Soap bubbles and soapy water

My wife and I have an ongoing debate:

When doing dishes and filling the basin with water, invariably, there is a three inch high layer of soap bubbles after the basin has completed filling.

I normally wipe these off and go to work. My wife, however, insists that I’m horribly affecting the soap content of the water when I do this because most of the soap goes into the bubbles.

I think she’s wrong…but of course I can’t prove it since I don’t even know how one would begin to measure how much soap is in my water/soap/nasty food solution.

Anyone able to settle this debate?

Carefull skim off and set aside the soap foam. Then agitate the water to see if more foam can be generated - is so, the water still contains soap.

I beleive that that this debate can be solved amicably since you are both right in one way or another. The concentration of soap in the bubbles is indeed higher than in solution. I don’t konw how much higher, but it could be quite alot.

I assume that you have a standard 2 gallon sink. So when its full minus say .5 gallon for volume of the dishes you have 1.5 gallons of soap water. What would you guess the volume of soap that you scrape off the top of the solution would be. I’d say 10 mls tops (remember bubbles are mostly air). In other words, the amount of soap you lose by scraping off the bubbles is totally insignificant even at very high concentration.

Thats my two cents anyway.

To avoid the whole 3" layer of bubbles and whether or not they contain a significant amount of soap issue, fill the sink first, then squirt in the soap.

As for the cleaning power of the suds, try scooping them off, then put them into a sink full of un-soaped water and try washing some dishes. I’ll bet they don’t do too well.

Dish washing detergent is best added half way through filling of the basin to avoid too much suds. :wink: