Soaps and DetergentsBy: Nicole Renzi Chemistry 102 Laboratory Section 24, Project 17 final lab report Instructor: Fan Yang February 27th 2012

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Soaps and Detergents


The goal of this project was to make, and test four soaps, and two detergents. The purpose of making four different soaps and two detergents was needed in order to decide which one would be best for the environmental group to use in the future that would allow for the safest cleanup of an oil spill while not harming the animals or the environment in the process. It was necessary to test the impact of the four soaps and two detergents by analyzing their different properties based off of their specific characteristics and the wastewater left over from the vacuum filtration procedure. This procedure had to be undertaken in order to confirm which of the soaps and detergents synthesized is most environmentally suitable, and which one would result in the most minimal environmental damage as possible after clean up. Other test that were essential in determining the characteristic and properties of each individual soap and detergent included testing for lather ability, cleaning ability, and solubility.

Each soap and detergent was tested for lather ability, solubility and clean- ability, by cleaning dirty lab glass wear by means of mixing a small amount of each soap and detergent in a beaker with water, and creating a lather by the use of a scrub brush. The individual results can be seen in Table 4. The greater the lather, more cleaning ability the soap or detergent was capable of. The test of lather ability was done first by using tap water. The soap will make more bubbles with the soft water than with the hard water, because it reacts with the calcium and magnesium salts to form 'scum', which is insoluble in water when mixed with hard water. This means there is less soap for making bubbles, or for cleaning.