Washing up has always meant grabbing a bar of soap and lathering up to remove the days dirt and grim. Pretty simple and we all understand that it works really really well. But how? How is it that a simple bar of soap can so easily get you squeaky clean?
Soap, no matter how you say it or spell it is a surfactant. A surfactant or "surface-active" agent has the ability of bridging the gap between oil / dirt and water. One end of a soap molecule loves water or is hydrophilic. The other end of a soap molecule loves oil and dirt or is lipophilic. Thus creating your "bridge" between oil and water. This bridging allows oil and grim to be suspended in the water and easily washed away.
Washing up and simply wash it away!