Soap is one of the things which we take for granted. But it is a beneficial substance in everyday life, especially in personal care products. Soap is known as an excellent cleanser because of its ability to act as an emulsifying agent. In chemistry, one of the standard cleaning methods is to make the contaminated element dissolve and then rinse it away. The soap does the same work. In addition to soap, there are several other ways to clean our body, but none of them exists without some side effects. Different methods are less effective and more complicated and do not contain all the properties of soap. Moreover, soap is non-toxic and perfectly safe for human exposure, which adds further benefit. Below are some of the reasons why we use soap to clean ourselves:
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1: Water alone is insufficient to clean
We use soap as a cleaning substance because water alone is ineffective in cleaning the dirt and oil of our skin. Applying soap to our skin starts dissolving dirt and oil, which cannot be removed only by water application. It penetrates the upper layer of the skin and dissolves all embedded oil and dirt. At the same time, when we use water side by side, soap gets rinsed by it.
2: Molecular Structure of Soap
Soaps are the fatty acids salts of potassium or sodium produced by saponification. It involves the hydrolysis of fats. Each soap molecule has a long chain of hydrocarbon, sometimes referred to as the “tail,” and a carboxylate structure called the “head .”Its molecular structure with a water-soluble head and oil soluble tail makes the soap a very effective and efficient cleaning agent. This structure converts the two-step cleaning process into one. The potassium or sodium ions float freely in water, leaving a negative charge head. Soap acts as an emulsifier by suspending oil and dirt so that You can easily remove them.
Dirt, oil and grease are non-polar compounds and insoluble in water. When soap is mixed with any of these compounds, the non-polar hydrocarbon portion of the soap molecules breaks up the non-polar oil molecules. A unique micelle structure is formed afterward, which attaches oil and dirt to it. Hence You can easily remove it. The molecules of soap work as a bar magnet, with hydrophilic molecules (water-attracting) at the north place and hydrophobic molecules (water-repellent) at the south place. Another functionality of soap is that it reduces the surface tension of water, so it gets wet readily rather than balling on the surface when needed to be cleaned.
3: Removes Bacteria and other Impurities
Oil produced by our skin is dirt and traps bacteria and other impurities. The chemical properties of water and oil are different so they cannot mix with each other. Soaps have such chemical properties which combine both oil and water. The chain-like structure binds oil with it and the other end holds water molecules. This makes not only dirt to get removed, but it also washes away bacteria and other impurities with it which cause illness. Moreover, the packaging of soap is made to keep the soap away from environmental impurities, thus producing the best results when used.