What is the physical (or chemical) mechanism by which soap (liquid and/or bar) cleans you?

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I always assumed it has something to do with the foam, but I’m not quite sure what.

I also assume that shampoo and toothpaste work in a similar way, but with different chemicals that provide specific benefits to hair and teeth respectively.

In: Physics

5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

A soap molecule has two parts. One loves water (hydrophilic – hydro-water, philic-loving) and the other hates water (hydrophobic – phobic-hating/staying away)

The hydrophobic part sticks to oil and dust and whatever is dirty. It kind of forms a sphere around the particle, with water-loving end outside. This collection of all suck spheres forms the foam. Remove the foam and thing is clean.

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