Unsolved Mysteries: Why Does Cling Wrap Cling?
There are a lot of things in the world that I don't understand. How can the earth spin around at over 17,000 miles per hour, but yet we don't feel it? How can stepping on the gas pedal make my car go faster and faster? How do all the inner workings of a watch keep accurate time? How do they make paper out of trees? I like to learn new things, but I don't want to know everything. I like having a little mystery in my life. I like to wonder. But, I have to know why cling wrap clings? SPOILER ALERT! If you don't want to know why cling wrap clings ,stop reading now, because I am going to tell you.
Cling wrap, sometimes called saran wrap, is an amazing product. It sticks to everything. That's what it's supposed to do, but that's also the thing that makes is very frustrating. It sticks to itself, it sticks to your hands, and before you know it you've got it bunched up or in a ball and you have to start over. At least that's how it is with me. I have never yet learned the art of successfully unwrapping the cling wrap. It is possible I have two many thumbs. It's an adventure and a crap-shoot every time. So, what is it that makes this amazing product do what it does?
Many sources say it is static cling that makes cling wrap stick to everything around it. But, if that were true it would sometimes repel itself a well as other substances, making it impractical for use and would have you heading back to the store for a refund.
The answer is actually scientific.Most cling wrap is made of one of two materials: polyvinyl chloride or low density polyethylene. Both are long polymers - chains of molecules, and these chains cling to each other very well. So bound together, in fact, that they don't let water pass through it. The military used to spray "Saran" on fighter jets to prevent corrosion.
The bottom line becomes added adhesives. Other chemicals, all minor adhesives, are added to make the cling wrap sticky enough to do its job. For a more scientific explanation you'll have to search elsewhere, but that is it in a nutshell.
So now that I have a very basic understanding of how it works, I think I need some lessons on how to properly and efficiently use this stuff. When it comes to cling wrap, I'm like Charlie Brown and his kite- it's a disaster waiting to happen.