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How does dish liquid work?

Dish liquid gets our dishes clean, making it possible for us to reuse the same dishes again and again. But how does dish liquid work? The science behind this product will amaze you.

How Dish Liquid Works: Detergent Molecules

There are two different types of molecules. Some are hydrophilic, which means they are attracted to water, while others are hydrophobic, which means water repels them. Oil is made up of hydrophobic molecules.

Structure of Dish liquid

When these two types of molecules are combined together, they make a detergent molecule. A dish liquid molecule has one hydrophilic end and one hydrophobic end. The first is a polar structure that binds with the water while you wash dishes. The latter is a non-polar structure that binds with the grease and oil.

How Does Dish Liquid Work?

When you place a greasy pan in a sink full of soapy water, the oil or grease on the pan doesn’t automatically dissolve in the water. This is because the oil molecules are non-polar, while the water molecules are polar. So how does washing up liquid work? It works by using its polar and non-polar structure to act as a bridge, or an emulsifier.

While oil doesn’t naturally mix with water, the soap molecules rearrange when they come in contact with the oil. If you were to view the detergent molecule at this point, you’d see that the hydrophilic polar side of the molecule (the one that loves water) is pointing out toward the water. The grease-loving hydrophobic part is pointing toward the oil. This part sticks to the grease, trapping it inside the molecule and pulling it away from the dish, the soapy water can easily be rinsed away.

How Dish Liquid Works: Getting Dishes Clean

Dish liquids’ molecules lift dirt, grime, germs and grease off of dishes so they can be washed away down the drain. After rinsing the dish liquid off with water, the dishes are left clean and ready to reuse.

In addition, water (which can dissolve many food particles by itself) as well as agitation or friction is necessary to reach optimum results.

Have you ever wondered how dish liquid works? Thanks to the unique parts of the soap molecule, your dishes can be clean and free of grease with each hand dishwashing.