Differentiate between soap and detergent

(a) Differentiate between soap and detergent,
(b) Explain why, soaps from scum with hard water whereas detergents do not.

Soaps :

  1. Soaps are sodium or potassium salts of long chain carboxylic acids.
  2. Soaps have lesser cleansing action or quality as compared to detergents.
  3. Soaps are made from animal or plant fats.
  4. Soaps are more biodegradable.
    Detergents :
  5. Detergents are ammonium or solphonate salts of long chain carboxylic acids.
  6. Detergents have better cleansing action as compared to soaps.
  7. Detergents are made from petrochemicals. Detergents are less biodegradable.

(b) Hard water contains ions of calcium and magnesium which react with soap molecules to form insoluble precipitates called soap scum.

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