The term detergent is used to describe both the basic surface active agents and finished products.

The finished products are synthesized chemically from a variety of raw materials derived from petroleum, fatty acids , and other sources. They may also contain ingredients such as builders, antiredeposition agents, corrosion inhibitors, suds control agents, enzymes, fabric softeners, fluorescent whitening agents, sodium sulfate, water , alcohols, hydrotropes, colorants, fragrances , and opacifiers.   Detergent ingredients vary with the types of products, which include light duty detergents, heavy duty detergents, hard surface cleaners, automatic dishwasher detergents, and cleansers . The finished product comes in a number of forms, such as granules, liquids, and crystals.