How Soap Works?


Don’t you wondered why soap can make clean?


What do you know about the soap? Bases?

So the soap is a surfactant that is used with water for washing and cleaning. Soaps are usually in a solid form called rods because of its history and general shape.

Many soaps are a mixture of sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids which can be derived from oils or fats with reacted with alkali (such as sodium or potassium hydroxide) at a temperature of 80-100 ° C through a process known as saponification. Fat will be hydrolyzed by the base, yielding glycerol and crude soap.

The main principle of work of soap is the attraction between molecules of dirt, soap, and water. Dirt in human hands generally in the form of fat. Saturated fatty acids contained in cooking oils generally consisting of myristic acid, palmitic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid. Unsaturated fatty acids in the oil are oleic acid, linoleic acid, and the acid linolena. Other fatty acids are alkanoic acid or a high degree of carboxylic acid (C chains over 6).

The attractive force between two molecules of polar (dipole-dipole attractive force) causes the polar solvent soluble in a polar solvent. Polar molecules have a permanent dipole so as to induce the electron cloud of non-polar to form an induced dipole, then the nonpolar solvent soluble in nonpolar. This can explain what happens when we wash hands. When washing hands, water is a polar compound induces electron cloud of soap so as to help the dissolution of the fatty acid which is also a non-polar compound. Therefore, if we use the hand washing with soap, grease attached to the hand soap will dissolve along with the help of water.

Water is often referred to as the universal solvent because water dissolves a lot of chemicals. The solubility of a substance in water is determined by whether or not the substance can match the power of the electric attractive force (force intermolecular dipole-dipole) between the water molecules.

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