One of the strongest
industrial areas that involves chemistry is the area of cleaning. Any
time that cleaning, sanitizing, paint removal, de-inking cleaners, paint
removal is required, there is a good chance that chemicals are involved.
Cleaning chemistry requires a very high degree of practical and
theoretical knowledge about surfactants.
Good examples of cleaning
chemistry are: 1) dry cleaning, 2) hand soap, 3) hair cleaners, 4)
moisturizers, 5) beautifying agents (lipstick, mascara, etc), 6)
automotive cleaners 7) paint removal, 8) metal preparation for paint, 9)
dye removal and more.
A good example of
cleaning chemistry is with a bar of common hand soap. Lets say
that your hands get dirty with motor oil. You walk over to the
sink and turn on the water in an attempt to remove the oil from your
hands. You vigorously rub your hands together, but almost no oil
is removed from your hands. This same exercise is repeated with
the addition of soap. Voila, your hands are now clean!
How did the soap clean
your hands? Most people understand that oil and water do not mix.
Soap enables the oil and water to mix so that the oil can be removed
from your hands. This phenomenon can be explained chemically in
this manner. Each molecule of soap has a hydrophillic
(water-attracting) end and a hydrophobic (water-repelling) chain.
The hydrophillic end attracts water, and the hydrophobic end attracts
oil to form micelles of oil. These micelles formed an oil-in-water
emulsion which are then removed via the drain.