– Why do we need to use washing up liquid to clean dishes? Why would water alone not suffice?


My dad and I are having a debate about the importance of using washing up liquid and I need your help!!

He proffers that water in itself is clean, so why can we not just use water to clean our plates etc.

He also gave an example of how we would likely feel cleaner after “trudging through the jungle”, if we had a wash in a big jungle waterfall without soap.

I showed him that his glasses come out looking cleaner (no water marks) when he washes them with washing up liquid to prove my point that it is important to use it.

But can anyone tell me the actual science behind why we should use it? Or is my dad right? 😂

In: 0

Because of fat in food or fingerprints I’d say. If your dad had food like Mac and cheese or olive oil on his hand he’d wash it with soap too because that’s how you’d get rid of it

Some stuff in your plates like to bond with water and is taken away by the water flow. But a lot of stuff won’t bond with water and so we use soap to bond with them AND with water. You can then rincé them all away.

Fats and oils. They don’t dissolve in water, so if you don’t use soap, a lot of that oily residue is left behind.

Soap molecules are long and have one end that mixes with water and the opposite end that mixes with fat. It lets water wash off and carry away the fats and oils that water alone couldn’t.

Soaps have compounds that kill bacteria and others that lift food from the surface so it can be rinsed away.

Sans suds, bacteria from foods that were either not cooked properly or that was just on the food to begin with—things like E.coli, Salmonella, staphylococcus, campylobacter, and norovirus, also known colloquially as “winter vomiting bug”—are just left hanging out

Dish soap envelops particles of oil and allows them to flow with water and avoid sticking back to the plate, the sink or the drain pipe. You could avoid soap if you didn’t have any fat on your plate. Your body also secretes some fatty liquids that you want to partly wash away.