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I test three different laundry detergents to see which one is best at removing stains from clothes.

Ben Monroe

on 24 January 2013

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WHICH LAUNDRY DETERGENT IS BEST AT REMOVING STAINS FROM CLOTHES Ben Monroe 6th grade Ms. Rebecca Williams The purpose of this experiment is to find out which of three laundry detergents is most effective in removing stains from clothes. The laundry detergents used are Tide Free and Gentle, Purex with Stain Fighting Power, and Xtra. Tide and Purex are brands that are well known, Xtra is not as well known. My Hypothesis is that the Tide detergent will be the most effective in removing stains. BACKGROUND

Laundry detergent is used by almost every household in the developed world, so its production and sale has become an important industry. ( http://www.root-cn.com/Laundry-Ball-Series/Laundry-detergents.htm) Laundry detergents often make claims of amazing stain removing abilities. Laundry detergent helps break up and remove dirt and stains in the laundry. Laundry detergent has gradually replaced soap as the laundry helper of choice because of its versatility. Most laundry detergents contain surfactants that remove soil. A surfactant consists of molecules that will attach themselves to dirt particles in a soiled material. Then, the molecules will hold them in suspension in the washing water until they are rinsed away. (http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingswork/f/detergentfaq.htm)

Laundry detergent comes in both liquid and powder forms. Powdered laundry detergent is especially effective on heavily soiled clothing. These granular laundry detergents have come a long way in the last few years and dissolve well, but may have trouble dissolving fully in cold water. Liquid laundry detergent is especially good at removing greasy and starchy food stains. Most liquid laundry detergents work as effective pre-treaters as well. http://housekeeping.about.com/od/laundry/g/laundrydetergen.htm) VARIABLES

The independent variable in my project is one of each stain that I do not do anything to. The dependent variables in my project are the stains that I wash in the detergent. The constant variables are the stains. MATERIALS

1 New white cotton T-shirt – Size Ex, Ex Large
1 Pair scissors
1 Permanent marker
4 Tablespoons chocolate syrup
4 Tablespoons mustard
4 Tablespoons crushed strawberries
1 Set measuring spoons
1 Liquid measuring cup
¼ cup Purex detergent
¼ cup Tide detergent
¼ cup Xtra laundry detergent
Washing machine

1.Cut the T-shirt into 12 strips measuring 5” X 9”.
2.Stain four T-shirt strips with 1 tablespoon of mustard, four T-shirt strips with 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup and four T-shirt strips with 1 tablespoon of crushed strawberries. Allow the strips to air dry for 24 hours.
3.Set aside one of each of the three differently stained strips to use for comparison. This set of strips will be the control group and will not be washed.
4.Using a permanent marker, label each strip with the type of detergent being tested.
5.Machine wash in hot water one of each of the three stains in ¼ cup of one of the detergents.
6. Repeat Step 5 with the other two detergents.
7.Dry the strips in dryer.
8.Compare the washed stains to the control stains. Rate the stain removable ability of the detergent with the numbers 1 – 5. Record the results.
1 = stain unchanged
2 = stain slightly lighter
3 = stain lighter
4 = stain significantly lighter (almost gone)
5 = stain completely gone Purex Tide Xtra

Chocolate Syrup 2 3 2

Mustard 2 2 2

Strawberry 3 4 3

Overall 7 9 7 The results show that Tide is the best detergent to remove stains. My hypothesis was that the Tide detergent is most effective in removing stains. The results show that my hypothesis is correct.
This project shows that Purex and Xtra remove stains the same. Xtra costs half as much as Purex which could save a lot of money on laundry detergent.

If I should do this project again, I would use brands of detergents that are not as well known. I would also use more varieties of stains. I may also try this experiment with natural ways of cleaning clothes. BIBLIOGRAPHY



http://www.root-cn.com/Laundry-Ball-Series/Laundry-detergents.htm Which one will help me get
these yucky stains out of my
clothes? Anything to get rid of these
disgusting stains. Excuse me miss,
where's the Tide? Store All Better!
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