Glossary

Wetting agent

11.16.21

A compound that increases the ability and speed with which a liquid displaces air from a solid surface, thus improving the process of wetting that surface.

Wetting agents are all surfactants. They function by lowering surface and interfacial tension.   Soap and detergent surfactants serve as wetting agents in washing products, in addition to their other functions.  In automatic dishwashing, nonionic surfactants are sometimes introduced into the last rinse for the purpose of maximizing drainage of water from dishes and utensils.