Lifestyle Chemistry Syllabus Dot Points

Lifestyle Chemistry
*Identify that soaps and detergents are emulsifying agent and surfactants
Soaps and detergents are emulsifying agents because they assist two immiscible substances, such as oil and water, to mix. Soaps and detergents allow oil to disperse in water.
Soaps and detergents are surfactants because they act at the surfaces between two immiscible substances, such as oil and water.


  * Surfactants prepared from sulphuric acid and petro chemicals, also called soap less detergents are more versatile cleaning products because they can be adapted to perform well under a variety of conditions, are less affected by water hardness (therefore lathering more easily) and doesn’t form scums. Over the years, different substances were added to detergents to make it more effective. Phosphate compounds as builders helped the detergent to work more efficiently, therefore being able to be used to wash heavily soiled laundry. Enzymes were added to break down blood and other protein stains and solvent-based pre-wash stain removers developed.


  * Also called soapy detergent.
  * Good cleaning agent but soap molecules are not very versatile and cannot be adapted to today’s rang of fibres, washing temp and water conditions.
  * Effectiveness of soap is reduced in hard water – water which contains a high level of calcium and magnesium salts. Hard water and soap produces insoluble soap scum and make the soap difficult to lather. Soap scum leaves visible deposits on clothes and attaches to the insides of baths and sinks.

*Explain why cleaning agents must be surfactants and emulsifiers

  * Cleaning agents must be surfactants because they interact at the interface between two immiscible substances, creating an emulsion.
  * Cleaning agents must be emulsifiers because they maintain the emulsion. They act as emulsifying agents by causing the drops of oil to break up and remain suspended in the water. This means that the grease or oil...