Soaps and Detergents

Soaps and detergents help clean everything from dirty hands to soiled laundry. Ask questions about their chemical properties and uses around the house.

3,329 Questions
Soaps and Detergents

Where can you buy Murphy's oil soap?

Most stores carry Murphys oil soap. You can try Walmart, Target, etc.

Society and Civilization
Soaps and Detergents

When was plant detergent first used?

It has been used for AGES! That's what they started out with.

Thank you!

Soaps and Detergents
Sanitization and Germs

Can a bar of soap get dirty?

Technically yes, but it’s not something to lose sleep over. Germs do like to live on bars of soap, but they are typically washed away as you wash your hands. A few studies (which, keep in mind, were funded by soap companies) have been conducted on this matter, and no soap germs lingered on any of their participants’ hands.

To decrease the amount of germs on your soap, make sure it dries out between uses—bacteria like damp, slimy soap best. Also, if you rinse your soap before use, you can send many of the remaining germs down the drain.

Computer Hardware
Investing and Financial Markets
Soaps and Detergents

What is soap-ict?

Sense of audience and purpose :)

Soaps and Detergents

What is sweetheart soap?

Sweetheart soap was once a bar soap made by the New York soap company I believe. It was packaged in neat little drawer style boxes and had a rather elegant filigree design embossed around the bar edges. The fragrance was a delightful rose floral and the creamy soap produced a lovely lather. It is no longer available as far as I can determine. Dial also made a liquid soap that it called Sweetheart but I doubt that it was (is?) anything like the original bar soap. Several other soaps are called 'Sweetheart' but they are either heart shaped or intended as gift soaps and, again, are not the same as the original.

History of Science
Bodies of Water
Lakes and Rivers
Soaps and Detergents

What does detergent do to lakes?

detergent itself: practically nothing. however many commercial detergent blends include phosphates: these can fertilize algae growth, reducing oxygen in the water, and killing other aquatic life.

Soaps and Detergents

Why did the man in the shower say soap soap soap?

He was singing a few bars

Soaps and Detergents

How do you clean melted fabric off the bottom of your iron?

We used to keep a block of paraffin wax wrapped in cheescloth. Once in awhile, we would run the hot iron over the wax and wipe off the residue. This resulted in a slick, clean iron.

To remove melted plastic and fabrics, heat at low setting just until material softens, and scrape off with a smooth piece of wood, a wooden spatula or half a clothespin. If some remains, make a paste with baking soda and water and rub or try silver polish. Wipe off with damp cloth. For a non-stick soleplate, rub gently with nylon mesh pad and suds. Acetone or nail polish remover may remove melted polyester.

[Info from the Home Maintenance And Repair Database at the Michigan State University website]

Fabric stores carry an iron cleaning product in the notions department. It is a thick cream that is applied to a hot iron and rubbed around with an old towel. I've used it for years.

The name is iron-off, I think it is made by fritz.

YOu can also clean molten plastic off a nonstick iron with a bit of salt. Put a tablespoon of salt onto a paper towel, and scrub the hot iron onto it.

I'm a very careless ironer and often have to spend time freeing the soleplate from a build up of melted fabric ( I presume that's all it is- anything else would clean off easily with a damp rag?) I've tried all the methods above ( most of which basically scratch the stuff off- not what you want with a non-stick soleplate) and found that on a teflon soleplate the thing that works best is nail polish remover; dunk a wadge of cotton wool in the polish, then wrap it over the end of a wooden spatula, then you can 'scrub' hard without burning your fingers and it REALLY DOES work! I was afraid the polish might damage the teflon, but so far it looks intact. Hope this helps someone.

Sanitization and Germs
Soaps and Detergents

Does soap kill sperm germs?

yes....soap is sodium(Na )or potassium(k) salt of a higher fatty acid and may present RCOO-Na+ the soap helps in emulsyfying and washing away the oils and fats.hard water does not give leather with soap.hard water contain ca2+,mg2+,ca-.this make the water hard.

Home & Garden
Soaps and Detergents

Why do soaps develop cracks?

Soap develops cracks because when it drys out the moisture holding the soap together is no longer there so it cracks

Home Equity and Refinancing
Soaps and Detergents

Is Dish soap a liquid or solid?

liquid not solid or gas

Poisons and Toxins
Soaps and Detergents

Is soap poisonous?

If you eat it, yes, very fatal. However washing yourself is not at all.

The Difference Between
Soaps and Detergents

What is the difference between washing soap and bathing soap?

Washing soap has more of caustic soda in it, to take up the dirt at higher pH. However bathing soap has either less or zero soda, to avoid skin irritation

Bombs and Explosive Materials
Soaps and Detergents

Can bombs be prepared from detergents?


Soaps and Detergents

Who makes fels napa bar soap?

Manufacturer: DIAL Corporation

Soaps and Detergents

How can you get the taste of dish soap out of your mouth if you swallow it?

Drinking coffee would probably be very effective. If you are not a coffee drinker, any other flavor will help to overcome the residual taste of soap.

Dude, I have had soap in my mouth before, and you either wait for it to get out on its own in a few hours, or just chew alot of gum, anything else won't work, and make sure it is some strong gum.

Soaps and Detergents

What would happen if you smoke laundry detergent?

Smoking laundry detergent is ultimately harmful to your body's physiology. You won't get high and, unless you smoke enough, it won't have any effects other than a bad cough. It WON'T remove toxins from your lungs and it ISN'T recommended by any means. There are MANY cases where illegal drugs are shipped in detergent and smoked afterwards with trace amounts of detergent in the narcotic. Other than a bad after taste, the detergent did not alter the user's intoxication negatively or positively. So smoking detergent will not do anything except potentially harm the person trying to attempt such a ridiculous feat. That being said, powdered detergent acts as any dust would in the lungs and air ways of a human body. "Smoking" it MAY not harm you but inhaling the powder and all of it's chemicals could cause potentially serious health risks. The "smoke" might not hurt you but the detergent itself has the potential to.

TV Programming and Commercials
Soaps and Detergents

What is the relationship of soap to soap opera?

Soap Operas are midday television dramas targeted to women. They are called "soap operas" because originally the shows were sponsored by soap and detergent companies like Proctor and Gamble, Colgate-palmolive, and Lever brothers. As housewives were the main audience, soap manufacturers were the main sponsors. The shows would be interspersed with commercials for laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, etc

Science Experiments
Soaps and Detergents

What will make bar soaps dissolve faster in water?

using hot water will dissolve it.

Soaps and Detergents

How do you remove furniture polish buildup from wood furniture?

Please, please, please do not "strip" your furniture just to remove wax buildup. Understand that "stripping" your furniture removes its original finish all the way down to the bare wood. This is not good for your furniture and if your treasured piece is an antique, "stripping" and refinishing will decrease its monetary value by as much as half. Would you remove the paint finish on your car because it was too hard to remove the dried turtle wax on the surface? The same principle applies here.

It is safer for your wood finish to have coating of wax than to be "stripped" of its finish altogether. In fact it's preferable. A good wax coating actually protects a wood's finish from many household pollutants such as cigarette smoke. And in environments where there is a lack of humidity, the wax will also protect the wood from splitting.

Also understand that wax buildup is a sign that your furniture's finish needs a proper cleaning, not a "stripping". Wax buildup is noticeable when a wax-base or oil-base furniture polish is applied over and over again without a proper buffing of its surface. The furniture surface will look dull. It might even feel slightly sticky to the touch. There are two methods to try to remove excess build up. One is to actually buff the piece with a soft lint-free rag. Old yet clean cloth diapers are perfect (if you can find them). First wipe off any excess dust then buff in a circular motion with some pressure applied to the surface. Keep doing this until the surface becomes less dull and sticky. If your cloth gets dirty, change to a clean one. Remember you want to remove and smooth out the excess wax on the furniture, not reapply it. Finish by buffing again with another clean cloth with the grain of the wood. If this is done properly, you will feel that your arms have gotten a good workout. Don't be afraid to use a little elbow grease.

If this does not work to your satisfaction or if the wax build up is too old, then its time to remove the excess wax. There are several products on the market designed to do just that. My favorite is a product called Vernax and is produced by the Hagerty's silver polish people. This can be purchased at Harry's Ace Hardware, any good antique furniture store, or online at This is not a furniture stripper but is designed to remove excess wax, dirt and oils and will not harm your finish as long as it is used properly. To use apply a little to a clean cloth (not to the wood surface). Then buff the surface of the wood as describe above going first in a circular motion and then with the grain of the wood until dry. You will see a difference immediately. Remember a little will go a long way. After the Vernax treatment, I usually follow up with a good beeswax and/or carnuba wax based furniture polish which does not contain any linseed oil or silicone. Briwax or Johnson's paste wax is acceptable. The paste wax is applied in the same manner as the Vernax. Remember to keep changing cloths until they no longer pick up any residue and that a little wax goes along way. I use this method maybe once a year on furniture that is not in heavy use and twice a year on pieces that are in use everyday. The finish is maintained by weekly or bi-monthly dusting and buffing using only clean lint-free cloths. I use no other furniture polish or sprays other than what I've mentioned here on this website. I have even made my own beeswax furniture polish. The formula and its applications can be found on this Website under "How do you make beeswax furniture polish?"

As a curator, I've seen the damage done to beautiful furniture by overzealous, but well-meaning, do-it-yourself restorers. It takes practice and lots a patience to properly "strip" and restore a finish. In many cases where the finish is botched, the piece can be restored but its monetary value has dropped to almost nil. And the cost to properly refinish a treasured piece of furniture is exorbitant and not worth the value of the piece. Therefore Great-Grandmother's Hope Chest gets moved out into the garage and used as a tool chest or worst yet, tossed out into the garbage.

Murphy's oil soap is an easily found product, and works on some finishes. Do be careful, though as it will cloud some finishes. Those are best cleaned using the methods above. Never use a brillo pad, only 0000 steel wool.

COMMENT: Let me just say that Vernax, IS NOT, designed to remove EXCESS WAX. It is a cleaner, but not that kind of cleaner. I contacted Hagerty, maker of Vernax. They said that they had heard about the comment made online in regards to this claim. However it is untrue. They do have a great cleaner, polish and protectant. A wax remover, they do not have. So, save the $15 to $20, and put it in your gas tank. Your welcome.

Soaps and Detergents

What are the side effects of ingesting laundry detergent?

Ingesting laundry detergent can make a person very sick to their stomach. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain will likely be symptoms.

Soaps and Detergents

When was ALL laundry Detergent invented?


Home & Garden
Soaps and Detergents

How do detergents clean the grease from your clothes?

detergent is a surfactant, which means it changes the surface properties of the molecules which it bonds to

a surfactant is a molecule which has two ends, one hydrophilic (water loving) and one hydrophobic (water hating)

the hydrophobic end bonds to the oil/grease, and the hydrophilic end bonds to the water (effectively encapsulating the grease molecules as shown in the dawn dish soap commercials) which allows the grease to be rinsed away as it bonds to the water

Sanitization and Germs
Soaps and Detergents

What are the disadvantages of detergents?

it can destroy the environment.
1) Detergents are not biodegradable because they have highly branched hydrocarbon chain which is not biodegradable.


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.