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How Does Soap Work?

It's Not As Clean-Cut As It Looks.

Bubbles + Water = Clean... Right?

At first thought it seems pretty simple, but the more you think on it, how soap actually works to clean our bodies involves more science than expected.

To understand the process better, you need to know soap's main ingredients.

Soap's main ingredients are animal fat or vegetable oil combined with lye.

Why is this important to know?

Let's Scrub It Down.

It's important to know these ingredients because due to them, soap is able to clean.

It's the chemical reaction between these two ingredients that allows the soap to

serve its function.

From Head to... Tail?

Soap particles are made up of two ends- a head and a tail- that attract different things. One end of the soap particle attracts the water, the other end of the particle attracts the oil from our bodies. With a little extra scrub and rinse, the soap lifts the dirt off and down the drain.

And That's The Dirt On How Soap Works!


There's More To Wash Out

After exploring these interesting facts about soap, I knew that a lesson plan on soap was deserving. There is so much to learn about soap beyond just its fun bubbles, not to mention it isn't a common unit study out there, so that made it even more appealing. Integrating bars of soap, liquid soap, and dry soap into our learning activities was a whole new kind of fun that left my kids favoring our soap unit. There are plenty of science and crafting ideas surrounding soap, that I even surprised myself with all that was packed into this lesson.

Try exploring it yourself or

Get the complete Soap Unit Study Here.

It's Good Clean Fun!

Soap Unit
Soap Unit Board

Soap Unit: "What's In It" board
Exploring the ingredients in soap

Soap Unit
Scrubbing bubbles about to take flight!

Soap Unit: DIY Soaps
Mixing and making our very own soaps!

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