The Ultimate Guide to SLES

January 13, 2021

Sodium laureth sulfate is a white, sometimes yellowish paste or liquid used in several personal care and cleaning products as a detergent and surfactant since it is a very effective foaming agent.

SLES is a chemical surfactant that is made of a hydrocarbon chain bound to an alkali-bonded acid (sulphuric). A surfactant is a chemical compound that reduces the tension between two materials on the surface. It makes things slippery in super simple terms.

 The primary reason Sodium laureth sulfate is used as a degreaser for cleaning items is because of its slippery properties. This means it will break down fats and grease so that they are washed away quickly.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a compound formulated to do the purpose of cleanser which is the original surfactant. Initially, SLS was developed as a synthetic washing powder detergent as it has excellent degreasing characteristics.

Ultimately sodium Laureth sulfate should not be confused with sodium lauryl sulfate. Both of them are different chemicals. Sodium Laureth sulphate, however, is usually made from sodium lauryl sulfate.

How Does it Work?

Sodium laureth sulfate works in diverse ways, it as a cleaner, degrease at the same time a foamer. So, if you use a product that produces lots of suds, bubbles, or foam, it might contain SLES. SLES is somewhat gentler on the skin than SLS, but it's cleansing and degreasing properties are very similar to SLS. SLES is a much less harsh SLS variant. 

Uses and Benefits of Sodium Laureth Sulfate 

Personal Care Products

Since the 1930s, SLES has been an ingredient in shampoos. It acts as a surfactant, coating the hair with oil and dirt so that it can scrub away with water. In products such as body and hand washing, facial cleansers, bubbles, and efficient foaming agent, SLES can help produce a rich lather. Similarly, in toothpaste, SLES helps create foaming action and extract food particles from the teeth.

Cleaning Products

SLES 70 is an effective surfactant used to remove sticky stains and traces, such as food stains on carpets, from household cleaning items. SLES is also an ingredient in many industrial cleaning products, such as engine degreasers and industrial strength detergents, due to its capacity to break down oil and grease.

Food Additive

Sodium laureth sulfate is used as a food additive, an emulsifier, or a thickener. SLES, for instance, helps make light and fluffy marshmallows and dried egg products. SLES also helps acids, such as fruit juices and kicks, to blend better with liquids.

More Applications of Sodium Laureth Sulfate 

Sodium laureth sulfate is not only limited to cleaning uses it can also be used in many personal care items, such as shampoos, face cleansers, make-up removers, soaps, body washes, bubble baths, and even toothpaste. 

Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulphate are the primary and most essential cleansers, and they can generate plenty of foam. That is why they are also used in shaving creams.


Other Related Blogs