How does coconut oil effect the cleaning effectiveness of soap
Thea Hoemberg
Stratford Hall
Floor Location : J 103 D

Science Abstract
To make soap you must have at least one type of oil. In this experiment, I tested 4 soaps that were made out of 4 different oils, to see if the presence of different oils changes how effectively the soap cleans a stain. Those oils were coconut, almond, avocado and olive; each oil had 35% palm oil added to the mixture as a binder. My hypothesis was that coconut oil would clean the stain most effectively as coconut oil has many properties such as its ability to dehydrate well, and its ability to cut through grease. To create the soap I first added a measured amount of coconut oil and then one of my 4 other oils, once the oils were mixed with lye and water they cooked for another 2 hours then were put into molds. Once the soaps were made I tested to see which soap cleaned the best. I did this by painting 2 inch diameter stains of mustard, ketchup, salad dressing and coffee on to a white piece of linen. All four soaps were used to clean all 4 stains. This was done by taking 80 grams of water and 10 grams of soap and letting it soak on the stain for one minute, then letting the linen cloth sit under water for 2 minutes. If the stain was not completely gone, the cycle would be repeated again until the stain was gone. Once all of the stains had been cleaned I found that almond oil soap cleaned the best, coconut oil cleaned second best, avocado oil cleaned third best, then olive oil cleaned fourth best. My hypothesis was not supported. My approximation was still close as coconut oil came 2nd best overall and one out of the 4 times it cleaned first best . The reason I think my hypothesis was not correct was that even though coconut oil had many good properties, almond oil is known for soaking into surfaces really well, so when I was saturating the stain with the soap and water solution I think the solution might have gone deeper into the stain; causing it to clean deeper and faster.