Lesson Plan: Detergents Chemistry

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the structure of anionic detergents and explain how they remove stains from fabrics.


Students will be able to

  • identify aromatic sulfonate salts as anionic detergents,
  • describe the chemical composition and structure of anionic detergents as containing a head and tail group,
  • identify the hydrophobic and hydrophilic moieties of an anionic detergent,
  • describe how anionic detergents work to remove fatty/oily stains from fabrics,
  • recognize the process of stain removal using anionic detergents from diagrams/images.


Students should already be familiar with

  • properties and reactions of benzene, specifically sulfonated benzene.


Students will not cover

  • micelles,
  • other types of detergents,
  • saponification.

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