Answer to Question #23868 in Organic Chemistry for dora
what are the chemical components of detergent cake?
Commercial detergent cakes are made up of many different chemical compounds (different surfactants, colorants, pH modifiers, chlorinated and non-chlorinated whiteners, etc). Detergents are generally sodium or potassium salts of higher fatty acids. For example, one effective (albeit harsh) surfactant is sodium lauryl sulfate (aka sodium dodecyl sulfate): C12H25NaO4S, sodium stearate (C17H35COOH), sodium palmitate (C15H31COOH).