SLES is also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate. It is a chemical that is notable for use in detergent producing companies. It also finds application in personal care industry and serves some other purposes in other industries. The chemical is known to be derived from coconut oil or palm kernel.

SLES, aside from being a useful chemical is also a chemical that you must get acquainted with. There are few things you probably don't know about the chemical. This article will point you to 10 important things you need to know about this chemical.

Chemical Formula

SLES is an organic chemical with a special chemical formula. The general formula for the chemical is CH3(CH2)11(OCH2CH2)nOSO3Na. The 'n' in the formula represent the number of ethoxyl group in the compound. For instance Laureth-2 Sulfate will have the formula CH3(CH2)11(OCH2CH2)2OSO3Na. In most occasions, especially in industrial usage, you will may always find Laureth-3 sulfate as it is the most common.

PH Level

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is an anionic surfactant. 10% solution of it has been discovered to have a pH value of 7.5. This shows that the chemical is either neutral or slightly alkaline.

Other Chemical Names

SLES have different names. Firstly you must know that SLES is a short form for Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate. This chemical should not be mistaken for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is not as mild as SLES.

SLES have different other names it can be referred to. Some other popular names of the chemical are Sodium Alkylethersulfate, Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate, or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate which is the British rendition for the name.

Production Of SLES

We can say that SLES is produced from coconut oil or palm kernel. The chemical is produced through the process of ethoxylation of dodecyl alcohol. This alcohol product is gotten from coconut oil or palm kernel and that is why we say SLES is produced from palm kernel or coconut oil.

In the process of ethoxylation of dodecyl alcohol, the product is an ethoxylate which will be converted into Ester of sulfuric acid. The acid is then neutralized by converting it to sodium salt. The end product after this process is known as SLES.

Uses In Daily Life

SLES is a notable surfactant. It is present in most toothpaste, soap, and other cosmetic material. As such, if you use any of these daily, then you probably have used SLES.

SLES Industrial Uses

SLES have applications in different industries. The following are some of it uses in some manufacturing industries:

  • It is used as a foaming agent or detergent in home care and cosmetic products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, hand wash, shower gel, and dish wash.
  • It serves as a dyeing agent in the fabrics making industry or dyeing industry and leather making industry.
  • It serves the purpose of a lubricant in industries such as petroleum. It also uses a foaming agent or degreasing agent.
  • The herbicide making industry uses SLES as a surfactant to improve the absorption of herbicide on any surface.
  • It is also used as a foaming agent in the firefighting industry.

SLES Uses In Concrete

SLES is a notable component in the mixture of aerated concrete. The construction industry makes use of surfactant to enable frost resistance. SLES is very effective in achieving this and has been adopted by the construction industry for this purpose.

Is SLES Toxic?

SLES is not a toxic substance so to say. It is present in our day to day used home products. However, there has been concern that too much exposure to the chemical itself can cause skin irritation. Other concerns from this exposure are eye irritation and lung irritation. People with sensitive skin are also advised to limit their exposure to SLES as it may cause acne or clogged pores.

The claim that SLES is carcinogenic has been hotly debated. While some agreed, some disagreed. Nonetheless, it is advisable to take every necessary precautions while handling chemicals whenever you want to make use of SLES. Make use of impervious jackets, shoes, and gloves. Rinse your hands thoroughly after handling the chemical.

How To Buy SLES?

SLES is available for sale at Camachem. The company is reputable for shipping chemicals in large quantities to clients across the globe. You can make orders online or use the get quotation feature to get the price for your desired chemical.