How does soap work?

Wash all your OCD worries away with lovely soap. BUT. HOW does it work?

Washing your hands with soap works like this. First, you need to understand that normally, oil and water don’t mix, so when they are together they separate into two different layers. Soap is pretty cool too. What it does is that it breaks up the oil into smaller drops, which can mix with the water. It works because soap is made up of molecules with two very different ends. One end of soap molecules love water – they are hydrophilic. The other end of soap molecules hate water – they are hydrophobic. Obviously this is figuratively speaking as soap doesn’t have emotions but you know what I mean. 

Hydrophobic ends of soap molecule will all attach to the oil while the opposite hydrophilic ends stick out into the water that we are washing our hands in. This causes oil drops to form.
These drops of oil are suspended in the water so the water that falls off takes the grime with it.  This is how soap cleans your hands – it causes drops of grease and dirt to be pulled off your hands and suspended in water. All you need to do then is to wash them away when by rinsing your hands. 

So if you are like me, and you wash your hands a lot as part of your OCD. Note that soap is our friend and that scrubbing your skin till bleeding likely won’t be any better than just some good old fashioned soap and a rinse. 

Just rinse away (A Signs quote)

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One thought on “How does soap work?

  1. I had no idea how soap works – I think you get the prize for the biggest thing I learned today on the Internet!

    Like

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