Why is soap a base?
In chemistry, the terms base and acid are very common. They have been a part of our lives and their uses should be given utmost importance. Acids and bases have opposite characteristics but when combined, can neutralize each other.
Acids taste sour as in the vinegar. When dropped in a litmus paper, it turns the paper to red. On the other hand, a base tastes bitter and turns the litmus paper blue. Acids are stronger and can cause our skin to burn. This is the reason why soap is a base.
Both acids and bases take hydrogen atoms from the objects they have contact with. This property makes acids and bases good for cleaning, digestion, disinfectant, and cosmetics.
One function of acids and bases is for cleaning. Since they can get rid or stains and other dirts, their cleaning agent function works effectively. Muriatic acid is an example of acid cleaning agent while soap is one best example of the product from base. If we try to compare the two cleaning agents, it is safer to use soap because of its base property. Some cleaning agents (not soap) should be handled with care because there are poisonous and dangerous to the heath. It can damage the skin because of the acidic property.
Soap is a base because it is used by people as an important cleaning agent. We always use it to clean our hands, take a bath, and wash our face. If soap is not a base, then our skin will definitely be burned holes. It is always recommended to buy soap with high base content (especially for infants) to avoid hazards and injury to our skin.
Bases can also clean and smooth the skin because of its slippery characteristics. Although acid is best to kill bacteria, too much of this can cause blisters and sores to our outer skin. For safety, soap is now made having a base ingredient.