When you do laundry what causes nonpolar oil or greasy dirt to mix with the polar water?
Most laundry dirt is oily or greasy. Detergents can mix with both oil and water, so when the wash water goes down the drain, the soap and dirt go with it.
Detergent molecules are designed with a polar head of the molecule and a non-polar tail. The detergent molecule thus "ties together" the water and the grease. Soap performs the same function.
The detergent is a molecule with a long nonpolar tail connected to a water-soluble polar head. The nonpolar tails surround the nonpolar dirt particles (like dissolves like) and the polar heads point toward the water. Each clump of dirt is then dispersed in the water as they are attached to these detergent molecules, sliding off clothes with agitation in the washing machine. I do not own answer Laura M does at yahoo answers
The molecule that makes up soap or detergent has a polar head and a nonpolar tail. In chemistry, compounds that are polar like to mix with other polar compounds and compounds that are nonpolar like to mix with other nonpolar compounds. This is why oil and water don't mix. Water is polar and oil is nonpolar. Oil and grease are a nonpolar compounds. When in water the soap molecules will arrange themselves in such a…