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Posted: 9/4/2004 9:05:21 AM EDT
I'm not a total retard. My job is building rockets that haul the things into space that make our lives more comfortable. I have built houses, made furniture, operated heavy equipment, worked as a QC inspector on a missle project, etc. But I would like to know just how it is that I can get filthy grungy and something that looks like a block of wax or bottle of snot can get all that crud out of places you can only see with magnification.

Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:06:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:08:04 AM EDT

thx, that's a good send off for me to hit the bed
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:08:53 AM EDT
How do you hide money from a hippy?

Under a the soap bar
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:09:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2004 9:14:54 AM EDT by Greenhorn]
As you know, water does not dissolve fat. The two are chemically incompatable. You can't wash oil off your hands with pure water. A soap molecule is a molecule that is a fat molecule on one end and a hydroxide (I think) group on the other. The fat side easily combines with other fat molecules, and the other side easily combines with water molecules, thereby dissolving both.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:09:52 AM EDT
That's the kind of question that'll get ya banned at DU.

Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:10:13 AM EDT
Well , my theory is that soap gets in between the skin and the dirt loosening it and then washing it away. The ingrediants in soap desolves oil on your skin and petroleum based grease,oil, e.t.c. Just a thought. Take care. Coondog
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:11:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2004 9:15:11 AM EDT by Leisure_Shoot]
Doctor Sgtar15 was answering questions earlier.
Perhaps you should have asked him.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:11:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2004 9:12:37 AM EDT by Noname]
OK repeat after me (5000 times)...

"Google is my friend!"

Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:12:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Are you French?

Sort of. Exiled from Acadie.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:12:51 AM EDT
How Does Soap Clean?

Soaps Are Emulsifiers

Soaps are sodium or potassium fatty acids salts, produced from the hydrolysis of fats in a chemical reaction called saponification. Each soap molecule has a long hydrocarbon chain, sometimes called its 'tail', with a carboxylate 'head'. In water, the sodium or potassium ions float free, leaving a negatively-charged head.

Soap is an excellent cleanser because of its ability to act as an emulsifying agent. An emulsifier is capable of dispersing one liquid into another immiscible liquid. This means that while oil (which attracts dirt) doesn't naturally mix with water, soap can suspend oil/dirt in such a way that it can be removed.

The organic part of a natural soap is a negatively-charged, polar molecule. Its hydrophilic (water-loving) carboxylate group (-CO2) interacts with water molecules via ion-dipole interactions and hydrogen bonding. The hydrophobic (water-fearing) part of a soap molecule, its long, nonpolar hydrocarbon chain, does not interact with water molecules. The hydrocarbon chains are attracted to each other by dispersion forces and cluster together, forming structures called micelles. In these micelles, the carboxylate groups form a negatively-charged spherical surface, with the hydrocarbon chains inside the sphere. Because they are negatively charged, soap micelles repel each other and remain dispersed in water.

Grease and oil are nonpolar and insoluble in water. When soap and soiling oils are mixed, the nonpolar hydrocarbon portion of the micelles break up the nonpolar oil molecules. A different type of micelle then forms, with nonpolar soiling molecules in the center. Thus, grease and oil and the 'dirt' attached to them are caught inside the micelle and can be rinsed away.

Although soaps are excellent cleansers, they do have disadvantages. As salts of weak acids, they are converted by mineral acids into free fatty acids:

CH3(CH2)16CO2-Na+ + HCl ----> CH3(CH2)16CO2H + Na+ + Cl-
These fatty acids are less soluble than the sodium or potassium salts and form a precipitate or soap scum. Because of this, soaps are ineffective in acidic water. Also, soaps form insoluble salts in hard water, such as water containing magnesium, calcium, or iron.

2 CH3(CH2)16CO2-Na+ + Mg2+ ----> [CH3(CH2)16CO2-]2Mg2+ + 2 Na+
The insoluble salts form bathtub rings, leave films that reduce hair luster, and gray/roughen textiles after repeated washings. Synthetic detergents, however, may be soluble in both acidic and alkaline solutions and don't form insoluble precipitates in hard water. But that is a different story...

Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:13:09 AM EDT
My understanding is that the molecular structure of soap is attracted to water at one end and attracted to things not soluble in water at the other. This allows soap to suspend things in water that are not normally water soluble. YMMV - that's a reachback to plebe year chemistry 18-19 years ago for me.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:13:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2004 9:14:27 AM EDT by Leisure_Shoot]
you're welcome.

No, I didn't write that, but I knew it, on a less detailed level.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:13:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2004 9:16:38 AM EDT by jblachly]
Water molecules are polar, that is, their atoms do not share all electrons equally. Water can dissolve /water-soluble/ things, that is, other polar molecules.

Soap molecules are NONpolar, that is, they have no net electric charge at any point on their atoms. Thus, they can dissolve other NONpolar molecules like grease and other organic chemicals. In addition, soap ALSO has a polar component allowing it to be dissolved in water.

Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:13:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2004 9:14:12 AM EDT by vito113]
How does soap work?

Remove soap from packaging, turn on water and wet hands, rub soap on hands until a lather appears, briskly rub hands together to remove dirt, rinse under water… repeat as neccessary.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:18:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:

How Does Soap Work?

Spectral Oil Anyalysis Program?
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:21:49 AM EDT

Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:22:40 AM EDT
Thanks for the info, guys. I knew the answer was here at the fountain of all that is wise.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:22:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:24:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jblachly:

So - quick answer: Soap is a magical miniature caterpillar !
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:25:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:30:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:30:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:32:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By jblachly:
Water molecules are polar, that is, their atoms do not share all electrons equally. Water can dissolve /water-soluble/ things, that is, other polar molecules.


Wow--I'd hit it!

Those are obviously implants. *real* titties don't stand up like that, that far apart....
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:36:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Dude, you'd fuck a duck!

No way! They give you two years of probation for that--and an ankle bracelet.

Plus, I've been told by farmers that geese are preferable to ducks anyway - just FYI.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:36:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2004 9:36:46 AM EDT by Ghost-Shooter]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By jblachly:


So - quick answer: Soap is a magical miniature caterpillar !

OMG, that's about the funniest thing I've ever heard on ARFCOM.
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 10:03:26 AM EDT
Umm.. how about trying some and see?

Oh, I would hit the magical miniature caterpillar too....
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 10:50:16 AM EDT
What be this soap you speak of lad? Be ye viking yea or nae?

Only thine wenches must ye wash. I think ye has partaken of too much mead.
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