0 Cart - $0

What Are Surfactants?

Posted by Arlene Muzquiz on 10/27/2016

What are Surfactants?


A surfactant is a substance that reduces surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved. Here is a great illustrated video to explain how surface tension works in water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jftkF5e6jY So how do surfactants work when introduced to water (H20)? Surfactants work by holding oils and dirt in the suspension of the bubbles using hydrophobic tails that attract the oil and hydrophilic parts that are attracted to water. When the bubbles are rinsed out, the dirt and oil rinse as well because they are attached to the surfactants. This is the basic principle behind shampoos.



           SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) are sulfates. Sulfates are a combination of sulfur and oxygen, which are a part of naturally occurring minerals. SLS and SLES both lower the surface tension of water, reducing the amount of work needed to create the foam and increasing the stability of the bubbles that are within it. Sulfates are the surfactants used in shampoos. SLES is a refined version of SLS. To make SLES less irritating, it’s ethoxylated, resulting in the modified compound of SLS.



The two main kinds of cleansers are sulfates and non-sulfates. You can still have a cleaning agent in a shampoo without it being a sulfate rather an organic compound, which are olefins or alkenes. Alpha olefins are excellent intermediates for producing alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS) surfactants. These surfactants provide outstanding detergency, high compatibility with hard water, and good wetting and foaming properties. AOS is known free of skin irritants and sensitizers, and it biodegrades rapidly. It is used in high-quality shampoos, light-duty liquid detergents, bubble baths.

When choosing your products know your facts and select a product line that works for you and your loved one. At Pure Paws we are always available to answer your questions.
www.PurePaws.net or www.Facebook.com/PurePaws  or  www.Facebook.com/PurePawsFamily

Check out our  Sulfate Free Line  !




P. (2013, September 04). What causes Surface Tension? Retrieved October 27, 2016, from


"Surfactants.." Andriantoangkadirjo85s Blog. N.p., 07 June 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

Add Comment

Browse By Category
Browse By Price
New Releases
Top Sellers
Earn Rewards!