C9-C11 alcohol ethoxylate, also called C9-11 Pareth, is a colorless liquid derived from palm kernel or coconut oil.
C9-C11 alcohol ethoxylate is an emulsifier and a surfactant that breaks the surface tension of water, allowing things to become clean. It can be found in detergents and personal care products such as styling mousse, hair gel, and other styling products.[2,3,4]
Commercial alcohol ethoxylate is a mixture of several homologues of varying carbon chain length and degree of ethoxylation. Homologues that are not ethoxylated are also called aliphatic alcohols or simply fatty alcohols. Primary alcohol ethoxylates are made via ethoxylation of primary alcohols with ethylene oxide, using base catalyzed reaction with potassium or sodium hydroxide. Neutralization with an acid such as acetic or phosphoric acid then occurs. Most commercial alcohol ethoxylates are made and delivered as solids, pastes or solutions.
We use C9-C11 alcohol ethoxylate as an alternative to ammonia. It has the unique ability to clean a surface and then evaporate without leaving a residue (especially helpful when cleaning glass, stainless steel and similar surfaces). Ethoxylated alcohols such as C9-C11 alcohol ethoxylate are not the same as ethoxylated sulfates such as sodium laureth sulfate, which carry risk of 1,4 dioxane contamination. Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[7,8] The EPA and the National Center for Biotechnology Information have deemed 1,4 dioxane a likely carcinogen.[9,10]