Which rag is better to hide germs

By: Israhel Cruz

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this experiment was to see what dish rag hides dirt and germs better after doing dishes. I became interested in this experiment because I heard a high school student did a project kind of like this one. The information gained from this experiment will help others decide which color dish rag is better to use to do dishes.


The best material to use in a dishcloth is turkish cotton or any other high quality cotton, or a very fine synthetic yarn called microfiber. Anything that is made with a blend of fabrics is not good because that is what holds in the odors. The best dishcloth will have a textured weave pattern so that it cleans up messes better. It is important to wash the dishcloth every day or two. Even if it does not seem dirty, it is a grime, dirt, germ and scum magnet.

It is important to wash your dish cloth often. Always get a new dish cloth when you have used it to wipe counters with raw meat. If you are not washing the rag right away be sure to let it air dry before putting it into the hamper. Wash the rags on hot in the regular or heavy duty cycle. The gentle cycle does not have enough agitation to activate the laundry soap. Do not use fabric softener on dish cloth because it leaves a film on the material which will stop it from getting completely clean the next time.


My hypothesis is the black dish rag will be better to use. I base my hypothesis on the idea that black will be able to hide the dirt and grime of the dishes better than the white.


Black dish rag

White dish rag

Dirty dishes

Dish Soap


IV: Color of Dish Rag

DV: How Dirty Dish Rags Get

CV: Amount of dishes washed with each rag, Amount of soap and water


  1. Gather materials.

  2. Fill sink with soap and water.

  3. Place two dirty plates in water.

  4. Wash plates with white dish rag.

  5. Drain sink and lay white dish rag out to dry.

  6. Repeat steps 2-5 with black dish rag.

  7. Repeat steps 2-6 two more times.

  8. Observe the filth on each rag.

Observations Log/Data

The first one was the white rag that was a little dirty, the second time it got more dirty and on the third time it got more dirty. The same thing on the black but you could hardly tell that it got dirty.


The original purpose of this experiment was to to see what dish rag hides dirt and germs better after doing dishes. The darker rug is better to use so you dont see germs.
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My hypothesis was that black dish rag will be better to use. The results indicate that this hypothesis should be considered correct. Based on the results of this experiment buy black dish rags instead of white. If I were to conduct this science fair project again I would change the color of the rag.


I thank Mrs. Cunningham for helping me on my science fair project. I also thank my parents for helping me on my fair. Then I want to thank Mrs. Soden and Mrs. Hauptmann.