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Natural Aromatherapy & Herbal Soaps
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Belle's Botanicals
PMB 141
236 W. East Avenue, Suite A
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 345-9898



What makes Soap Lather?

Soap molecules are long chains of atoms that have two main parts:

A polar "head" that is attracted to water molecules and repelled by oil, and a hydrocarbon tail that is repelled by water and attracted to oil.

The hydrophobic ("water fearing") tails of the soap molecules naturally try to get out of a watery solution and collect at any available surface. When that surface is air, the soap molecules arrange themselves in an orderly layer, with the hydrophilic ("water loving") heads in the water and their oil loving tails in the air. Shaking a soap and water solution introduces pockets of air that, when big enough, appear as bubbles. A thin film of soap molecules coats each pocket, creating a bubble. When the shaking stops, the bubbles float to the surface. More soap and more stirring allow the formation of smaller bubbles. Foam or lather is just a conglomerate of these tiny soap bubbles. Although many people associate lather with the cleaning properties of soap, it is actually an incidental property resulting from the way the soap molecules are drawn to dirt and oil.

Source for What makes soap lather? "Discover April 2003".

Natural Handmade Soap | About our Soaps | Herbs & Botanicals in our Soaps | History of Soaps
What makes soap lather?


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