Brain Teasers Optical Illusions Puzzle Hunts Codes & Ciphers Mechanical Puzzles
Personal Links
Browse Teasers
Search Teasers


Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#42032
Fun:*** (2.76)
Difficulty:** (1.61)
Submitted By:tangled_brainAus****!!
Corrected By:Winner4600




We all know that oil and water just don't mix.

One thousand years ago, we also knew that everything revolved around the earth, and some people as recently as one hundred years ago knew that the earth was flat!

However, I know that I can get oil and water to mix simply by adding something found in every home.


What I add is dishwashing liquid! The reason oil and water don't mix is because oil is nonpolar, while water is polar. The "like dissolves like rule" explains why table salt (NaCl) can be dissolved in water (both are polar), while oil cannot (it's nonpolar).

What's special about the dishwashing liquid is that it is a surfactant, short for SURFace ACTing AgeNT. This gives it the ability to break the surface tension of water. Also, the molecules in the dish soap have one side that is polar and attracted to water and another that is nonpolar and soluble in oil, allowing both the polar water molecules and the nonpolar oil molecules to create a colloid called an emulsion.

There are different kinds of emulsions. Mayonnaise is an emulsion of vinegar and oil, which wouldn't mix if egg yolks weren't added.


What Next?


See another brain teaser just like this one...

Or, just get a random brain teaser

If you become a registered user you can vote on this brain teaser, keep track of
which ones you have seen, and even make your own.


Back to Top

Online Now
10 users and 695 guests

Users In Chat
Follow Braingle!
Tap into all 20,000+ of our brain teasers, riddles and puzzles on your iPhone or iPad.

Braingle in the iTunes App Store
Copyright © 1999-2017 | FAQ | Widgets | Links | Green | Subscribe | Contact | Privacy | Conditions | Advertise | Braingle Time: 2:23 pm
Sign In Create a free account