What Is a Neutral Detergent?

According to the U.S. General Services Administration, neutral detergents are detergents created with strong alkalis and weak acids. Neutral detergents are also called “anionic detergents.”

Neutral detergents are the most common soapless detergent. Most neutral detergents are alkylbenzenesulfonates, using hydrogen fluoride as a catalyst. Despite being largely nonbiodegradable, about 13 billion pounds of neutral detergents are produced every year for domestic markets.

Neutral detergents are popular because they do not affect pigments, such as those present in floor coverings, and can be used on waxed floors without stripping the wax off. They are very effective in removing dirt and soil, with greater dirt-carrying capacity than other detergents.