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surfactants and active washing substance

Surfactants are divided into four classes: anionic, non-ionic, cationic, ampholytic.
1 -Anionics: with negative charge. these are ionic surfactants, having a terminal with a negative electrical charge. They are carboxylates, sulfonates, sulphates, various which constitute on average 30% of the total.
2 -Cationic: positively charged (that is why incompatible with anionics) are ionic surfactants with positive charge. So they have opposite characteristics compared to anionics. Cationics are not used as detergents, because they do not actually wash and do not foam. The most appropriate use is the "conditioning" one Compared to primaries (sulfates) they are generally less detergents and viscosize less
3 -Amphoters: with both charges, ionic surfactants with positive and negative electrocharges, able to behave as cationic or anionic depending on the pH of the solution.
4 -Non-ionic: without charge, non-ionic surfactants: also called secondary or improving. They are characterized by a molecule without charges, neutral.

SAL is the percentage active washing substance contained in a detergent.

A detergent is composed of:
- a primary surfactant, which has the primary function of washing
- a secondary surfactant whose function is to make the former less aggressive
- other surfactants for foaming, density, etc.

Usually the primary surfactant is anionic or non-ionic and has a strong washing power as well as a thickener,
the secondary surfactant is usually an amphoteric or betaine,
other additional surfactants are usually those that alone would not thicken and would not make enough foam or on the contrary very thick and aggressive and which then are added to reinforce a recipe that is too delicate.

Before deciding the composition of my detergent, I have to study the characteristics of surfactants and decide how many gr. of every surfactant I want to put, depending on whether my detergent should be foamy, dense, very clean, etc.etc.
I must also understand what will be the primary surfactant and which secondary.

What detergent do I want to prepare? A bubble bath, a shampoo, a face cleanser?
Depending on the type of detergent, the percentages of ACTIVE WORKING SUBSTANCE change, for example:

intimate cleansers 10%
shampoo 10-15%
bath-shower 18-20%
bath foam 20-25%

When a detergent has to be formulated, the SAL of each surfactant that we are going to use must be known; in this way we can calculate the final SAL of our detergent without problems.


sodium cocopolyglucose tartrate 30

disodium cocopolyglucose citrate 30

disodium cocoamphodiacetate 36.2

lauryl glucoside & cocamidopropyl betaine 43

disodium cocopolyglucose sulfocinate 45

coco-glucoside & glycol distearate & glycerin 10/20

sodium cocoyl hydrolysed wheat protein 28 / 28.4

sodium lauroyl sarcosinate 29 / 29.1

sodium lauroyl sarcosinate 29/31

cocamidopropyl betaine 29/32

coco betaine 29/33

cocamidopropyl betaine 36

disodium cocoyl glutamate 34/38

sodium lauroyl glutamate 36/40

disodium cocoamphodiacetate 40

 lauryl glucoside 52

coco-glucoside 51/53

decyl glucoside 62/65

caprylyl / capryl glucoside 62/65

coco-glucoside & glyceryl oleate 50/55

disodium Laurethsulfosuccinate 35

sodium laureth sulfate 29

coco glucoside + glyceryl oleate 50/55

babassuadomipropylbetaine 35/38

Coco glucoside and Glyceryl oleate, 52.5

lauryl glucoside 51.5

Decyl glucoside 62/65

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