Sodium gluconate is a chelator that can also be found in personal care products like shampoos, conditioners and facial cleansers. It is made from the sugar glucose. The word chelator (pronounced "key-lay-tor") comes from the Greek word chele, or claw. Think of a chelator as a tiny claw that reaches out and grabs the minerals in soap scum or soils, to keep them from depositing on a surface. We use sodium gluconate in products to remove soap scum and mineral deposits that are caused by hard water. By binding to the soap scum or deposit, it allows them to be rinsed away.