Non-ionic surfactants have an electrically uncharged hydrophilic part of the molecule. This allows them to be combined with all other surfactant classes, used universally, less sensitive to water hardness and better tolerated by the skin than, for example, anionic surfactants. They are well suited for removing organic, oily dirt.
The water solubility of non-ionic surfactants is based on hydrogen bonds and therefore depends on temperature. This influences the foaming behavior and the cleaning power, among other things.
Common parameters that occur in connection with non-ionic surfactants are the cloud point and the HLB (hydrophilic-lipophilic equilibrium) value. These provide information about application properties at certain temperatures or the ability to form emulsions. However, since these values refer to the subgroup fatty alcohol ethoxylates, they are not universally applicable to all non-ionic surfactants.