Detergent is a substance that's used for cleaning. Detergent is similar to soap, but it's stronger and dissolves more completely in water.

Detergents are special, powerful cleansers that can break up dirt, oils, and grease in clothing or on dishes. You might buy laundry detergent for washing your dirty clothes and dish detergent for the sink full of plates and bowls after your dinner party. The Latin root of detergent is detergere, "to wipe away or cleanse."

Definitions of detergent
  1. noun
    a cleansing agent that differs from soap but can also emulsify oils and hold dirt in suspension
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    dishwasher detergent, dishwashing detergent, dishwashing liquid
    a low-sudsing detergent designed for use in dishwashers
    laundry detergent
    any of various detergents designed for use in a washing machine for clothing
    liquid detergent
    a detergent in liquid form
    type of:
    cleaner, cleanser, cleansing agent
    a preparation used in cleaning something
  2. noun
    a surface-active chemical widely used in industry and laundering
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    anionic, anionic detergent, non-ionic detergent
    a class of synthetic detergents in which the molecules do not ionize in aqueous solutions
    cationic detergent, invert soap
    a class of synthetic detergents in which the surface-active part of the molecule is the cation
    SLS, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulphate
    a caustic detergent useful for removing grease; although commonly included in personal care items (shampoos and toothpastes etc.) it can irritate skin and should not be swallowed
    a cationic detergent that is a powerful disinfectant
    type of:
    surface-active agent, surfactant, wetter, wetting agent
    a chemical agent capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved
  3. adjective
    having cleansing power
    synonyms: detersive
    freeing from noxious matter
Word Family

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