Glossary

Cationic surfactant

11.16.21

A surfactant with a positively charged ionic group.

The most commonly used cationic surfactants are known as quaternary ammonium compounds , such as alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. Some are widely used in disinfecting/sanitizing household and bathroom cleaners.  Others are active ingredients in wash/rinse/dryer fabric softeners.  Alone they are not effective cleaners but may be part of a complex surfactant system.