Question
Tue March 06, 2012 By: Mrinal

Explain briefly the cleansing process of soap?

Expert Reply
Wed March 07, 2012

A micelle consists of a hydrophobic hydrocarbon – like central core. The cleansing action of soap is due to the fact that soap molecules form micelle around the oil droplet in such a way that hydrophobic part of the stearate ions is in the oil droplet and hydrophilic part projects out of the grease droplet like the bristles. Since the polar groups can interact with water, the oil droplet surrounded by stearate ions is now pulled in water and removed from the dirty surface. Thus soap helps in emulsification and washing away of oils and fats. The negatively charged sheath around the globules prevents them from coming together and forming aggregates.

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