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Analysis of chosen Detergents Is foam necessary in the process of stain removal? Foam does not really have a scientific purpose in stain removal. Rather, it is just a safety net for consumers. Consumer's think that the more foam in a detergent the greater the ability it has to remove stains. The experiment "Foam height" looks at the amount of foam produced from three leading brands of washing detergents. "Cold Water Surf", "Bilo" labelled washing powder and "Spree concentrate".

After conducting the experiment "Foam Height" it was found that "Cold water surf" produced the largest amount of foam. It was followed by "Spree Concentrate" and "Bilo" labeled detergent. If consumers wanted to purchase a detergent based on its foaming ability the recommended detergent would be "Cold Water Surf".

Refer to data table1. Testing Foam Height Why do we use detergents? Water, by itself is not very effective in wetting surfaces.

This is because water molecules prefer to cohere to each other rather than to the surface that is to be cleaned. Detergents contain active ingredients called surfactants. Surfactants are responsible for reducing the surface tension of water, allowing it to wet a surface more effectively.

The experiment "The Wetting Ability of water" was conducted to observe which of the selected detergents is the most effective in reducing surface tension.

The fabric, when added to water took the longest time to sink because of the lack of surfactants. When combined with "Cold Power Surf" the fabric took the least amount of time to sink. The "Bilo" Label took the second longest time to submerge. This is because of a lack of surfactants in the detergent.

It can be seen from this experiment that the more surfactants in a detergent the better ability it has to break the surface tension of the water, thus having a better wetting ability. The recommended detergent for wetting ability is "Cold Power Surf".

Refer to Data table 4: Removing Stains Are the pH levels of detergents the same? pH levels are determined by how caustic or acidic the detergent is. The pH of a substance is measured in levels of 1-14, 1 being the most acidic and 14 being the most caustic. A pH of 6-8 is recommended for human skin.

The experiment "pH levels of detergents" was conducted to test the pH levels of the leading brands of detergents to see whether or not they change with the brand or price of the detergent.

After conducting the experiment it was found that that the pH levels of the detergents did not vary. The "Cold Water Surf", "Bilo" label and "Spree Concentrate" all had a pH level of 14. This validated that all detergents are very caustic. Because all of the results were the same a recommendation could not be drawn from the data.

Refer to Data table 3. The pH levels of detergents.

Do detergent's really remove stains? Stains can be broadly categorized into 4 different types: Water- carried Oils and Fats Surface coatings Chemical reaction The experiment "Testing stain removal" looks at the effectiveness of detergent in removing liquid based stains from a fabric. This is an important factor to take into account when purchasing a detergent.

After adding a detergent to the liquid based tomato stains and gently agitating with a tissue it was found that "Cold water surf" was the most successful. This detergent completely removed the stain from the fabric. Both "Spree Concentrate" also proved to be effective removing over 90% of the entire stain. The "Bilo" Labeled detergent and the control water were found to be not very successful, hardly removing any of the stain at all.

The recommended detergent is once again "Cold Water Surf".

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