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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Exothermic Detergent Reaction

By May 1, 2013

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Interesting chemical reactions don't necessarily require a chemistry lab and expensive glassware. For example, you can experience an exothermic chemical reaction using nothing more complicated than a handful of laundry detergent powder and a bit of water. An exothermic reaction is one which produces heat as chemical bond energy is converted into thermal energy. Experience the phenomenon the next time you are washing clothes. Just let a little water dampen the detergent before you add it to the washer (and then rinse your hands really well). Fun!
Endothermic & Exothermic Reactions | Exothermic Rxn with Steel Wool


January 20, 2009 at 11:11 pm
(1) yo yo da says:

that is so pimpin

May 15, 2009 at 10:10 pm
(2) devon says:

heat is not released when bonds are broken. heat is released when bonds are formed. when bonds are broken a molecule absorbs energy. You should fix your intro,

October 17, 2009 at 3:38 am
(3) Gino says:

I’m a hipster

October 20, 2009 at 12:22 am
(4) bob says:

you’re arguing with a professor, heat is released when bonds are fissiured or broken apart. Take the depronation of Uranium, and apply it to the reactors we have that make electricity. Heat is absorbed in Endothermic Reactions.

July 6, 2010 at 11:52 am
(5) Hrm says:

Actually Devon is right, energy is always absorbed to break a bond and is released when a bond is formed. The difference between an exothermic reaction and an endothermic reaction is the NET energy (the difference between the energy absorbed and the energy released). If more energy is released during bond formation than is absorbed during bond breaking then you get an exothermic reaction and the generation of heat. I think you’re referring to a nuclear reaction bob, which is a totally different ball game.

July 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm
(6) Jake P says:

I would think this is a situation of heat of dissolution , not heat of reaction. (i.e. a physical reaction not a chemical one) I’m not certain but, checking the ingredients may be revealing.

@Bob The “arguing with a professor” argument is silly; any sensible professor will admit they make mistakes.

March 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm
(7) thrift shopper says:

Im gonna pop some tags, only got $20.00 in my pocket. I-I-I’m hunting, looking for a come up. this is really awesome.

March 17, 2014 at 11:55 am
(8) Me says:

Actually energy(heat) is created from either fission or fusion, the bonding or breaking of the bond.

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