What Is the Chemical Formula for Detergent?

Detergent is an emulsifying agent that is scientifically referred to as sodium dodecyl benzene sulphonate and has a chemical formula of C18H29NaO3S. This chemical compound has an incredible foaming ability, and can be easily compounded with various other additives. Detergents are effective because they have an amphipathic structure, which means that one side of the compound is hydrophobic and will avoid water while the other side of the compound is hydrophilic and will easily attach to water.

The hydrophobic region of the detergent will easily react and attract other molecules that are present in its surrounding environment; thus, causing it to clump to the detergent while the hydrophilic region of the detergent ensures that the entire compound, along with the attracted particles, can be easily carried away with water.

Due to the amphipathic nature of detergent molecules, detergents can be used for a variety of different cleaning purposes. It has also been recommended or degreasing leather since the hydrophobic regions will easily attract grease and other fatty molecules, which are made up of a primarily carbon tail.

Although similar to soap, detergents are actually quite different. Soaps are made from natural resources like fats and oils while detergents are synthetically made. In addition, detergents feature sodium salts.