfactant molecule.
Chemicals, such as sulfur trioxide, sulfuric acid and ethylene oxide, are used to produce the water-loving end of the surfactant molecule.
As in soapmaking, an alkali is used to make detergent surfactants. Sodium and potassium hydroxide are the most common alkalis.
How Detergent Surfactants Are Made
The chemical reacts with hydrocarbons derived from petroleum or fats and oils to produce new acids similar to fatty acids.
A second reaction adds an alkali to the new acids to produce one type of anionic surfactant molecule.
Nonionic surfactant molecules are produced by first converting the hydrocarbon to an alcohol and then reacting the fatty alcohol with ethylene oxide.
These nonionic surfactants can be reacted further with sulfur-containing acids to form another type of anionic surfactant.
How Soaps and Detergents Work
These types of energy interact and should be in proper balance. Let’s look at how they work together.
Let’s assume we have oily, greasy soil on clothing. Water alone will not remove this soil. One important reason is that oil and grease present in soil repel the water molecules.
Now let’s add soap or detergent. The surfactant’s water-hating end is repelled by water but attracted to the oil in the soil. At the same time, the water-loving end is attracted to the water molecules.
These opposing forces loosen the soil and suspend it in the water. Warm or hot water helps dissolve grease and oil in soil. Washing machine agitation or hand rubbing helps pull the soil free.
Information About Detergents
The origins of personal cleanliness date back to prehistoric times. Since water is essential for life, the earliest people lived near water and knew something about its cleansing properties – at least that it rinsed mud off their hands.
A soap-like material found in clay cylinders during the excavation of ancient Babylon is evidence that soapmaking was known as early as 2800 B.C. Inscriptions on the cylinders say that fats were boiled with ashes, which is a method of making soap, but do not refer to the purpose of the “soap.” Such materials were later used as hair styling aids.
Records show that ancient Egyptians bathed regularly. The Ebers Papyrus, a medical document from about 1500 B.C., describes combining animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to form a soap-like material used for treating skin diseases, as well as for washing.
At about the same time, Moses gave the Israelites detailed laws governing personal cleanliness. He also related cleanliness to health and religious purification. Biblical accounts suggest that the Israelites knew that mixing ashes and oil produced a kind of hair gel.
The early Greeks bathed for aesthetic reasons and apparently did not use soap. Instead, they cleaned their bodies with blocks of clay, sand, pumice and ashes, then anointed themselves with oil, and scraped off the oil and dirt with a metal instrument known as a strigil. They also used oil with ashes. Clothes were washed without soap in streams.
Soap got its name, according to an ancient Roman legend, from Mount Sapo, where animals were sacrificed. Rain washed a mixture of melted animal fat, or tallow, and wood ashes down into the clay soil along the Tiber River. Women found that this clay mixture made their wash cleaner with much less effort.
The ancient Germans and Gauls are also credited with discovering a substance called soap, made of tallow and ashes, that they used to tint their hair red.
As Roman civilization advanced, so did bathing. The first of the famous Roman baths, supplied with water from their aqueducts, was built about 312 B.C. The baths were luxurious, and bathing became very popular. By the second century A.D., the Greek physician, Galen, recommended soap for both medicinal and cleansing purposes.
After the fall of Rome in 467 A.D. and the resulting decline in bathing habits, much of Europe felt the impact of filth upon public health. This lack of personal cleanliness and related unsanitary living conditions contributed heavily to the great plagues of the Middle Ages, and especially to the Black Death of the 14th century. It wasn’t until the 17th century that cleanliness and bathing started to come back into fashion in much of Europe. Still there were areas of the medieval world where personal cleanliness remained important. Daily bathing was a common custom in Japan during the Middle Ages. And in Iceland, pools warmed with water from hot springs were popular gathering places on Saturday evenings.
Essential Oil Scented Cleaning Products
The biggest phenomenon in the realm of home fragrance products is essential-oil-scented cleaning products. The category, pioneered by the Good Home Co. and Caldrea (which makes proprietary brands for Williams-Sonoma), includes products for home and laundry–fabric softener, detergent, dish soap, cleanser, stainless-steel spray–all in exotic scents of green tea patchouli, cucumber mint, or lemongrass.
Though sales figures are not available for this segment of the industry, the Good Home Co. claims more than $4 million in sales last year.
“People are stressed out and multitasking,” said Terry Molnar of the Sense of Smell Institute. “They don’t just want to wash the dishes. They want it to relax them too.”
What these products promise is the chance for some sensual pleasure in housecleaning. And for that, harried homemakers are willing to pay $15 for dish soap, $12 for ironing spray, and $22 for laundry detergent.
Jennifer Reid Holman recently got hooked on the Good Home Co.’s lavender cleaning line. “Some people are scented-candle people. Some are Glade PlugIn people. I may be turning into a frou-frou perfumed-cleaning-spray person,” she said.
Holman, a Philadelphia freelance writer and the mother of two young girls, said of her penchant for $12 lavender dryer sheets: “I consider them a cheap thrill. They’re a little luxury now that I spend more time cleaning up after two sticky kids and less time on more personal luxuries like manicures.”
For some people, however, these elegantly boxed and bottled cleaners are something else–status symbols, little emblems of the the quest for the picture-perfect home.
“The aesthetic factor has been ratcheted up quite a bit,” said Dave Glassman, marketing director for Restoration Hardware, which introduced its own line of scented cleaners in January. “People are interested in items you can leave out on display in the laundry room and the bathroom.”