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Laundry Lab

based on 76 ratings
Author: MacKenzie M.

2011 VIRTUAL SCIENCE FAIR ENTRY

Abstract

Using common laundry stains of coffee, make up and ketchup I set out to learn which laundry detergent, Tide, Gain or Ultra Laundry Detergent worked the best at cleaning white handkerchiefs.

Type

Chemistry

Grade

This project is appropriate for Elementary Students.

Difficulty of the Project

Moderate

Cost

We spent about $15

Safety Issues

We used hot coffee

Time Taken to Complete the Project

12 hours from start to finish

Objective

To determine which laundry detergent works the best at removing common stains from cotton.

Materials

  • Tide Detergent
  • Gain Detergent
  • Ultra Laundry Detergent
  • Ketchup to create a carbohydrate stain
  • Lip Gloss to create an oil stain
  • Coffee to create a bleachable stain
  • 10 White cotton Handkerchiefs
  • ½ cup measuring cup to measure coffee
  • 1/8 cup measuring cup to measure ketchup
  • Wetslicks #535 Lip Gloss
  • Washing Machine
  • Dryer
  • People to view the results

Introduction 

My name is MacKenzie. My mom likes to do laundry. I watch her do laundry and she told me about stains. We talk about how to get stains out and she said, “Some detergents work better than others.”

I asked my mom, “Which detergent works best?”
She said we should do a Laundry Lab and find out.
My mom loves Tide.
I like the smell of Gain.

My mom has a box of soap that she uses only when we are out of her favorite laundry detergent named Ultra Laundry Detergent.

My mom told me about different stains, bleachable (coffee), oil (lip gloss) and carbohydrate (ketchup).

Main Research Question

Which Laundry Detergent works best: Tide, Gain or Ultra Laundry Detergent?

Additional Research Questions

  • Which laundry detergent works best at removing stains?
  • What are stains?
  • What kind of stains does my family have most?
  • Will liquid detergents produce the same result?
  • Would the results be different if I used different temperatures of water?

Hypothesis

I think the Ultra Laundry Detergent will work the best.

Terms and Concepts

I had to learn about the different categories of stains. I chose carbohydrate, bleachable and oil because these are the most common stains in my family’s laundry.

Experimental Procedure

 
 
1. Label Handkerchiefs for each of the stain groups
 

  • Stain A-1
  • Stain A-2
  • Stain A-3
A=Coffee  (bleachable stain)

  • Stain B-1
  • Stain B-2
  • Stain B3
B=Ketchup Stain (carbohydrate stain)

  • Stain C-1
  • Stain C-2
  • Stain C-3
C=Lip Gloss Stain (oil stain)
 
2. Label Laundry Detergents:

Gain=1
Tide=2
Ultra Laundry Detergent=3

3. Take 3 glasses

4. Shake out handkerchief and place one handkerchief in each glass

5. Pour ½ cup hot brewed coffee into each glass

6. Poke handkerchief all the way into glass, using a spoon

7. Let handkerchief soak in coffee for five minutes

8. Remove handkerchiefs from coffee and wring out

9. Spread out three handkerchiefs (Labeled B)

10. Measure 1/8 cup ketchup and pour on Handkerchief B-1

11. Measure 1/8 cup ketchup and pour on handkerchief B-2

12. Measure 1/8 cup ketchup and pour on handkerchief B-3

13. Spread ketchup over handkerchiefs

14. Let Ketchup sit for 5-minutes

15. Take handkerchiefs C-1, C-2 and C-3

16. Using Wetslicks #535 Lip Gloss, apply to lips

17. Rub Lips together and kiss handkerchief C-1 and repeat ten times.

18. Using Wetslicks #535 lip gloss apply to lips

19. Rub lips together and kiss handkerchief C-2; repeat 10 times

20. Using Wetslicks #535 lip gloss apply to lips

21. Rub lips together and kiss handkerchief C-3; repeat 10 times

22. Gather handkerchiefs A-1, B-1,  and C-1

23. Place all #1 Handkerchiefs into Washing Machine

24. Measure 1/3 cup of Detergent #1 and pour into washing machine

25. Close lid to washing machine and use “Soak” cycle

26. After 5-minutes of soaking, wash on HEAVY DUTY CYCLE, using cold water

27. Transfer handkerchiefs to dryer

28. Dry for 30-minutes

29. Remove handkerchiefs from dryer

30. Gather handkerchiefs A-2, B-2, and C-2

31. Measure 1/3 Cup Detergent of #2

32. Add handkerchiefs A-2, B-2, C-2 to washing machine

33. Pour Detergent #2 into washing machine

34. Close lid to washing machine and use “Soak” cycle

35. After 5-minutes, wash on HEAVY DUTY cycle

36.Transfer Handkerchiefs to dryer

37. Dry from 30-minutes

38. Remove handkerchiefs from dryer.

39. Gather handkerchiefs A-3, B-3, and C-3

40. Measure 1/3 Cup Detergent of #3

41. Add handkerchiefs A-3, B-3, C-3 to washing machine

42. Pour Detergent #3 into washing machine

43. Close lid to washing machine and use “Soak” cycle

44. After 5-minutes, wash on HEAVY DUTY cycle

45. Transfer Handkerchiefs to dryer

46. Dry from 30-minutes

47. Remove handkerchiefs from dryer.

48. Make a grid using the handkerchiefs:

Stains across

Detergents down

49. Ask at least three people which handkerchief from each of the stain groups (carbohydrate, oil, bleachable) they think is the cleanest.

50. Record their answers with a tick mark on the graph

51. Compare all answers by counting how many tick marks are for the A-1, B-1, C-1

52. Compare all answers by counting how many tick marks are for the A-2, B-2, C-2

53. Compare all answers by counting how many tick marks are for the A-3, B-3, C-3

54. Tally all tick marks for “A”

55. Tally all tick marks for “B”

56. Tally all tick marks for “C”

57. The one that has the most tick marks is the laundry detergent that works the best.

Results

More people thought the Ultra Laundry Detergent made the handkerchiefs whiter and removed the stains best.

Conclusion

My hypothesis was correct. Ultra Laundry Detergent was determined to be better at working than Tide or Gain.

Questions For Further Research                            

I would like to know if the results would be the same if I used a liquid laundry detergent.

I would like to know if the results would be the same if I used different temperatures of water.

I would like to know if they kind of fabric makes a different with the stain.

Acknowledgements

Thank you, Mom for helping me and typing my Science project and for helping me with my board.

Thank you, Teacher, Mrs. Anderson and my class for helping me reach a conclusion by voting on which handkerchief was the cleanest.

Thank you to my brother, Li'l Man, for helping me make the ketchup stains.

References
My mom helped me learn about stains.

 

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