Sodium dodecyl poly (oxyethylene) sulfate

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Structural formula
Structural formula of sodium dodecyl poly (oxyethylene) sulfate
n = 1-4
Surname Sodium dodecyl poly (oxyethylene) sulfate
other names
  • SLES
  • Sodium lauryl ether sulfate
Molecular formula C 12 H 26 NaO 4 S • (C 2 H 4 O) n
Brief description

yellowish paste or liquid (70% or 28% in water)

External identifiers / databases
CAS number
  • 15826-16-1
  • 9004-82-4 (hydrogen sulfate)
EC number 239-925-1
ECHA InfoCard 100.036.281
Wikidata Q412561
Molar mass ~ 420 g mol −1
Physical state



1.05 g cm −3 (10% solution in water)


soluble in water

safety instructions
GHS labeling of hazardous substances
05 - Corrosive


H and P phrases H: 315-318
P: ?
Toxicological data

1995 mg kg −1 ( LD 50ratoral )

As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions .

Sodium dodecyl poly (oxyethylene) sulfate ( sodium lauryl ether sulfate ; English sodium laureth sulfate , SLES ) is an ether sulfate , the ethoxylated form of sodium lauryl sulfate and is one of the anionic surfactants . Common commercial forms are aqueous preparations with 70% (pasty) or 28% (liquid) detergent substance.


Dodecanol is first reacted with ethylene oxide . The number of oxyethylene units is usually around 2. Sulfur trioxide is then used to sulfate. This produces 1,4-dioxane, which is harmful to health, as a by-product .

The product with two oxyethylene units, sodium 2- (2-dodecyloxyethoxy) ethyl sulfate ("Sodium Laureth Sulfate Glycol"), is classified as irritating to the skin and eyes.


Sodium lauryl ether sulfate is a strong oil and grease dissolving cleaning agent. Due to its additional foaming property, SLES is used in many personal hygiene products, but also for the production of foam concrete , as a foaming agent and as a degreaser . SLES is used in toothpastes , shampoos , cosmetics, shower gels, liquid soaps, etc.

Hazard warnings

SLES is considered to be a skin irritant and can lead to dehydration of the skin. There is no scientific evidence available for the occasionally assumed carcinogenic (carcinogenic) effect.

Individual evidence

  1. Entry on SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE in the CosIng database of the EU Commission, accessed on December 28, 2019.
  2. a b c Entry on sodium lauryl ether sulfate. In: Römpp Online . Georg Thieme Verlag, accessed on June 15, 2014.
  3. PBT assessment of sodium laureth sulphate
  4. Template: CL Inventory / not harmonized There is not yet a harmonized classification for this substance . A labeling of sodium 2- (dodecyloxy) ethyl sulphate in the Classification and Labeling Inventory of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), accessed on November 27, 2018, is reproduced from a self-classification by the distributor .
  5. Entry on sodium dodecyl poly (oxyethylene) sulfate in the ChemIDplus database of the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), accessed on November 27, 2018.
  6. External identifiers or database links for sodium 2- (2-dodecyloxyethoxy) ethyl sulfate : CAS number: 3088-31-1, EC number: 221-416-0, ECHA InfoCard: 100.019.469 , GESTIS - Substance database : 114163 , PubChem : 23682204 , ChemSpider : 17316 , Wikidata : Q26203284 .
  7. Entry on sodium 2- (2-dodecyloxyethoxy) ethyl sulfate in the GESTIS substance database of the IFA , accessed on February 8, 2018(JavaScript required) .
  8. Technical data sheet Schaumbildner 285 (PDF; 27 kB) from BASF, accessed March 29, 2013.
  9. Products that contain sodium lauryl ether sulfate.
  10. Entry on Sodium laureth sulfate in the Consumer Product Information Database , accessed on December 19, 2019 .
  11. TU-Berlin about false reports on the Internet regarding SLES .
  12. On the assumed carcinogenic effect ( Memento of February 23, 2006 in the Internet Archive ).