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Soap

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Submitted By jamarrm
Words 556
Pages 3
Jamarr McPherson

Everyday Chemistry of Soap
The choice that I've chosen for my term paper was the everyday chemistry of soap. The reason I chose this is because I wonder how the soap actually makes things clean, and why when the chemistry part of soap touches your skin or clothes, it up lifts the dirt. Also, I see people that walk around looking dirty, but have iPhones and good material things and wonder if they know how important cleansing your purees really are.
For those who don’t know what soap is or what it is used for, soap is a salt of a fatty acid. Soaps are mainly used as surfactants for washing, bathing, and cleaning, but they are also used in textile spinning and are important components of lubricants. Now of days, soap is made up of the fats and oils and reacts with lye which is a sodium hydroxide. Lard, palm oil and coconut oil are types of solids that are used to stay hard and resisted from dissolving is soap dishes and water. Even though soap is known for its cleaning ability, it’s not its only purpose. Some soap can be mixed with gasoline to get gelatinous napalm. It takes longer to catch on fire than pure gasoline. It’s also found in Canned Heat which is soap and alcohol mixed that can be used when you want to keep food warm outside or something. I was upset when I found out that my lab class wasn’t going to be able to do the soap lab due to snow days, it would have been the perfect hands on lab to go right along with my paper.
Soap is used in many different ways, but for one main purpose, to clean. In order for the cleaning process to start, surfactants need to occur. Surfactants are when the surface tension is reduced the water tension so the water can spread in order to clean. The surfactants are grouped by the ionic properties in the water: the anionic, nonionic, Cationic and amphoteric charges. Out of those, the soap is an anionic surfactant which helps the water clean. Alkali is used in the soap making process. It’s a base substance and it reacts with the acid also neutralizing it. A common alkali used in soap is the caustic soda, which is sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.
Soap isn’t hard to make. You mainly just need oils and lye and flavoring if you want a certain fragrance. Some popular soaps that are known is dove, Irish spring, aveeno, Dial, Ajax, ivory, Olay etc. I know I wasn’t the only person curious to how soap cleans things. According to chemistry.about.com, soap is a great cleaning product because of how it is able to act like an emulsifier agent. An emulsifier is able to separate a liquid into another immiscible liquid. By doing that, the oil doesn’t mix with the water and the soap can remove the dirt.

Bibliography
Helmenstine, Ph.D. Anne Marie. "What Is Soap Made of and How Does It Clean?" N.p., 02 June 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
"Clean Living." Soaps & Detergents: Chemistry. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
Brady, James E.; Russell, Joel W.; and Holum, John R. (2000). Chemistry: Matter and Its Changes, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley.…...

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