How Soap works to fight Germs | Jesse Magg’s Soap Experiment

It can be difficult to teach kids why washing their hands is important, but with this simple experiment, they can have fun learning.

- two bowls

- dish or hand soap

- pepper

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  1. Fill one bowl with water. Fill the second bowl with a small, soapy mixture.
  2. Add pepper (acting as germs) on top of the bowl filled with just water.
  3. Dip your finger in the soapy mixture, then dip your finger into the water bowl with pepper in it. Watch what happens!


Since soap molecules are made of hydrophobic (repels water) and hydrophilic (attracted to water) ends, soap is very effected at not just decontaminating, but washing germs away. The hydrophobic end of the soap molecules surround the pepper (germs) with the hydrophilic end pointing away from the pepper (germs). In the experiment, pepper was quickly washed away when soap was added to the bowl. The same thing happens with germs when we wash our hands.

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