Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Advanced Questions Does increasing the size of micelles increase the cleaning power of cleansers?

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  • Does increasing the size of micelles increase the cleaning power of cleansers?

    Posted by Abdullah on May 9, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    NACL increases the size of micelles in cleansing products. Does this increase in size mean it will solubilize and remove more soil compared to smaller micelle size? 

    For example 

    If we compare a and b.

    A has active surfactants
    6% SLES

    1% CAPB
    1% APG

    B has active surfactants

    6% SLES
    1% CAPB
    1% APG
    3% NACL

    Does it mean formula B will have more cleaning power because of bigger micceles by NACL?

    Abdullah replied 2 years, 1 month ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Pharma

    Member
    May 10, 2022 at 7:37 am

    No. Salt only changes the stock solution, not the actual product (which is diluted with lots of water). Also, micelle size does not correlate with cleaning power.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    May 10, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    @Pharma sorry i couldn’t understand this part ????

    In a Shampoo, what is the stock solution and what is the actual product? 
  • Pharma

    Member
    May 11, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    The stock solution would be what’s in your bottle, the ‘actual cleansing product’ is shampoo and water on your hair ;) .

  • Abdullah

    Member
    May 13, 2022 at 12:52 am

    @Pharma thanks 

    So is the only way to increase miccele size to mix non-ionic and amphoteric surfactant with anionic surfactant or mixing different several anionic surfactants like SLS+SLES also increases miccele size? 

  • ketchito

    Member
    May 13, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    @Abdullah I know the question is for @Pharma, but I couldn’t resist to comment. Things that make micelles grow when you’re initially using an anionic surfactant are anything that can give some space between the ionic heads, so they are not too close to each other and repel. For that, you can add either amphoteric or non ionic surfactants, which alternate with the anionic to give mixed micelles. Another wat to do that is by adding small alcohols which work as spacers. Salt can also make micelles grow by providing counter ions to reduce the negative charge of anionic surfactants.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    May 13, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    @ketchito thanks for explanation.

    What about mixing two anionic surfactants?

    And can you name some small alcohols? 

  • ketchito

    Member
    May 16, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    @Abdullah Usually, mixing two anionics has no benefit over mixing one of them with a zwitterionic or non ionic. The exception is the mixture of SLES and LABS, where you have a spacer in the SLES molecule (the ethoxylated part), wich makes the LABSA interact differently with it. At the end, it depends on the molecular structure. 

    Small alcohols (compared to fatty alcohols) can be pentanol or hexanol.

  • Abdullah

    Member
    May 16, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    ketchito said:

    @Abdullah Usually, mixing two anionics has no benefit over mixing one of them with a zwitterionic or non ionic. The exception is the mixture of SLES and LABS, where you have a spacer in the SLES molecule (the ethoxylated part), wich makes the LABSA interact differently with it. At the end, it depends on the molecular structure. 

    Small alcohols (compared to fatty alcohols) can be pentanol or hexanol.

    Thanks

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