what soap removes stains?

Does expense equal cleaning power?

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The data table above shows how each of the soaps will be tested for efficiency. Each cloth was loaded with 1/4 tsp. of ketchup to supplement a stain. the ketchup was scrubbed in and after the soap had been mixed with water shaken for 60 seconds. the rags were left to dry over night after cleaning and the next morning the data was recorded.


Our hypothesis stated that the more expensive soap has the best cleaning power.


Before the stain was cleaned all of the cloths were red and smelled of ketchup.

while being washed they were shaken for 1 minute and not stirred.

after the cleaning the smells were gone from all of the cloths, but water left the most of the original stain, Extra soap was the next best, followed by Era, the soap that cleans the stain the best was tide.


from the information we observed the soap was a much better cleaner than our control, water. the soap that cleaned the best most expensive soap tide. we assumed that the molecules must be smaller in the tide soap allowing them to grab more stain with less soap.


Our question was what kind of soap cleans the best? Also, if the most expensive cleans better? We concluded that the most expensive did infact clean better. The most expensive we used was Tide. We believe that the reason it clean the best is because the soap molecules are smaller and allow them to fit in the stain better and grab the oils of the ketchup.

Now What?

If we were to redo our experiment we would pretreat our stains 5mins after it stains because that would be a realistic time to find pretreat equipment in a house. We would've then rubbed in the pretreat to make sure it soaks into the stain. Then, ran our experiment again.

Take away

The main take away we took from this activity was how soap works and the way molecular forces pull on h20 and dirt/oils. We learned that soap is made up of an Acid+Base. The acid is a fatty acid+triglyceride. The base is Sodium Hydroxide. Fun fact soap is a surfactant, which means it lowers water's surface tension. Soap works by the acid part attracting to dirt which forms a micelle. Then, the base attracts water and washes away the oils/dirt. When the base attracts the water it can wash away the oils because the surface tension lowers from the acid part. The Base is the polar side and the non-polar side is the acid side.