The inelastic scattering of gas-phase OH radicals from a liquid hydrocarbon and a liquid perfluorinated polyether (PFPE) has been investigated. The surfaces examined were the potentially reactive, branched hydrocarbon squalane (C30H62, 2,6,10,15,19,23-hexamethyltetracosane) and the inert PFPE Krytox 1506 (F-[CF(CF3)-CF2O] 14ave-CF2CF3). Superthermal OH was formed by 355-nm laser photolysis of a low pressure of HONO above the liquid surface. Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) was used to determine the relative yields and nascent translational and rotational distributions of OH (v' = 0). The time-of-flight profiles from both liquids can be resolved, at least empirically, into two components. The dominant, faster component is consistent with direct, inelastic scattering. It has a higher average translational energy from PFPE than from squalane. This faster OH also has a higher Boltzmann-like rotational temperature for PFPE (655 ± 45 K) than for squalane (473 ± 27 K), in both cases considerably hotter than the incoming OH. For both liquids, there is also a slower component, with characteristics consistent with a thermalized, trapping-desorption mechanism. This is a higher proportion for squalane (0.22 ± 0.02) than for PFPE (0.09 ± 0.01). These results are consistent with squalane being the "softer" surface, exhibiting more efficient momentum transfer than PFPE, and more able to temporarily trap OH. Relative to PFPE, around half (0.49 ± 0.04) of the OH molecules that collide with squalane are lost, presumably due to reaction forming H2O. These results are compared with previous studies of the scattering of inert gas species from both squalane and PFPE. The reactive branching fraction of OH on squalane is discussed in the context of previous observations of enhanced reactivity at the gas-liquid interface. © 2008 American Chemical Society.