How Does Soap Work? How Does Soap Work?

Posted on by Jackson Fung

Soap is made up of molecules with a “Head” which likes water (hydrophilic) and a “Tail” which hates water (hydrophobic).

The setup has made soap molecule attach to both water and oil. When water is added to soap, the hydrophilic heads of the molecules stick to the water pointing outward, while the hydrophobic tails grab the oil particles remaining inward. Then the soap molecules structure themselves into circular groups called “micellas”. The oil is trap in the center of the micellas, and the micellas is rinsed away along with the oil.

*Pictures from Wikidot & Planet Science

Soap is made up of molecules with a “Head” which likes water (hydrophilic) and a “Tail” which hates water (hydrophobic).

The setup has made soap molecule attach to both water and oil. When water is added to soap, the hydrophilic heads of the molecules stick to the water pointing outward, while the hydrophobic tails grab the oil particles remaining inward. Then the soap molecules structure themselves into circular groups called “micellas”. The oil is trap in the center of the micellas, and the micellas is rinsed away along with the oil.

*Pictures from Wikidot & Planet Science