Chemistry: Soap

By Ethan Dunn and Maria Kuiper

Question & Hypothesis

Our question was: How does soap react with different stains?


We each came up with different hypothesis.

Ethan: The soap will react the same with each stain

Maria: The soap will react differently with each stain.

Process

To get the same results and to make it so that our experiment can be repeated, we had to come up with a very specific process. This process was...


1) Weigh out 1.2 grams of stain material

2) Rub stain onto cloth sheet for 15 seconds

3) Set timer for 5 minutes and let the stain set in, record information

4) Measure out 200 ml of cold water

5) Put cloth in, shake with a piston (up and down) motion for 30 seconds

6) Dump out water, record information, refill with 200 ml of cold water

7) Measure out 5ml of Wisk detergent

8) Put into water, put cloth in

9) Shake with piston motion for 1 minute

10) Empty out jar, record information, refill with 200ml of cold water

11) Put cloth back in, shake with piston motion for 30 seconds.

12) Dump out water

13) Hang cloth up to dry

14) Record final information

15) Repeat for other stains

Results

We did a total of seven tests. The process listed above was used each time, with as much accuracy as possible. Our tests were...

1) Control

2) Mustard

3) Purple Food Coloring

4) Ketchup

5) Jelly

6) Chocolate Syrup

7) Oil


Below are our results for all of the tests.


We found that most stains were able to come out most of the way, however, purple food coloring did not.

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Analysis

We found that the stain was almost removed in all examples, besides the food coloring. This is due the the polar and nonpolar properties of soap. All soap is the same because of this property. The stains were oil based, and oil is nonpolar. The nonpolar end of the soap forms as dispersion force, where there is slight differences in the electrons to cause a temporary positive and negative, causing an attraction. Now when we add the water, the polar end is attracted to the water, which is polar, through dipole - dipole attraction.

Take Aways

The soap took out all stains except food coloring. The reason for this stain not being cleaned is not because the molecule is polar or nonpolar, but the dye that is in the food coloring. The dye is too dark to get out.

Further Thinking

If we continue washing the food colored rag, will it eventually become white?