Shower room antimicrobials


The secret of shower cleaners is to increase the solubility of water

Many modern people spend more time in the bathroom than in the kitchen, which is why the product we are talking about has become so popular. Fun fact: It wasn’t originally designed to get rid of germs in the shower, but later it turned out that it could be extremely suitable for this purpose.

After taking a shower, many people spray the walls of the shower room with one of the modern shower cleaners. No rubbing, no rinsing, no worries. The first shower cleaner was called Clean Shower. Its formula was coined in 1997 by Robert Vleck, a resident of Jacksonville, Florida. The idea came to him when his wife asked him to clean the shower. This work seemed too unpleasant to him, and he decided that there was a better way to do it than with ordinary detergents. The result of such reflections was patent number 5,910,474. The main components of the new product were a surfactant, a chelating agent and a solvent. The ingredients in the patent recipe were ethylene glycol (1.5%) as a non-ionic surfactant, diammonium ethylenediaminetetraacetate (1.5%), and isopropyl alcohol (4%), plus a few drops of fragrance. Clean Shower uses Antarox BL-125, manufactured by Rhodia Chemical Company, as a non-ionic surfactant, a compound of choice for its excellent cleaning and dissolving properties.

Soon other companies began issuing similar funds; some of them were not of particularly high quality, but they all contained similar ingredients, each of which served its intended role. A good shower cleanser should include an antibacterial ingredient, such as a quaternary ammonium salt, otherwise germs will start in the liquid, and along with the cleanser you will spray them in the shower. In 1999, the makers of one such product had to recall a quarter of a million bottles sold from the market because the liquid was contaminated with microorganisms.

Surfactants come in three main types: cationic, anionic, and nonionic. The former have a positively charged group in their head (a positively charged ion is called a cation); the second — a negatively charged group (an anion is a negatively charged ion); and still others carry no charge. The surfactant makes the water more fluid. In scientific terms, it reduces the surface tension of water droplets to such an extent that they are unable to maintain their shape and turn into a water film that easily slides off any surface. Without surfactant, the water will stick to the walls of the shower in the form of drops, evaporating, it will leave behind stains formed by substances dissolved in it, these can be salts, fats from our body, skin lotions and shower gels.

Chelating agents found in shower cleaners serve to dissolve metal ions, such as calcium and magnesium, which are often found in tap water. These ions increase the hardness of water and contribute to the formation of soap suds. The best way to keep these metals in solution is to add EDTA to the water. This molecule is capable of wrapping calcium and magnesium ions into itself and thereby preventing them from precipitating out of solution.

Solvents in shower cleaners are used to dissolve trace amounts of grease washed off the skin or contained in skin lotions. Robert Black chose isopropyl alcohol (more properly called propanol-2) as the solvent, as this substance had been used as an ingredient in body lotions and aftershave for many years and was considered safe for humans.

The usual way to remove traces of oil and fat involves the use of alkali solutions with a pH approaching 12. Such solutions hydrolyze fats to glycerol and fatty acids, which are water soluble and can be easily washed off. It is obvious that in showers, where people are usually naked, concentrated alkali solutions should be avoided. For this reason, shower cleaners have a pH of around 5 (the same as rainwater) and a buffer consisting of sodium citrate and citric acid is added to maintain this pH.

After spraying with a shower cleanser for shower cabins, nothing remains on the walls except small amounts of the agent itself, which will create a protective barrier until the next treatment. Before you start using a shower cleaner, you should clean the walls thoroughly.

Source: based on the book by John Emsley «On the benefits and harms of the products we love to buy»

Article protected by copyright and related rights. When using and reprinting the material, an active link to the healthy lifestyle portal is required!


Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *