We have already discussed some other phenomena of Soap and Detergent in our previous blogs. Now, today’s learning outcome will be on
- Cleaning mechanism of Soap and Detergent
- Differences Between Soap and Detergent
The Cleaning Mechanism of Soap and Detergent
The main function of detergent or soap is to remove oil and dust from clothes through washing with water. Oily substances come out from our body and stick to our clothes. Then dust comes in contact with the oily substances and makes dirt.
Soap (R-COONa) or detergent (C12H25SO4Na) is a long chained carbon molecule. In solution state, they dissociate into negatively charged soap ion (R-COO–) or detergent ion (C12H25SO4–) and positively charged sodium ion (Na+). There is a negative charge in one end of soap or detergent ion. Since this negatively charged end is attracted by water, this negative end is known as hydrophilic. The other end of soap or detergent ion dissolves in oil or grease and this end is known as hydrophobic.
Related: Washing Soda and Toilet Cleaner
When soap or detergent gets contact with the oily or greasy dirt of clothes in presence of water then the hydrophobic part is attracted by the oil or grease and dissolves in it.
On the other hand, the hydrophilic part extends to the water layer. In this condition, if clothes are rubbed or twisted, the particles of oily or greasy dirt are completely covered by the negatively charged ion of soap or detergent. A ring of negative charge ion is formed around the particles of oily or greasy dirt. Then they want to stay at the possible maximum distance and form a mixture of oil, soap, and water. This mixture is known as scum. When we add more water to this scum, oil and dust are washed away with the scum. Thus soap washes away dirt.
Differences Between Soap and Detergent
Related: Bleaching Powder and Glass Cleaner
References: NCTB Books and Google