A common non-ionic surfactant type includes alcohol ethoxylates, which consist of a chain anywhere from eight to 18 carbon and a polar head consisting of an ethylene oxide chain and an alcohol group. Octaethylene glycol monododecyl ether and pentaethylene glycol monododecyl ether are examples of an alcohol ethoxylate.
Other non-ionic surfactants include long chain alcohols, such as cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohols, glyceryl laurate, polysorbate and cocamide MEA and cocamide DEA. Non-ionic surfactants consist of a tail that contains no charge, van der Waals forces that attract grease molecules and a polar head. Surfactants are often used in cleaning products because they decrease the surface tension of water and prevent dirt and oily soils from redepositing on the object they are cleaning.