Sunday, July 13, 2008

Of what use are those bubbles?

What good is foam? I’m not talking about foam rubber or Styrofoam – they have their uses. But in the form of cleaning products that foam or the head on beer, the value is questionable.

Years ago a New York brewer advertised “The ten minute head”. Another brewer advertised, “Don’t pour it down the side of the glass.” What does a head on a glass of beer accomplish? It prevents the beer drinker from getting at the beer – unless he wants to coat his face with foam.

Cleaning product manufacturers like to show how their product foams. Presumably the foam shows that the cleaner is doing its job. But what the commercial doesn’t tell you is that you’re going to have to rinse and rinse and rinse to get the foam to go down the drain. When I clean the bathroom I don’t use water with the cleaner – just wipe it off with a paper towel. This cuts down significantly on the work of removing the foam. And I avoid cleaning products whose manufacturers tout their foaminess.
And foam from detergents can be a big contributor to pollution of streams and rivers. Better to do without those suds.

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