Science

Difference between soap and detergent

Are soap and detergent the same? Although they perform the same function, they are not the same. Below, we explain each term and its main differences.

What is soap?

Soap is soluble in water and is a chemical product composed of alkali and fats. It is frequently used to wash some objects and for personal use. It is found in different presentations such as liquid, cream, powder and pills.

What causes the cleansing action of soap? It is a sodium or potassium salt that results from the chemical reaction between an alkali such as potassium or sodium hydroxide and a lipid. The reaction that causes this composition is known as saponification. As for the lipid, it can be of animal or vegetable origin.

Some data reveal that its origin was in Italy. In Monte Sapo, near Rome, it is said that there were animal sacrifices, their ashes and fat were dragged to the river, there the slaves wash their masters’ clothes by hand.

It was there that they discovered that soapy water washed clothes better than water without any component. It is believed that soap production began then. Even so, there are discoveries that reveal that soap was created in Babylon in 2800 BC

Soap can clean grease when water is present because it is soluble in both compounds. Generally speaking, soap wets grease and dissolves it in water.

What is detergent?

Chemical substance that dissolves dirt and impurities from an object without the need for grinding or pressing. A detergent is considered to be any substance that cleans a surface or dissolves another substance.

Why are detergents superior to soaps? A detergent is composed of sodium substituted benzene sulfonate, called linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS). It begins by wetting the surface of the object and ends by removing any residue of food or dirt.

Difference Between Soap and Detergent

  • What advantages does detergent have over soap? Soaps have certain properties in common with detergents. Tensoactivity is what differentiates one from the other, it is this property that allows them to dissolve fat in water. This allows you to emulsify a substance insoluble in water.
  • Manufacture of soaps and detergents: The detergent consists of a mixture of surfactants and other substances such as silicates, perborates, polyphosphates, foams, carbonates, dyes and even perfumes. Soap, in its chemical composition is simpler.

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