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 is an emulsion

Written by:

An emulsion is a mixture of water and oil. These 2 substances don’t mix without a third substance to bind them together. To create an emulsion you need an emulsifier. Soap is a good example of an emulsifier.

Why do you need an emulsion

In some cases, oil has certain characteristics that you want to use, but water also has some useful properties. If you want to combine these you will need something that holds them together. This third party would be an emulsion. The mixture you end up with is reffered to as an emulsion.
Oils are naturally hydrophobic, meaning they act as if they repell water. When oil molecules come into contact with water molecules, the molecules will not mix with each other. An emulsion is another substance that is both hydrophobic and hydrophilic. This gives it the capacity to cling to the oil molecule and also with the water molecule. The hydrophobic head will stick to the oil, the hydrophilic tail will stick to the water. This creates 2 different molecules, sticking together thanks to the emlusifier.

When do you need an emulsion

An emulsion can be usefull for several reasons. A cleaner is a good example. When you want to wash your dishes, you need to remove oil and other grim from the plates and pans. This means that the water has to be capable of mixing with the water, otherwise it will still be very difficult to remove. Soap turns water with a high surface tension into a solution with a very low surface tension, making it capable to interact will hydrophobic molecules. The emulsifier in the soap will make it possible for the water molecules to cling to the oil molecules, creating an emulsion of grease and water.
Another popular formulation for an emulsion is a quick detailer. Many QD’s are emulsion of wax, oils and a water-like carrier. This basis makes it very easy to dilute the QD, and thus making it easier to create a concentrated version of the product, which is more economical and favorable for the customer. QD’s carry a mixture that is similar to paste wax, but thinner and with less wax-like ingredients.

Downside of emulsions

An emulsion has the property that it lowers the surface tension of the water and often turns it slightly cloudy. For cases in which it is (cosmetically) needed/wanted to have a perfectly clear liquid, it can be difficult to achieve this with enough emulsifier in the mixture. The lowered surface energy might also mean that the emulsion creates more wetting, which might not always be wanted.

Popular examples of emulsions

There are many examples of emulsions in our daily life.

  • Any form of soap, like detergent of dishwashing liquid
  • An egg used to combine butter, milk and flower
  • Shampoo
  • Alcohol when used to clean with
  • Creams and lotions
  • Mayonaise

Different related articles

  • How to wash your car in the winter
    Guides
    Winter is season in the year that makes cleaning cars more difficult, and more important. The amount of dirt you accumulate will increase greatly, but cleaning it off will become more difficult. This article aims at giving you the pointers, tips and tricks to make it easier for you....
  • WOWO’s
    Manufacturers
    WOWO's is a brand of detailing products from Glasgow, United Kingdom. The brand makes and sells detailing products varying from waxes to shampoo and other cleaners. WOWO's is fairly unique in that it is almost a one-man operation....
  • Gliptone
    Manufacturers
    Gliptone is an New York, America, based manufacturer of automotive detailing products that has a small range of products. They focus their attention on quality instead of quantity, something that has helped to give them the reputation for delivering high-quality products....
  • Bowden’s own
    Manufacturers
    Bowden's Own is an Australian manufacturer of detailing products and offers guides, hosts events and offers a wide range of information regarding detailing in general. The company is one of a few manufacturers from Australia. ...
  • What is a touchless wash
    Decontaminating
    A touchless wash is type of cleaning method that cleans via chemical cleaning, and doesn't require any mechanical action. This method is popular for those we are afraid that contact with the surface might cause abrasive marks. Whether touchless washing gives the same results is still a popular topic for debate....
  • The best snowfoam
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    It is often asked on detailing fora and social media: "what is the best snowfoam". Off course there is a difference between certain products and brands, but it is important to know what you are asking. In this guide I will try to explain what the problem is with this question unless it is asked more in-depth....

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!