Allie Woodle

What is a surfactant?

A surfactant is used to lower the surface tension on a liquid. This allows for easier spreading. For example, pure water sticks together due to their strong ability to bond to each other through Hydrogen Bonds. When you add a surfactant, like soap, the water does not stick together anymore. This is because the soap lowered the surface tension and broke the hydrogen bonds of the water.

Other Examples of Surfactants

Laundry detergent is another example of a surfactant. The detergent lowers the waters ability to stick together so that it will flow all the way through your clothes instead of just cleaning the out side. The surfactant used in the detergent also collects dirt and grease on the clothes and dissolves them.

Snowboard wax is also an example of a surfactant. The wax breaks up the water that flies onto the board while snow boarding. This allows the snowboarder to have better control and safety. With out to wax working as a surfactant on the water, the board would be slippery and dangerous to ride.