Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Detergents

Written by demetrius sewell
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Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Detergents
Control agents in washing powder cause an increase in suds. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Whether cleaning a messy room or washing laundry, using detergents has many advantages. For example; using soap in hard water reduces its effectiveness. However, detergent resists hard water minerals and effectively cleans. Another advantage involves detergent options available such as liquid or powdered detergents. Detergents, nevertheless, also have disadvantages.

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Detergents have builders which consist of calcium and magnesium in washing solutions. The builders provide detergents an advantage to using other products. Builders soften water to enhance its quality and work efficiently, preventing things like soap scum and insoluble salts. Using detergents helps extend the life of a washing machine because they eliminate the insoluble salts which would otherwise stay in the washing machines and on clothes.. Builders works on surfaces, breaking up oil and grease into small parts to make it easier to clean.


Every day, an individual comes in contact with germs and harmful substances which live on surfaces like countertops. Using detergents instead of just water or odour-eliminating spray works better. In fact, regular use of cleaning products is fundamental to the health, explains The Soap and Detergent Association of Canada (SDAC). Detergents such as bleach allow a person to eliminate substances which may cause illness or medical conditions.


Detergents allow an individual to clean different items in households such as floors, appliances or dishes. A disadvantage of detergents consists of the different types available. For instance; although detergents have a common ingredient called surfactant (a surface-active agent), they are designed for specific purposes. All-purpose detergents, often called laundry detergents, are used to clean clothes. Other types of detergent include hard surface cleaners, automatic dishwasher detergents and light duty detergents. Thus, using the wrong detergent can have consequences. For example, detergents with caustic materials used to clean ovens causes irreversible damage like discolouration to floors.


Detergents provide individual ways to remove dirt, stains and germs like bacteria and E-coli. However, detergents contain strong, dangerous chemicals such as phosphates and acids. Therefore, anyone who ingests detergents may suffer from detergent poisoning. Detergent poisoning occurs when someone swallows cationic or anionic detergents, reports MedlinePlus. Symptoms of detergent poisoning include burns or holes in the oesophagus, loss of vision, difficulty breathing and damage to organs. Therefore, placing detergents in a safe, locked place --- away from children --- may minimise the danger of accidental ingestion.

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