In cleaning, surfactants – short for surface active agents – are a group of chemicals that change how water behaves, so that we can clean more effectively and efficiently. Surfactants reduce water’s surface tension, meaning that droplets won’t simply bead up on countertops, clothes, and dishes, but will spread out to wet the entire surface of what we’re trying to clean.
The Get the Dirt game on the home page of ExplorationClean shows how different surfactants target different types of grime. And kids can check out this video for more. What can we say? It’s pretty darn cool.