Anionic detergent

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A class of synthetic, water-soluble, detergents that are most commonly used as surfactants. In anionic detergents, the hydrophilic portion of the molecule carries a negative charge. They contain anion groups (sulfate, sulfonates, or phosphates) combined with an alkali or an ammonium cation and a long-chain hydrocarbon. Examples are soap, linear sodium alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS), linear alkyl sulfate and linear alkyl ethoxy sulfate. Anionic detergents act as a wetting agents, but will precipitate when combined with cationic surfactants. They generally form alkaline solutions and thus, should not be used on wool.

Synonyms and Related Terms


Resources and Citations

  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985