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Question: How does bubble-bath stay near the running water?

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  • This is pretty hard to explain what I'm going on about, and I'm probably wrong, but here goes...

    I expect that what happens is that the bubble bath is - first of all - most vigourously mixed where the running water is. This makes the bubbles get created there. Then, as the running water goes under the surface and hits the base of the bath, it goes outwards. I would assume that the force of the running water creates a dip in the surface of the water which the freshly-emerged water-from-the-tap-with-bubble-ba
  • I would expect that the solution becomes evenly distributed throughout the water. What makes you think it says in one place? Does the bubble bath solution do something different than dish soap does?
    • I would expect that the solution becomes evenly distributed throughout the water. What makes you think it says in one place? Does the bubble bath solution do something different than dish soap does?

      I expect the solution is indeed evenly distributed - but the bubbles themselves are created by turbulence in the water (rather than by simply mixing the solution into still water). Since they're created where the water enters, they will tend to be clustered around that point until something moves them away.

      • Well, he said the solution, but if we are talking about the bubbles I think the major factor in their lack of movement is that they stick together.
  • by SolemnDragon ( 593956 ) <> on Friday November 28, 2003 @02:37PM (#7583235) Homepage Journal
    Lucky for you, auntie Sol worked in a soapworks up in Vermont. I have made, cut, boxed, tested, melted, carved, (and even accidentally eaten) soap. What goes into your bath isn't soap, it's detergent. BUT.... it does the job.

    Here [] is a nifty little diagram of the process. (with animations.)

    As you'd surmised, yes, the soap gets fairly evenly distributed- though the smart bubble fiend will put the bubble bath in the end with the faucet anyway, since that's where the turbulence is. As an experiment, i'd advise this: using your hand, cover the faucet partway, forcing the water into a higher-pressure flow. Notice how the bubbles change size? You get a lot more, but they don't look the same.

    Glycerin helps bubbles stay, and is also a moisturiser. Because it's a byproduct of the soapmaking process, but is worth more than soap, it's frequently removed. Here, check out this page on bubbles. []

    Incidentally, a soap advertising itself as 1/4 moisturising lotion is appalling- soap begins as more than halfway moisturizing lotion. Oil, water, glycerin. 52%, on average. Go for natural soap- if your soap doesn't have a list of ingredients, don't use it. They're allowed to use up to 5% recycled restaurant oils in the US, and that's EXACTLY what it sounds like. sometime i'll have to give you the whole soap spiel.

    For now, we're talking detergents and bubbles. Where was i? Oh, right. Mixing a little glycerin into your bubble bath will give you longer lasting bubbles. Be prepared to wash your hair separately afterwards to get the bubble bath out, because while it's not great for skin, it can be pretty tough on hair if used to often, as it's shampoo without the added conditioners.

    Yes, the stuff in your bubble bath and the stuff in your dishwashing soap bottle is the same stuff, although the additives vary.

    Oh, and those glycerin soap bars, the clear ones? Skip the, Soap is opaque, and to get it clear they have to use things you don't want on your skin, and even if they say it leaves no trace, that's not true according to the tests. And the best way to get your soap to last longer is to dry it out. Curing the soap by air-drying it slows down the process of osmosis- the more water there is in your soap, the sooner it turns to mush (like Ivory brand, one of the highest water-content bars out there.) Taking the water content from 20% to 5% makes a huge difference.


    • Thanx!

      I care about how it continues to make bubbles, but i think the explanation was it actually spreads out when pushed, but the turbulance is what creates the bubbles.

      Any comments on cocunut oil soap?
      • Specifically, when bubbles of air get pushed down into the water by the flowing water from the tap, they go through a film of bubble bath, which prevents the film of water surrounding the bubble of air from evaporating. This can be disrupted easily by contact with something dry, which is why it's easy to capture a soap bubble with a wet bubble wand and almost impossible with your dry hands.

        Yes. Basically, soap is a salt- what you get when you mix an acid with a base. In this case, the fatty acids of the o

        • If it's got a white film on the outside of the bar, wipe it off with a paper towel, because that may be alkali residue.

          uh oh. My soap is white all the way through. Now what?

          • you're all set. I'd write you a complete and idiot's guide, but that's getting more personal than i'm comfy with... sorry.

            seriously, if it's white all through and a natural soap, not ivory or lever or something, turn it in the light. Soap is usually smooth, glycerin is smooth. If you'rs isn't smooth/slightly glossy but gets that way if you brush it with a piece of paper towel, you're all set. If is doesn't, and the inside is as powedery all through, go buy better soap.

            Incidentally, that po

            • if it's white all through and a natural soap, not ivory or lever or something

              Well, it's ivory but it's 99 and 44/100ths percent pure. How is it not natural? Do you grow your own soap trees?

              Talking to Sol is always fun

              • That slogan happened because they told the maker that it had 0.56% of various non-soap residues, 99.44% what they'd intended it to be. It's got a lot of water and air, but here's [] what else it's got. (procter & Gamble don't list the ingredients on their own site, [] although they say it's got "Animal & Vegetable fats," Fragrance, and EDTA.)

                Yes, that's i. Soap Trees. Were you this imaginative as a kid? How did your mum keep up?


                • There's a brand of "herbal" shampoo that says on the bottle that it's 99% natural ingredients. Seeing as it's probably 98% water, that's not really a very natural product, I think.

                  Yes, that's i. Soap Trees. Were you this imaginative as a kid? How did your mum keep up?

                  Yes. And there were three of us that way so the answer to #2 is: she often didn't -- like the time we got her kicked out of the grocery store (inquisitive young minds want to know what happens if you take the bottom corner item out of the p

        • Well, Kosher Soap, never uses animal fats. So, i see the vegetable oil stuff. Just checked, it has a white film on it. I'll check it out more later.

          This is interesting..... any difference between a bar and "liquid" soap?
          • one's a bar, one's a liquid.

            No, i'm serious. In order to go from liquid to solid, it has to dry. Soap starts as a liquid. Water, oil, glycerin, soap. You end up with soap that's in liquid form, and then you pour it into molds and dry it out. Which is when the alkali rises to the surface, which is why liquid soaps are sometimes a little harsher than bars.

            On the other hand, liquid detergents, such as dish soap, work very well in that form. Dish soap is usually detergent.

            Kosher soap is a good thing, i us

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.