The Ultimate Laundry Detergent Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

There is nothing like putting on a freshly laundered garment after a refreshing shower. What exactly goes on when your clothes are swirling about in the washing machine? The answer lies in the powers of laundry detergent. Take this quiz to learn why.

How many loads of laundry does the average American household do a year?

According to The Wall Street Journal, the average American household does about 300 loads of laundry a year.

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When did the first laundry detergent hit the market?

Procter and Gamble introduced the first laundry detergent in the 1930s, called Dreft. In 1943, they launched Tide, which took on even tougher stains.

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What did people use to clean their clothes before laundry detergent was first produced?

Before the first laundry detergent was introduced, people used soap flakes. Laundry detergents are more effective at cleaning clothes, because of their unique chemical ingredients.

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What does surfactant stand for?

Surfactant stands for a surface active agent, which means it is a chemical able to connect to two different types of molecules at the same time. This explains its ability to clean; one side attaches to the dirt and the other to water, pulling the dirt away from the material.

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How many types of surfactants are there?

There are four types of surfactants: anionic, nonionic, cationic and amphoteric or zwitterionic.

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What is more effective for removing mites and mite allergens from clothing?

When it comes to removing mites and mite allergens, water is just as effective as laundry detergent, because mites are water soluble. This is good news for allergy sufferers who are also sensitive to chemicals.

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What is a disadvantage of using soap?

Soap is also a surfactant, but it leaves a residue; dulling colors, graying whites and leaving a ring of scum around the washing machine.

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What type of surfactant is best used in hard water?

Nonionic surfactants are best used in hard water, because they have no charge and so will not bind to the positively charged calcium and magnesium in hard water, rather than dirt and grease.

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What is an example of a builder?

A builder is added to detergent to neutralize chemicals contained in hard water, like magnesium and calcium. Sodium tripolyphosphate is an example of a builder.

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What makes clothing appear whiter and brighter?

Bleach, which contains peroxide, is a commonly used whitener. Fluorescent whiteners are also used, which absorb ultraviolet light and emit blue light, making clothing look whiter and brighter.

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What is the function of proteases?

Enzymes are added to laundry detergent to act in the same way they act in the body -- to break down food particles. Proteases break down protein, lipases break down fat and amylases break down starch.

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What filler is used in powder detergents?

Sodium sulphate is the filler which gives powder its grainy texture. Liquid detergents use water as a filler.

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What is more effective, a powder or liquid?

Which laundry detergent to use is a matter of preference. Powders and liquids are equally effective.

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Why do clothes get worn out from being washed?

It is debatable whether the chemicals in laundry detergents break down the fabric. More likely, it is the rubbing of the clothes against one and other during the agitation cycle that deteriorates the fabric.

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What is an advantage of laundry powder over laundry liquid?

Laundry powder is cheaper than laundry detergent; it also comes in cardboard boxes, making it more environmentally friendly.

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What is an advantage of laundry liquid over laundry powder?

Laundry liquid contains less chemicals than powder, because it uses water as a filler, rather than sodium sulphate.

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What is the carbon footprint of laundry detergent per year?

Carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide produced when manufacturing, shipping and using a product. It is estimated that the carbon footprint for laundry detergent for the average American family is 480 pounds a year.

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How much energy is used to heat up the water in your washing machine?

From 80 to 85 percent of the energy used to do a load of laundry goes to heating up the water. If you use a detergent that works well in cold water, you will be saving a lot on your electricity bills.

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Why are concentrated formulas better for the environment?

Concentrated formulas are better for the environment, because they use less resources like water for production, plastic for packaging and gasoline for transportation.

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What chemical do green laundry detergents usually not contain?

Green laundry detergents usually don't contain phosphates, perfumes or dyes and are usually biodegradable.

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