Detergent Meaning

By | September 11, 2022

A detergent is a substance that is used to clean as it has properties that allow it to remove dirt without affecting the material subjected to the cleaning process.

The notion of detergent, therefore, allows us to name a type of product that is marketed so that people can remove dirt from dishes, cutlery, glasses and other utensils and objects. For example: “How do you want me to wash the dishes if there is no more detergent left?”, “This morning, at the supermarket, I bought a lemon-scented detergent”, “I recommend that you use more detergent: otherwise you will not be able to remove the grease from the dish”.

As an adjective, detergent is that which cleanses. The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines this verb as the action of cleaning something without causing corrosion. This means that various classes of substances can be framed within the group of detergents according to the material to be cleaned.

Suppose a person smears ink on his hand. If you apply a little saliva to your stained fingers and rub to remove the ink, you will have used the saliva as a detergent. It is likely that this action will allow you to dissolve and erase traces of ink on your hand, without causing any damage to the skin.

In short, we can talk about different kinds of detergent according to their purpose. There are laundry detergents, dish detergents , cement detergents, etc. It is also possible to find liquid and powder detergents and in other presentations. See Abbreviation Finder for acronyms related to detergent.

Although the most common are the ones we use in the kitchen and for clothes, there are several types with well-defined names. Let’s start by talking in detail about liquid detergents, the best known and the ones with the greatest variety on the market. In general, they are marketed in sizes that facilitate their handling, in addition to having a dispenser adapted to their application.

The liquid detergent can also be made with different consistencies and aromas, in addition to including certain components that are ideal for treating the surfaces that are intended to be cleaned. Focusing on the one used for clothes, one difference it has with powder detergent, which we will talk about next, is that it disperses in less time when the washing machine starts up. In addition, it gives better results with low temperature water.

With regard to powdered detergent, it is interesting to note that it was the first to hit the market for treating clothes. While the liquid is more suitable for removing stains from liquid products, such as oils and sauces, the powder works better against traces of coarse particles, such as grass or dirt, among others. When using a machine, powdered detergent is more “insistent” because it moves from one side of the fabric to the other until the dirt comes off.

Before the invention of washing machines, this task was done by hand, with soaps or detergents, and using tools such as a board to scrub the clothes before rinsing them. Currently only a minority wash their clothes in this way, since washers and dryers offer us considerable time and effort savings. On the other hand, there is a risk that it will wear out more.

Something similar happens with crockery, saving the issue of deterioration: dishwashers are becoming more and more common, because they allow us to stop worrying about the tedious task of washing dishes after meals. However, they entail a non-existent electrical cost when doing it by hand and the purchase of specific detergents, instead of using the cheapest ones.