Hear That? That's the Sound of Clean Listener Alex Lips submits a SoundClip from his job at Unilever. He listens to the sound of soap on skin — just one of the factors, he says, that goes into designing pleasing products.
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Hear That? That's the Sound of Clean

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Hear That? That's the Sound of Clean

Hear That? That's the Sound of Clean

Hear That? That's the Sound of Clean

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Listener Alex Lips submits a SoundClip from his job at Unilever. He listens to the sound of soap on skin — just one of the factors, he says, that goes into designing pleasing products.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Good personal health is just part of personal hygiene. That's what the people who make skin care products know. Our sound clip today is from that world of commercial cleanliness.

M: My name is Alex Lipps and I'm director of science and principal scientist at the Unilever Research and Development Center at Trumbull in Connecticut. We record in some detail the sound skin makes when we're using different beauty bars, and we listen to it. Listen to the sound of my palm gliding over the surface of my left arm when I'm washing with a harsh soap bar.

(SOUNDBITE OF GRATING NOISE)

M: It's an unpleasant sound, don't you think? But now listen to the sound as I rub my right arm, this time I'm washing with a Dove Beauty Bar.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEAUTY BAR PASSING OVER SKIN)

M: That's the sound of smoothness.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEAUTY BAR PASSING OVER SKIN)

M: And that's the sound we spend our time listening to. Sometimes, all of this is a little hard to explain to people who ask me what I do for a living. But that's one thing I do.

SIEGEL: Alex Lipps of Unilever with a noisy soap versus a quiet one. We're interested in sounds that originate in lives and workplaces. Let us know about what you hear in your life by going to npr.org and searching there for SoundClips.

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