We use many chemicals in the home. In this experiment we will compare the effects of some of them as cleaning agents.
We are going use common household items, but we need to be conscious of a few points, always:
You will need:
1. A few basic household chemicals
2. Some items on which to try out these chemicals
3. Basic safety equipment:
How well did Coca-Cola do as a cleaning agent? Were you surprised?
The cleaning agents we use around the home fall into a few categories of chemicals:
Many Acids and Alkalis are corrosive and they can cause serious burns in concentrated form, but they are harmless if well diluted. So vinegar (Acetic Acid) and lemon juice (Citric Acid), for example contain a little acid mixed with a lot of water and other things - they are well diluted! But they have something in common - a sour taste, which is a feature of acids.
In this experiment we used Vinegar as a mild acidic cleaner. And this is safe to use around children and pets.
The Baking Soda and Bleach were both alkalis.
Solvents are used to dissolve grease and oil. They are often used in spot cleaners and rug cleaners. The ingredients in solvents include acetones, concentrated alcohols, and mineral spirits. They are often flammable and combustible, so they must be managed carefully. We did not use any solvents in this experiment.
Soaps and detergents are used to take away fat and grease. They are found in dish washing liquids and laundry soap. Again, we did not use any soaps here. They would not have been effective against rust.
But what about Coca Cola? What is the chemical in that? And didn't it clean surprisingly well?
Well, all soft drinks contain some form of acid. The common ones are citric acid(C6H8O7), carbonic acid (H2CO3) and phosphoric (H3PO4) acid.
It turns out that Coca Cola contains all three of these acids!
That's why it cleans so well!