English English Nederlands Nederlands Deutsch Deutsch Italiano Italiano Español Español Français Français 简体中文 简体中文 Português Português Русский Русский
    DetailingWiki Newsletter
    Get free and automatic updates on new articles
    We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!

    Advertisement

What are surfactants

Written by:

Surfactants are additives for certain products to lower the surface tension of a liquid. This helps the liquid to mix and combine with another substance, making it easier to combine a mixture of several (types of) substances. This acts as an emulsion, wetting-agent, detergent, foaming agent and/or dispersants. Surfactants combine hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties, which allows them to interact with both types.

Why the need for surfactants

There are several reasons why surfactants have a definitive place in detailing. Lets say you want to combine 2 liquids, but they don’t mix very well – such as water and oil. A surfactant can act as an emulsifier, and make it possible to mix oil and water, to form one emulsion. This is often used to create QD’s.
The same principle applies for cleaning. When you wash your car, the shampoo/water mixture comes into contact with dust, dirt and other contaminants. The surfactants make it possible for the water to mix with these contaminants. This forms a water/shampoo/dirt mixture. Seeing as the water is more easy to safely remove (just rinsing is enough), the dirt is “washed” away along with the rest of the water. Without a surfactant, the water wouldn’t mix with the contaminant, and it would be very difficult to remove it safely and easily.

Are surfactants dangerous or bad

Surfactants are needed in many products. In wax it can help to combine oils that might be difficult to combine, in shampoo it helps to increase the cleaning power, foam and water solubility, in snowfoam it helps to foam, in polish it helps to mix different ingredients to a stable mixture. In fact, surfactants are very common in everyday life as well. Many cleaning products make use of surfactants to perform better at cleaning. A surfactant should not have a negative effect on a protective product, but it does have an effect on products like glazes and polishes.

Different related articles

  • Why is a proper washing technique important
    Guides
    Millions of people wash their car using a sponge. But if you read the threads on this forum you will see that hardly any members are washing their cars using a traditional sponge. Why is that? It all comes down to the flat face of the sponge. Imagine automotive paintwork with your typical dirt and grit particles stuck on the top of the paint, that you want to wash off to reveal your car's shine. Some of these dirt particles are sharp....
  • Wolf’s Chemicals
    Manufacturers
    Wolf's Chemicals is an Hungarian company that manufacturers and sells detailing products. The range varies from wax and sealants to cleaners, shampoo and dressing. Although the headquarters is based in Hungary, Wolf's Chemicals is being sold in several countries in Europe and Asia....
  • Killerwaxx
    Manufacturers
    Killerwaxx is an American manufacturer of detailing products. The company is located in California and its main audience is in the USA, with a smaller focus on Asia. ...
  • How to use a pressure washer
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    Using a pressure washer to clean your car isn't difficult, but it helps to keep certain practices in mind to prevent any problem. A pressure washer isn't always mandatory, but it could help to speeds up the process....
  • Zymöl
    Manufacturers
    Zymöl is a manufacturer of different car care product and is located in America. The history and links with the Swissvax company has caused for some problems in the past. Zymöl products are generally aimed at varies parts of the detailing process....
  • The weekend warrior explained
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    The expression "weekend warrior" is a common term used on social media and fora when detailing is discussed. It's not very clear who come up with the expression, but it's been around for a while. It's a informal way of describing a person who only irregularly details as a hobby. Most of the time this is done in weekends because most people have 2 days off....

Links to this article

There are no external links to this article. Yet.
Sidebar



Stay up to date with our free newsletter
Always be the first to know about new updates, articles and other informative content.
Don't miss out, opt in!
We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!