• Soaps are Sodium or potassium salts of carboxylic acid are known as soap.
  • Detergents are cleansing agents possessing ammonium or sulphonate salts of long chain carboxylic acids that are used to clean clothes in hard water.

Cleansing action of soap and detergents-:

  • Action of these agents is due to ability to reduce surface tension of water.
  • Soap and detergent molecules have two parts
  • Non-ionic tail- this part is insoluble in water
  • Ionic head-this part is water soluble

The ionic-end of soap interacts with water while the carbon chain interacts with oil.

micelle formation during cleansing action of soaps
micelle formation during cleansing action of soaps
  • The soap molecules thus form structures called micelles where one end of the molecules is towards the oil droplet while the ionic-end faces outside.
  • This forms an emulsion in water.
  • The soap micelle thus helps in pulling out the dirt in water and we can wash our clothes clean.

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