Which Stain Remover Works Best On White Cotton Fabrics?

 
 


Researched by Caitlin
1999-2000


PURPOSE

The purpose of this experiment was to see which commercial stain remover would remove stains on cotton fabric the best.

I became interested in this idea when my mom was doing the laundry and I saw my brother’s shirt had spaghetti stains all over it.  That gave me the idea that I needed to see which stain remover would work best, so that we could remove most of the stains off of his shirt.  Then his shirt will stay nice for a longer amount of time. 

The information gained from this experiment may be useful for anyone who needs to know which stain remover works best on cotton fabric.  When people get stains on their clothing they need to know which stain remover to buy so their clothes will last longer. Buying new clothing can be an additional cost for consumers.
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HYPOTHESIS

My hypothesis is that Spray ‘N’ Wash is going to remove all stain types more completely than other brands of stain remover.

I base my hypothesis on the experience of Mary Headley, because she has been cleaning stains from clothes for over 40 years.  She believes that Spray ‘N’ Wash works best.
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EXPERIMENT DESIGN

The constants in this study were:
the same kind of cotton
the size of cotton fabric piece
the amount of stain put on the cotton
the amount of stain remover
the amount of time the stain was washed 
the temperature of water the cloth was washed in
the amount of time in the colorimeter

The manipulated variable was the different types of stain remover used. 

The responding variable was the whiteness of the cloth as measured by a colorimeter (which showed the amount of stain removed.)

To determine the whiteness I used a colorimeter at Tree Top Laboratories.
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MATERIALS
28  10cmX 10cm squares of white cotton cloth
28 paper plates
20-ml Wisk
20-ml Spray 'n' Wash
1 colorimeter
1 washer
1 dryer
1 counter
1/2 cup  bacon grease
1/2 cup mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup lowery's Premium Roast Coffee
1 cup grape juice
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PROCEDURES
1. Place four 10cm X 10cm white cotton squares on individual paper plates.
2. Apply five ml of grape juice to the center of each of the squares and label the square "GJ" or "g."
3. Next let the grape juice sit for at least one hour. 
4. Repeat steps one through three but with Lowery’s premium roast coffee.   Then repeat with mustard, ketchup, and bacon grease.  Label the coffee with "C," mustard with "M," ketchup with "K," and bacon grease with "BG."  Label four sheets "control" and apply nothing.
5. After completing the above steps take two grape juice squares, two coffee squares, two mustard squares, two ketchup squares, two bacon grease squares.  Label each "SW." 
6. Pour one ml of Spray ‘n’ wash on the center of the stains.  Let it sit at least a half-hour.
7. Then pour one ml of Wisk on the other two stains. 
8. Put all "SW" sheets and the "W" in the washer so they can be washed. 
9. Then when the stains are finished being washed take them out. 
10. Next put the pieces of cloth in the dryer. Let them dry for a half-hour.
11. When they are done take them out and organize them in groups.
12. Then take all of the Spray ‘N’ Wash stains and put them in a baggy. 
13. Next put all of the Wisk stains in a baggy.
14. When you are finished you need to do the whole experiment again.
15. Then take all the baggies to TreeTop and go to the colorimeter.
16. Have a grown up help you with registering the data.
17. Put one square on the colorimeter.
18. When it is done registering, record the amount of whiteness.
19. Then collect the data average and create a graph that show’s the amount of stain removed. 
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RESULTS

The purpose of this experiment was to see which commercial stain remover removed the stain on white cotton fabric the best.

The results indicate my hypothesis should be accepted because Spray ‘N’ Wash did remove more of the stain on white cotton fabrics than the other did. 
 

 

 

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CONCLUSION

My hypothesis is that Spray ‘N’ Wash is going to remove all stain types more completely than other brands of stain remover.

The results indicate that this hypothesis should be accepted because Spray ‘N’ Wash did remove more of the stain on white cotton fabrics than the other did. 

Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if I used a different stain remover if it would have worked better.  Also, if I had used a whiter cloth, would it have shown that the stain was removed better?

My findings will be useful to others who want to remove stains from clothing. Hopefully, they will not have to go buy a new outfit because of a stain. 

If I were to conduct this project again I would have bought a whiter cloth and used another stain remover, like Shout.  I also would have had a bigger cloth so more of the stain could be spread and soaked in the cloth.  The amount of time it sat would have been different because when you get a stain on your cloths it usually sits at least a day or two. (When I put them in the baggy I should have put each two in one bag so that they can’t touch other elements.)
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RESEARCH REPORT

Introduction
Removing stains from clothing can be very difficult and usually it is.  Consumers spend thousands of dollars replacing clothing because of stains. A stain is to discolor or soil cotton fabrics. 

Cotton
Cotton is a natural vegetable fiber, also used largely because of the fibers.  The strength, absorbency, and capacity to be washed and dyed is very good.  Cotton is adaptable to consider a variety of textile products.  Economic importance’s as raw materials for clothe.   Cotton is woven a certain way to make it wind and water-resistant.  Some finishes disappear with laundering but most don’t require a special treatment.

Saponin
A saponin is natural occurring, oily glycoside foam, that forms freely when shaken with water.  The saponin has fire-extinguishing fluids in it.  It is used in fire extinguishers because of the fluids.  The saponins are big on foam producers.  They are in a wide variety of plants.  Some of the plants they are in are: acacia, soapwort, soaproot, and California pigweed.

Soap
Soap is made from animal and vegetable fats, oils, and greases which are mixed with a strong base or alkali.  Soap is used as a cleansing agent or detergent.  It is most commonly a cleansing agent used by humans. Water alone doesn’t get through dirty or oily surfaces well. Soap consists of sodium sterates in water, which forms sterate ions.  Soap reacts with calcium ions in hard water so it forms a scum of calcium sterate.

Detergent
A detergent usually refers to an organic chemical substance that is made with carbon.  Detergent is the salt of sulfonic acid, which then forms sulfonate ions in water.  Detergent is also a chemical based petroleum, which removes dirt in saponifacation.  The ions don’t react with calcium ions, so a result is found that a scum is not formed. Oxygen sulfur and hydrogen compounds combined with water clean soiled materials.  Soap has a different chemical makeup but is considered detergent also in a sense is a substance that cleans soiled materials.

Type of Stains
Some stains that are common on clothing are: bloodstains, grass stains, mud or dirt stains, grape juice stains, red wine stains, regular coffee stains, mustard stains, ketchup stains, and spaghetti stains.

Type of Stain Remover
Some stain removers that are commonly used are Shout, Spray ’N’ Wash, and Wisk.  The ingredients on Spray ‘N’ Wash are enzymes, surfactants, stabilizers, preservatives, fragrance water (contains no phospherates). The ingredients on Wisk are cleaning agent, (anionic and non-ionic, surfactants, enzymes), water softener, (sodium citrate), stabilizers, buffering agents, perfume, brightening and colorant. 
 

Summary
A stain remover is very important to people because people don’t like to go out and buy new clothes just because they got a stain on them.  People end up spending lots of money because of stains. A stain is to discolor or soil cotton fabrics. A saponin is natural occurring oily glycoside foam that forms freely when shaken with water.  Soap is made from animal and vegetable fats, oils, and greases.  Cotton is a natural vegetable fiber also used largely because of the fibers.  The fibers in the cotton make it so that when a stain gets on there it soaks in.  Detergent is the salt of sulfonic acid, which then forms sulfonate ions in water.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

 "Bright ‘N’ Fresh." [Online] Available http://www.brightnfresh.com.au/tips.htm

Chestnut, Alma M. How To Clean Everything. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1977. pg. 59, 60, 180

"Detergent", Science Encyclopedia. 1997. vol. 6. pg. 505

 "Meta crawler." [Online] Available http://search.metacrawler.com/ 

 New Zealand. "Washing Agents -for washable fabrics." [Online] Available http://www.chemistry.co.nz/_framed/stain/_removes.html#washing 

"Soap and Detergents," Sodium and Potassium. 1996. vol. 2. pg. 36,37

"Soap," Science Encyclopedia. 1997. vol. 19. pg. 1765

"Soap," Sodium and Potassium. 1996. vol. 2. pg. 37

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