The ion charge order of surfactants

HenryHenry Member
edited June 22 in Formulating
I was told that anionic surfactants may have their order of addition by their anionic charge for a shampoo.  what does that mean and how do I determine the charge and the addition rank?


  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    @Henry that dictum applies whenever you are building a conditioning shampoo with cationic materials or when employing an acrylate copolymer thickener. Otherwise you can add in any order you like, there is not much difference in zeta potential so much as there is in activity levels.

  • HenryHenry Member
    @chemicalmatt --thank you... I am still confused. is there a rule of thumb about order of addition for shampoos. and with  acrylate copolymer.  
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    That will be formula dependent @Henry. If no cationics are present,then add your anionics (e.g. SLES, Na sarcosinates, etc.) first, then nonionics, amphoterics, builders. When using multiple anionics, add the least soluble one first (i.e. sarcosinates).

  • HenryHenry Member
    If I had cationics…. with anionic surfactants....I should add those last?  Thank you again.
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