Understanding your laundry detergent

Written by Donald Grummett

December 8, 2004

History ------------

Soap has been around for 5000 years. Bothrepparttar Egyptians and Babylonians used soap for personal cleaning. Soap then was a mixture of rendered animals fats and ashes.

Although its basic principles remainrepparttar 100065 same, it is now made using a sophisticated chemical and manufacturing process.

Do you know that duringrepparttar 100066 middle agesrepparttar 100067 use of soap was considered unnatural? Some historians suggestrepparttar 100068 rejection of soap, andrepparttar 100069 associated lack of hygiene, may have contributed torepparttar 100070 Black Death that ravaged Europe.

Even intolerance has been linked to soap. Some Europeans rejected soap at this time because it was considered a devilish product. Therefore it has been suggested that cultures who continued using this amazing substance may have been prejudiced against.

Even today people think it is a mystery product that they imagine full of numerous secret ingredients boiled up in a caldron. While not a magical product it is definitely a substance that has helped transform society. It is something we use every day to make our busy lives easier and safer.

Detergent is not soap ----------

Prior to World War II laundry was cleaned with soap or soap flakes. Afterrepparttar 100071 war detergent becamerepparttar 100072 predominant laundry cleaning choice. It was less expensive, more convenient, and worked better withrepparttar 100073 new-fangled washing machines.

Unlike soap, detergent lent itself torepparttar 100074 high speed processes that allowed it to be mass produced in huge quantities for an ever-expanding market.

With time consumers also demanded variations of detergents that would not have been possible with soap based products. Low suds, high suds, high efficiency, phosphate free, cold water types, fruit scented, non scented, baby specific, liquid form, crystal form, and a multitude of other types are all common today.

How clothes are cleaned ------------

"Putrepparttar 100075 clothes inrepparttar 100076 washing machine ... addrepparttar 100077 detergent ... startrepparttar 100078 machine to letrepparttar 100079 water enter ... and then walk away". That is all most people know about washing their clothes.

People do not realize thatrepparttar 100080 detergent is only a minor part ofrepparttar 100081 cleaning process. The proper cleaning of clothes involves many complex interactions.

In fact did you know it isrepparttar 100082 water inrepparttar 100083 washing machine that does most ofrepparttar 100084 cleaning, notrepparttar 100085 detergent? Primarily, it isrepparttar 100086 water mixing withrepparttar 100087 dirt onrepparttar 100088 clothes that lifts offrepparttar 100089 soiling matter and holds it in suspension. Then asrepparttar 100090 washing machine is drainingrepparttar 100091 water finishesrepparttar 100092 job by carryingrepparttar 100093 dirt away with it.

Question: So, ifrepparttar 100094 water doesrepparttar 100095 work, why do we need repparttar 100096 detergent?

Answer: Becauserepparttar 100097 detergent makes it all happen more efficiently.

Water appears to be one large body of fluid. Actually it's not. In fact it is made up of miniscule balls of water because of a phenomenon called surface tension. The best analogy I can use is that surface tension is likerepparttar 100098 shell around an egg. The natural state of water are these tight little balls. And, because of their surface tension they do not want to mix with other balls of water. So to alleviate this problem we introduce detergent into this environment.

The main job of detergent is to break down this surface tension.

Oncerepparttar 100099 surface tension is brokenrepparttar 100100 water will mix better with other water molecules. This will allow allrepparttar 100101 water balls to flow into a large homogeneous mass that can then be put to work.

By lowering its surface tensionrepparttar 100102 water can be made to penetraterepparttar 100103 clothing fabric rather than slide off its surface. Therefore,repparttar 100104 detergent makesrepparttar 100105 water more efficient.

Some people describe it as makingrepparttar 100106 ater "slippery". Still others refer to it as makingrepparttar 100107 water "wetter". Whateverrepparttar 100108 descriptionrepparttar 100109 result is thatrepparttar 100110 water can attackrepparttar 100111 dirt more aggressively. The water gets intorepparttar 100112 clothing fibres, loosensrepparttar 100113 dirt, and then holds it until it can be washed away.

Additionally,repparttar 100114 detergent helps keeprepparttar 100115 dirt suspended withinrepparttar 100116 water. This is necessary to prevent particles of dirt from reattaching torepparttar 100117 fabric. Withoutrepparttar 100118 detergent this could happen every timerepparttar 100119 water-dirt mixture came into contact withrepparttar 100120 clothing.

The last thing we need for a good wash is impart some energy intorepparttar 100121 water. That is a fancy way of saying we need to make it move. That isrepparttar 100122 job ofrepparttar 100123 agitator insiderepparttar 100124 washing machine.

By makingrepparttar 100125 water roll it is tumblingrepparttar 100126 water against repparttar 100127 clothes. This drivesrepparttar 100128 water-detergent mixture into repparttar 100129 clothes and makes them clean faster. Think of it asrepparttar 100130 same principle used by our ancestors when they wetrepparttar 100131 clothes inrepparttar 100132 river and then banged them against a rock to loosenrepparttar 100133 dirt.


Written by John Rocco

REPAIRING PUTTY WINDOW GLASSHave you ever thought about fixing a broken window in your house, but didn't think you could do it because nobody ever taught you how to cut glass? Well, you really don't have to know how to cut glass in order to repair your window. If you knew how to removerepparttar frame, you could order a replacement piece of glass from your local glass shop already cut torepparttar 100064 proper size. Then, it's just a matter of installingrepparttar 100065 new glass intorepparttar 100066 frame. But, there are so many different kinds of window out there, there is no way i could explain them all in one article. So, this is going to berepparttar 100067 first in a series of articles describingrepparttar 100068 repair procedure for each type of window.

There are really two categories of windows out there. They are single pane windows and dual pane windows. Then, within those two categories, there are several types of windows in each category. Let's start withrepparttar 100069 single pane window category. This would be older windows that were around beforerepparttar 100070 building industry became more energy conscious. It just means that there is a single piece of glass inrepparttar 100071 frame that surrounds it. A lot of homeowners mistakenly think a horizontal sliding window must be a double pane window, since there is a pane of glass inrepparttar 100072 sliding panel and another pane inrepparttar 100073 stationary panel. The terminology refers torepparttar 100074 number of panes inrepparttar 100075 sliding or fixed panel alone. In other words, a single pane horizontal sliding window has a single pane of glass inrepparttar 100076 sliding panel, and a single pane inrepparttar 100077 fixed panel. A double pane slider would actually have two pieces of glass in bothrepparttar 100078 sliding panel and fixed panel. The pieces in each panel are separated by approximately 3/8" of air, and have a metal spacer aroundrepparttar 100079 edge ofrepparttar 100080 glass.

So, let's get back torepparttar 100081 single pane repairs. One ofrepparttar 100082 more common types of single pane windows arerepparttar 100083 type that uses putty to holdrepparttar 100084 glass inrepparttar 100085 frame. All old wood windows are done this way. Old metal casement windows are usually done this way as well. The casement window isrepparttar 100086 kind withrepparttar 100087 handle onrepparttar 100088 inside bottom corner that you crank, andrepparttar 100089 window opens outward on a top and bottom pivot. Let's focus this article onrepparttar 100090 putty style replacements.

Before you begin, pick a local glass shop in your area where you will go to pick uprepparttar 100091 new glass. Make sure they are going to be openrepparttar 100092 day you dorepparttar 100093 work, and confirm with them that if you call in an order for a pane of glass inrepparttar 100094 morning, you can pick it up in an hour or two. You dont want to removerepparttar 100095 glass fromrepparttar 100096 window frame, then find outrepparttar 100097 glass shop won't have your glass cut until next week. If they can't guarantee a two hour turnaround, keep looking.

The fastest and easiest way to removerepparttar 100098 old glass is to break it out. Put an old sheet or a tarp onrepparttar 100099 ground belowrepparttar 100100 window. Then, put on some gloves. Use gloves with a material that will prevent a piece of glass from cutting your hands. A pair of gardening gloves should work fine. Get yourself a pair of safety glasses as well. Trust me, you don't want to get hit inrepparttar 100101 eye with a piece of flying glass. As my Father always used to tell me, "Better safe than sorry". Now, go inside with a hammer in hand and knockrepparttar 100102 glass out ofrepparttar 100103 center part ofrepparttar 100104 window. It's best to leave some glass sticking out aroundrepparttar 100105 edge. You can grabrepparttar 100106 protruding glass and use it as leverage to poprepparttar 100107 old putty loose. The more old putty that you can get to come out along withrepparttar 100108 glass,repparttar 100109 less scraping you will have to do. I have done some wood window replacements whererepparttar 100110 putty was dried and cracked, and it practically fell out on it's own. Onrepparttar 100111 flip side, i have done some whererepparttar 100112 putty had almost become a part ofrepparttar 100113 wood. The only way to separaterepparttar 100114 putty fromrepparttar 100115 frame in those instances is to use a putty knife to scrape it down torepparttar 100116 wood. While removingrepparttar 100117 putty, you will find little pieces of metal that are used to holdrepparttar 100118 glass in place while applyingrepparttar 100119 putty. The wood windows use push points, and you can get a package of new ones atrepparttar 100120 hardware store. If you're working withrepparttar 100121 metal casement window,repparttar 100122 metal clips are called sash clips. You might have a harder time finding these. Frankly, i don't see any problem reusing them.

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