What's Inside Palmolive Ultra: Ingredients Decoded

To most non-scientists, the ingredients listed on the back of non-natural cleaning products or personal products are completely foreign. Wired Magazine's series "What's Inside" deconstructs the ingredients in Palmolive Ultra with some interesting finds.

From Wired Magazine's "What's Inside" series, here's What's Inside Palmolive Ultra Concentrated Antibacterial Dish Liquid (With Orange Extracts).

Triclosan: "Antibacterial soaps kill, well, bacteria — often with this broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, which inhibits fatty acid synthesis. In higher concentrations, it destabilizes bacterial cell walls."

Ammonium C12-15 Pareth Sulfate: "In solution, this detergent creates negative ions, which cut grease. When mixed with bleach, it releases killer chlorine gas, a chemical weapon used in World War I. Good news: We're still alive, so there's no bleach in here."

Magnesium Isododecyl-Benzene-Sulfonate: "Everything gets nice and foamy because of this surfactant cleaner."

Lauramido-Propylamine Oxide: "This foaming aide keeps those tiny soap bubbles stable throughout the cleanup process. It also thickens the dishwashing liquid, so you'll feel like you're getting your money's worth."

SD Alcohol 3-A: "Alcohol is chemically similar to water, so it can work its way into bacterial cytoplasm, where it makes the proteins fall apart, killing the cell."

Sodium Xylene Sulfonate: "Known to chemists as a hydrotrope, this compound makes it easier for the other molecules in the detergent to dissolve in water. (Hydrotropes also can help to create high-foaming cleansers.)"

Sodium Bisulfite: "This food additive is often used as an anti-fermentation agent to prevent bottled wine from turning into vinegar. In soap, it works as another antiseptic."

DMDM Hydantoin: "A preservative that works by breaking down into, among other things, formaldehyde. Whatever was living on your dishes is now dead."

Pentasodium Pentetate: "A chelating agent that softens hard tap water by binding with dissolved metal ions, preventing them from being deposited as a yucky residue on your nice clean dishes."

(Image: Tim Morris for Wired. Original article by Patrick Di Justo on Wired)

Originally published 2009-06-02 - CB

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