Glossary

Anionic surfactant

11.16.21

A surfactant usually (but not always) derived from an aliphatic hydrocarbon and most commonly in the form of a sodium salt

A surfactant usually (but not always) derived from an aliphatic hydrocarbon and most commonly in the form of a sodium salt, in which detergency and other properties depend in part on the negatively charged anion of the molecule; hence the name anionic.  The negative charge, which the hydrophilic portion of anionic surfactants carries when in Water , can be partially deactivated by interaction with the positively charged water hardness (calcium and magnesium) ions. These surfactants are particularly effective at oily soil cleaning and clay soil suspension, but they need help from other ingredients to reduce the effects of water hardness ions. The surfactants most widely used in the detergent industry are anionic, and these are usually high sudsing . Linear alkylate sulfonate is the most commonly used anionic surfactant . Others include alkane sulfonate, alkyl ethoxylate sulfate, alkyl glyceryl sulfonate, alkyl sulfate , and alpha olefin sulfonate.