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I have done a fair share of hand washing using powdered soaps and in the first few seconds after mixing the soap with water, I have in most cases felt a subtle warmth in my hands. Is it that the reaction (if there's any) between soap and water is exothermic? Or there is another explanation for this phenomenon?

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    $\begingroup$ Not having the exact sequence, I'd guess that the result is that the soap reduces the surface tension of the water. Thus there is better contact between your hand and the water. So I'm guessing that you start moving your hand in the "pure" water first, then you keep moving your hand as the soap is added. You feel the extra warmth as you add the soap. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Dec 21 '15 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW So this is more of a physics than chemistry related occurence? $\endgroup$ – Chimango Chisuwo Dec 26 '16 at 8:27

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