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How soap works?

Many different legends tell about where soap came from. The mankind used soap made from animal fats and plants already 6000 years ago. For centuries, the composition of soap varied, but its main task, to wash the mud, has not changed.

Soap picture

The first who described the chemical composition of soap was a French chemist Michel Eugène Chevrel. It turned out that the soap is sodium salt of higher carboxylic acid.

We don't know the exact date of the creation of soap. It is known that the prototype of this product was a mixture of ash and fat. When combined, these substances entered into the reaction, which was the basis of soap making. This action is called saponification reaction.

So how does soap work?

Today, we use natural oils and caustic soda to create soap. The mass obtained by mixing the oil with baking soda creates lots of bubbles. Each bubble has a shell, which consists of water. The dirt sticks to the bubbles, thereby easily washes off with water flow.

Soap bar

Many people believe that when you lather the hands with soap, it kills the germs. In reality, you need to create the lather in order to easily separate the bacteria from the skin. They are easier to wash off with water and soap.

READ ALSO: How to make homemade hand soap?

The modern production of soap allows you to create cleaning products that are not only made with natural products. Soaps are prepared from ingredients consisting of surface active agents. They are produced in the processing of petroleum products and coal.

Considering the washing process from the physical or chemical side, you can see that it is quite complex. Soap is able to dissolve in water, decreasing its surface tension. Soap molecules are divided into hydrophobic and hydrophilic particles. Once inside, near the polar water molecules, hydrophilic particles of soap remain in the water. Hydrophobic, in turn, sent up to the dirty non-polar particles. This oily suspension is washed off with water.

Simply put, the dirt sticking to the soap bubbles is easily washed off with water together with air foam.

Soap bars

Why does the soap clean?

Try to take a fat bowl and wash it under running cold water. It is certain to say that it won't work. You will succeed in removing the sticky oily film only if you add a bit of soap to the water. It is composed of the varieties of fat itself, so it can miraculously dissolve any dirt and make things sparkling clean.

Colorful soap bars

Oil, dirt, and water

Most types of dirt in one way or another contain fat. Even if it doesn't, it is still the same dust, settling on the skin, mixed with sebum. So you can't consider your hands clean after just touching the warm water because the fat does not dissolve in the water. If you mix in a glass of water with a small amount of vegetable oil, you will notice how the liquid stratifies into 2 components, which do not want to have any relation to each other. The picture changes dramatically if you add some soap to the mixture. Three substances – water, oil and soap will go into one, that is, the soap will just dissolve the fat in the water - once and for all.

Soap fish

There are many other components that can be added to the soap.

  • Aloe gel will hydrate and plump the skin. Add aloe vera gel to the dissolved soap base to 50% of the volume of the liquid.
  • Clays saturate the soap with beneficial properties for the skin. It absorbs toxins, improves blood circulation, restores the metabolic processes in the skin. Colored clay can give the soap interesting and beautiful shades.
  • Mud treatment creates a subtle effect of exfoliation, and tightens, soothes and brightens the skin.
  • Coffee. You can use coffee decoction instead of water or ground coffee as a scrub. Soap with coffee perfectly cleanses the skin, removes odors from the skin, however but kills the odors of essential oils.
  • Honey increases the amount of foam, moisturizes and nourishes the skin.
  • Sea salt increases the hardness of soap, increases blood circulation, and tightens the skin.

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