Nonionic surfactants are also found in many cleaning products, including carpet products. Nonionics have no charge on their hydrophilic end, which helps make them superior oily soil emulsifiers. Some nonionics are high foamers (like anionics), while others do not generate much foam. Because of their lower foam profile and strong emulsifying potential, these surfactants are the preferred choice when formulating extraction cleaners and pre sprays.
However, unlike anionic surfactants, nonionics are thick liquids or syrups that are sticky or “gooey” to the touch. When left in the carpet, nonionic surfactants are the primary contributors to rapid resoiling. Even with that being the case, their importance as cleaners outweighs this negative, and the cleaner or technician must take care to remove as much of the detergent residue as possible from the carpet in order to get the cleaning benefits of nonionics without their negatives.