Q&A

What exactly is a chelating surfactant?

Q.

What exactly is a chelating surfactant?

A.

The simplest way to think of chelating surfactants is as cleaners designed for “hard water.” Hard water can make many types of surfactants inactive or ineffective. A chelating surfactant will work in soft water too, but these special cleaners contain an extra ingredient — one that makes them more effective in hard water. Chelating ingredients are more effective at breaking down “scale” and other types of deposits or films.

Chelating surfactants, when used properly, act like microscopic scrub brushes and remove biofilms from the inside of the tubing. They will also help prevent them from forming in the first place. — Doug Schoon is vice president of science and technology for Creative Nail Design in Vista, Calif.

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