The critical micellar concentrations (cmc) of cationic alkyltrimethylammonium bromides (C 10 TAB – C 16 TAB) and of anionic alkyl sulfates (SDS, technical grade Sulfopon 12G and Sulfopon 1214G) were determined using specific conductivity and surface tension measurements. While the cationic surfactants were purified, the anionic surfactants were used as received. In the former case, surface tension and conductivity measurements lead to the same cmc values. In the latter case, measuring the specific conductivities (bulk property) proved to be superior compared to measuring the surface tensions (surface property) because the presence of highly surface active impurities creates a pronounced minimum in the surface tension isotherm, which makes it impossible to determine an accurate value for the cmc. On the other hand, these impurities do not influence the conductivities, i. e. that the conductivities can be used to determine cmc values of impure and technical grade ionic surfactants, respectively. Moreover, an evaluation of the specific conductivities allows for the determination of the degree of micelle ionization (α) of the ionic surfactant solutions and thus provides additional useful information.