Shampoo – Is It Soap, Is It Detergent, or What?

Chemistry, Health
Shampoos are hair-care products meant to clean hair while allowing it to remain manageable. Is shampoo soap, detergent, or what? Individual shampoo products may contain many different ingredients to impart additional characteristics, but largely mainstream shampoos consist of two combined surfactants. Sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate is the main surfactant. Cocamidopropyl betaine is the secondary surfactant. We will consider these two ingredients in answering the title question. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Sodium lauryl sulfate (also called sodium dodecyl sulfate) is an anionic surfactant. One online definition of a surfactant reads: "a substance that tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved". For the purposes of our discussion, we identify sodium lauryl sulfate as a detergent, rather than a soap. Detergents do not fail…
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Detergent in My Toothpaste? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

What is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)? It sounds unbelievable, but it is detergent. I once wrote an article on the chemical difference between soap and detergent. That article discusses the chemical differences between soap and detergent. What is really curious is their end uses, their applications. For instance, did you know detergent is among the most prevalent ingredients in your toothpaste? Yes, uou put detergent in your mouth almost every morning! The most common frequently used of these toothpaste detergents is sodium lauryl sulfate (or sodium dodecyl sulfate). This anionic surfactant is what produces the foaming effect in the mouth. Yum! Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - There's More It’s not what it does so much as just the idea that we purposely put detergent in our mouths one or more times…
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