Paper Towel Ingredients
Name: Bob R.
What ingredient besides paper do most paper towels have?
This is a question from a student in my fifth grade classroom.
In addition to cellulose fibers (what 5th graders will think of as paper),
paper towels that are printed contain colored pigments to produce the
color, some brands contain a low level of a low foaming surface active
substance to make water absorb more rapidly but without foaming, and a low
level of binder (glue -- that keeps the fibers from falling apart when they
become wet). This provides a modest amount of so called "wet strength".
Some more expensive brands will also contain an additive that will make the
paper towel feel "soft" rather than "rough". Even the lowly paper towel is
a pretty highly engineered product!!
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Update: June 2012