shager asks:

Doing a science fair project on how different types of mouthwash can clean a penny. What ingredient in all of them would actually clean the penny?

In Topics: Science fair
> 60 days ago



May 6, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Active ingredients in commercial mouthwash can include thymol, eucalyptol, hexetidine, methyl salicylate, menthol, chlorhexidine gluconate, benzalkonium chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, methylparaben, hydrogen peroxide, domiphen bromide and fluoride, enzymes, and calcium, as well as water, and sweeteners. Many contain alcohol (some have over a quarter) and preservatives such as sodium benzoate. Newer brands are alcohol-free and contain oxidizers, as well as odor-preventing agents such as zinc ion to keep bad breath from developing. Hydrogen peroxide, for one, may help clean the penny, but some of the other ingredients may also contribute.

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