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27 votes

Is there such a thing as a "minimal soap" molecule?

It boils down to the definition of soap. Wikipedia defines a soap as the salt of a fatty acid. IUPAC claims the smallest fatty acid can be considered to have 4 carbons. Therefore the simplest soap ...
Vinícius Godim's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What are "tensides"?

I don't remember to have seen the term tensid outside the context of the German language. The term is typically applied to agents that decrease the surface tension (hence tensid) of water. Note that ...
Klaus-Dieter Warzecha's user avatar
10 votes

Quantifying soapiness; there's pH, pKa and pO2, is there a p_soap or p_surfactance?

A concept that captures how effective a detergent is at doings its job is aptly called "detergency." As might be expected this is a complex property and difficult to describe unambiguously ...
Buck Thorn's user avatar
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8 votes

Is there such a thing as a "minimal soap" molecule?

While I agree that the definition matters I disagree with the definition of soap as "as the salt of a fatty acid". For one SDBS, AOT, SDS, Cocamide DEA (not even a salt) and CTAB are all popular soaps ...
A.K.'s user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to store a Tween 80 stock solution?

The Sigma Aldrich/Merck product information for "TWEEN® 80 solution" states the following: Storage/Stability Aqueous solutions of polysorbates as well as the neat liquid will undergo ...
lcnittl's user avatar
  • 520
7 votes

How do I lower the surface tension of water without using a detergent?

Your goal is to reduce the surface tension of the water so that it does not support the formation of large bubbles or inhibit the whetting of the dirt particles. When the bubbles are small, the ...
airhuff's user avatar
  • 17.5k
7 votes

Quantifying soapiness; there's pH, pKa and pO2, is there a p_soap or p_surfactance?

Soapiness or anything like that cannot be represented by a single number. Hence no point in inventing such a quantity. Just like we cannot associate a plain number to odors, soapiness is ...
AChem's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Why does Dead Sea water feel greasy?

I don't know what you mean by the term "greasy", but here's a possible explanation: When Dead Sea water evaporates on skin, then salts will precipitate when their maximum solubility is reached. The ...
aventurin's user avatar
  • 7,230
5 votes

How do I lower the surface tension of water without using a detergent?

Vinegar does reduce the surface tension quite a bit. If you put a tablespoon or two of vinegar in a bowl and then run water into it, the bubbles that form on the surface persist much longer than they ...
hBy2Py's user avatar
  • 17.4k
5 votes

How does NaCl (or any inorganic salt) increase surface tension?

I hope this picture helps. The interaction between a molecule of water and an ion is stronger than the hydrogen bonding that occurs between two water molecules.
Bob's user avatar
  • 750
5 votes

Why do surfactants lower the surface tension

We usually say that at an interface, molecules will orient themselves at a "preferred" position, but we usually ignore that such a "preferred position" can actually be their "least unfavorable" ...
SteffX's user avatar
  • 3,042
5 votes

Biodegrability of straight chain and branched chain detergents

According to Scott and Jones1: ... problems arise with branched alkyl chains, a side chain methyl group or a gem-dimethyl-branched chain cannot undergo β-oxidation by microorganisms and must be ...
Aniruddha Deb's user avatar
4 votes

What exactly happens while washing clothes

When you wash a piece of cloth, even without soap, it's better to agitate. The vibration, friction, etc. will help speed up the process of mixing the dirt/grease with water. Even the very definition ...
NVZ's user avatar
  • 247
4 votes
Accepted

Can cationic species form micelles?

Cationic micelles similar to your examples can and do exist. For example cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (Growth of Cationic Micelles in the Presence of Organic Additives, P. A. Hassan and J. V. ...
airhuff's user avatar
  • 17.5k
4 votes

Suppressing flammable foam formation in electrolysis

In the beverage industry (think sugar-based fizzy drinks and beer) foaming has to be reduced prior sealing the cans, this is done by ultrasound. The cans and bottles underpass an airborne ultrasound ...
Buttonwood's user avatar
  • 30.1k
3 votes

What are "tensides"?

I have seen the term "tensider" (likely meaning "surfactants") on labels in Swedish too, this is probably because Swedish is a Germanic language. All sources I could find seem to confirm that it is ...
theRPGmaster's user avatar
3 votes

Is it known for sure that bases feel slippery because of the production of soap/surfactant?

Potential candidates might include: Soap/surfactant, Glycerol produced from hydrolysis of "finger lipids", Broken down protein products, or the pre-existing [inter-cellular lipid layers][5] ...
A.K.'s user avatar
  • 12.6k
3 votes

What exactly happens while washing clothes

The modern definition of washing is "washing can be defined as both the removal by water or aqueous surfactant solution of poorly soluble matter and the dissolution of water-soluble impurities from ...
AChem's user avatar
  • 41.1k
3 votes

Difference between Soap and Detergent

There is no restriction that soap be natural or unnatural. Soap are salts and detergents are not necessarily salts. The latter is a very broad term. Soap has a narrow meaning. IUPAC clearly defines ...
AChem's user avatar
  • 41.1k
2 votes

Soap and rain water, why does it not rinse off?

The inefficiency of soft, essentially pure, water for rinsing soap from skin is well recognized. However, a broader explanation includes the difficulty in removing the last traces of anything from ...
James Gaidis's user avatar
2 votes

The entropy change during micellization

In order to accommodate the hydrophobic tail of the free surfactant, the hydrogen-bonded structure of bulk water must be distorted. A nonpolar hydrocarbon cannot form hydrogen bonds with water and ...
prc84's user avatar
  • 51
2 votes
Accepted

Salt and sugar surfactants?

The surface tension of water is increased by the dissolution of either glucose ($\ce{C6H12O6}$) or $\ce{NaCl}$. The following are excerpts from this table: Solution$\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ ...
airhuff's user avatar
  • 17.5k
2 votes

Why does shower gel / shampoo foam a lot more on hairy than non-hairy body parts?

It's mainly due to the surface area and the spacial distribution of hair compared to that of hairless skin. A typical human hair width is around one micron. Given the various hair length and ...
airhuff's user avatar
  • 17.5k
2 votes

How do I lower the surface tension of water without using a detergent?

Basically, the surface tension of water is originated when the water molecules which are dipolar, and their polar interactions exist due to the residual forces which exist at the surfaces. The dipoles ...
Man Singh's user avatar
2 votes

How do I lower the surface tension of water without using a detergent?

Amway makes a product called L.O.C. It is somewhat of a detergent, However, it has been sold as a product that "makes water, wetter". It has been added (as I have been told) to chemicals in crop ...
Carl Wood's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Uncertainty in measuring the mass of the palm oil and the base in saponification

It would effect primarily the mass obtained (yield) and probably the quality, too, but that depends on how you measure this. Given that you use some procedure to purify your crude product that is ...
Martin - マーチン's user avatar
2 votes

Surface Chemistry - Dipole Moment of Surfactant with Water and Phases of a Monomolecular Layer

Regarding question (2), the wikipedia page describing Langmuir-Blodgett films may help. The following figure shows a pressure-area curve (top) and a diagram of a Langmuir-Blodgett trough (bottom, ...
Buck Thorn's user avatar
  • 22.3k
2 votes

Can you steam clean your range hood, by adding dishwashing liquid to boiling distilled water?

Any time a piece of equipment goes down, you cannot get a repair person, and you are not sure what to do, try to call or email the manufacturer. This is the US contact information for Sakura. They ...
Agriculturist's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

What is the theoretical reason for the dependence of the surface tension on the alcohol concentration in water?

Curve I could be that of a detergent, but sodium dodecyl sufate decreases the tension faster than methanol and displays a very distinct change in behavior with onset of micellization at the critical ...
Buck Thorn's user avatar
  • 22.3k

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