Dodecyl sodium sulfate is an organic compound that is typically added onto cleaning agents. This can be derived from coconut or palm oil in a simple inexpensive process. It is in solid form at room temperature and is typically distributed as powders or pellets. Color can range from white to cream. It is an odorless substance that dissolves readily in water. It's a known surfactant which means that it can lower the surface tension between solids and liquids. This property makes it an excellent additive in detergents. Dirt and stains come off easily when washed in water that was spiked with the compound. It is also found in car wash soaps, floor cleaners, shampoos, toothpastes, and engine grease cleaners. Sodium dodecyl sulfate is used in various laboratory applications as well including DNA extraction, electrophoresis, hemoglobin analysis, nanotube dispersal, and brain tissue preparation for optical microscopy. Some companies use it as an emulsifying agent and a pesticide.