cationic detergent

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Related to cationic detergent: anionic detergent

cat·i·on·ic de·ter·gent

(katī-onik dĕ-tĕrjĕnt)
Cleansing agent that has positively charged group(s) attached to the larger hydrophobic portion.


1. purifying, cleansing.
2. an agent that purifies or cleanses.

anionic detergent
a substance which when dissolved contributes a hydrophobic ion which carries a negative charge to the solution. Soap is an example.
cationic detergent
the dissociated substance produces a positively charged hydrophobic ion. The quarternary ammonium compounds are the best known examples. They are innocuous if properly diluted but the concentrates are very poisonous.
nonionic surface-acting detergent
e.g. the polyoxyethylenes are regarded as nonpoisonous.