How does the addition of detergent 2 water affect its surface tension?


Detergents such as liquid soap, dish detergent, or laundry detergent will all lower surface tension. When an object is on the surface of the fluid, the surface under tension will behave like an elastic membrane & balance out the weight of the object.

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Surface tension is a contractive tendency of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force. It is revealed, for example, in the floating of some objects on the surface of water, even though they are denser than water, and in the ability of some insects (e.g. water striders) to run on the water surface. This property is caused by cohesion of similar molecules, and is responsible for many of the behaviors of liquids.

Surface tension has the dimension of force per unit length, or of energy per unit area. The two are equivalent—but when referring to energy per unit of area, people use the term surface energy—which is a more general term in the sense that it applies also to solids and not just liquids.


Laundry detergent, or washing powder, is a type of detergent (cleaning agent) that is added for cleaning laundry. In common usage, "detergent" refers to mixtures of chemical compounds including alkylbenzenesulfonates, which are similar to soap but are less affected by hard water. In most household contexts, the term detergent refers to laundry detergent vs hand soap or other types of cleaning agents. Most detergent is delivered in powdered form.

From ancient times, chemical additives were recognized for their ability to facilitate the mechanical washing with water. The Italians used a mix of sulfur and water with charcoal to clean cloth. Egyptians added ashes and silicates to soften water. Soaps were the first detergents. The detergent effects of certain synthetic surfactants were noted in Germany in 1917, in response to shortages of soap during World War I. In the 1930s, commercially viable routes to fatty alcohols were developed, and these new materials were converted to their sulfate esters, key ingredients in the commercially important German brand FEWA, produced by BASF, and Dreft, the US brand produced by Procter and Gamble. Such detergents were mainly used in industry until after World War II. By then, new developments and the later conversion of aviation fuel plants to produce tetrapropylene, used in household detergents, caused a fast growth of domestic use in the late 1940s.

Liquid Surf Soap Dishwasher

A laundry ball or washing ball is a product that is promoted as a substitute for laundry detergent. Producers of laundry balls usually make pseudoscientific claims about how these balls work and exaggerate the extent of their benefits. The product is often sold in home shopping or by participants in multilevel marketing schemes.

While many people report that these balls work, the results are similar to or less effective than washing in water without any detergent. Most of the effect can be attributed to the mechanical effect of the ball or to using hot water instead of cold water. The Federal Trade Commission has taken action against some of the manufacturers of these products because of their misleading claims.

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