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How does soap work as a cleaning agent?

A soap molecule is a long hydrocarbon chain with a hydrophilic (water loving) end and a hydrophobic (water fearing) end.


The hydrophobic end is lipophilic (oil loving). When the soap molecules come into contact with an oily dirt, the hydrophobic ends stick to the dirt while the hydrophilic end sticks to the water. Motion causes the water to move, pulling at the soap molecules, which pull at the dirt. As more and more soap molecules attach to the dirt it weakens its grasp on the surface.



Soon the oily dirt is pulled off of the surface. It is then quickly encircled by soap molecules until they form a shell around the dirt. This shell is called a micelle. Now we have an object whose exterior is water loving, meaning the soap has taken an object that was insoluble in the water and effectively made it soluble by producing an emulsion suspended in water.

The water is then rinsed away, taking the soapy dirt with it and leaving behind a clean surface.


This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever thought how the soap works when we are washing our dishes?

#Science #Quora

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
12 Comments
Wesley Mann
I hope there are a lot of under 40 year olds that read this very important information and pass it on to their families and friends. Stay safe, everyone.
0
Sep 29, 2020 1:44PM
Manjula Saxena
Thanks for the very important, useful information .
0
Nov 23, 2019 8:54PM
dsneed
Nice to hear the breakdown of something that do so regularly and never really gave any thought. Thank you.
0
Sep 13, 2019 5:37PM
Raymond Cardona
Thanks for the good to know info Bonnie
0
Sep 10, 2019 5:40PM
Cheryl McMeekin
You definitely learn something new on a daily basis.
1
Sep 4, 2019 5:51PM
Doris Buchanan
Wow! Never thought this way, thanks for this news , always used soap. Thank you again. It all makes sense.
0
Sep 4, 2019 6:11AM
wally pinon
Awesome info!!
0
Oct 17, 2018 9:37AM
Jacky Pierce Friedman
Jennifer Florendo, Linda Griffen, Not always. I've cleaned many things with sosp and cold water. And with different types of soap.
1
Oct 12, 2018 6:16PM
Jacky Pierce Friedman
And Joann May...
0
Oct 12, 2018 6:16PM
Jacky Pierce Friedman
Very cool
0
Oct 12, 2018 6:14PM
ninakamwene
Excellent explanation. Thank you.
0
Oct 10, 2018 8:31PM
dlh
dlh
A new item of knowledge 👏🏼
0
Oct 10, 2018 7:30PM

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