Stainless Steel Soap

By Anupum Pant

How in the world would a piece of metal be used as soap. I never knew something like that could be used to clean your hands. But it does and there’s a fairly scientific hypothesis explaining why it works.

Stainless steel soaps are real and you can buy them in stores. These soaps apparently help to remove or neutralise strong odour from your hands after you cook – like the smell of garlic, fish or onions. Although not everyone agrees that there is a solid scientific explanation for it, but it does work and you can try it at home. Even if you prefer not buying a soap to test it out right away, you could use any stainless steel surface for it.

So, when you have strong odour on your hands after cutting, say onions or garlic, you could try rubbing your hand while the water is running, on a stainless steel sink’s surface, or any other utensil made out of that alloy. This is how it is believed stainless steel soaps work.

The sulphur from stuff that causes odour to stick to your skin can bind stronger to the stainless steel surface than your skin, or that is what they believe. So, when the sulphur goes away and binds to the stainless steel surface, the odour from your hand is gone.

The exact working of this is not known. But, catalytically induced oxidation of odor molecules and an absorption of molecules on the surface of the stainless steel (especially a chemical compounding with ferrous, manganese and/or molybdenum molecules).

Onions and garlic contain amino acid sulfoxides, which form sulfenic acids, which then form a volatile gas (propanethiol S-oxide), which forms sulfuric acid upon exposure to water. –

Like we all know, using only water makes it worse. Why not try it out for once.

For hardcore scientists like Dr. Bob Wolke, a professor emeritus of chemistry, this doesn’t seem to work. Granted he didn’t conduct a perfect scientific study. Probably if he did, he might something. Well, it does work for people, if it works for you too, great. How does it matter.

via NPR

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