he ability to clean or remove soil.

Generally detergency is associated with the action of a cleaning agent such as soap , detergent , alkaline salt, or a combination of these.  In the context of consumer cleaning products, especially those designed for washing clothes and dishes, detergency can be described as the removal of soil by employing one or more of the following mechanisms (generally in conjunction with mechanical action):
  • Lowering surface and interfacial tensions
  • Solubilization of soils
  • Emulsification of soils
  • Suspension/dispersion of removed soils
  • Saponification of fatty soils and enzymatic digestion of protein-based soils
  • Inactivation of water hardness
  • Neutralization of acid soils