What Are Surfactants?


The chemical compounds that work on the surface of a liquid and reduce its surface tension are called surfactants. In simple words we can say that surfactants are those chemicals that increase surface area of a liquid and enhance its wettability by reducing its surface tension. E.g. Synthetic detergents and soaps etc. Almost all the synthetic detergents act as surfactants. They diminish the surface tension of water and help in deep penetration of water molecules in oil, grease and dirt particles present in dirty clothes. Thus surfactats help in dissolution and removal of oil, grease and dirt particles from dirty clothes.