American Cleaning Institute - For Better Living

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Chemistry History Safety Products and Ingredients Manufacturing

Cleaning products play an essential role in our daily lives. By safely and effectively removing soils, germs and other contaminants, they help us to stay healthy, care for our homes and possessions, and make our surroundings more pleasant.

American Cleaning Institute (ACI) recognizes that public understanding of the safety and benefits of cleaning products is critical to their proper use. So we've put together a summary of key developments in the history of cleaning products; the chemistry of how they work; the procedures used to evaluate their safety for people and the environment; the functions of various products and their ingredients; and the most common manufacturing processes.

ACI hopes that consumers, educators, students, media, government officials, businesses and others find this area a valuable resource of information about cleaning products.

Soaps & Detergents
History (Prehistoric to Middle Ages) (1200s-1850) (1900s to Now) 
Chemistry (Soap & Alkali) (Surfactants in Detergents)
Safety (Human) (Environmental)
Products & Ingredients (Personal Cleansing, Laundry, Dishwashing & Household Cleaners)
(Surfactants & Builders) (Ingredient Key)
Download the Soaps and Detergents Book (PDF)

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