Which detergent will clean out the most stains on a shirt?

Testing two of the top best detergents in many countries, in order to see which detergent will remove the most stains of a white clean shirt. The detergent's used were Persil pro clean and Tide
Bablin Gaur Balnoor Khaira
Grade 7


Our hypothesis is that the detergent brand Tide will remove the most stains on the t-shirt due to the fact that lots of people buy, trust and use it. One of The reasons they probably use it is because it removes all their tough stains and leaves their laundry looking and smelling clean which is why it has become the top brand in several countries. We believe it will remove most of the stains on the shirts and leave us with cleaner shirts compared to the detergent brand Persil Pro-Clean.  



The history of detergents can be traced way back to many many years ago when Ancient Babylon was a thing. Using this knowledge and building upon it humans have created many more soaps and detergents that we use to serve a purpose in our everyday lives few examples would include washing dishes, doing our laundry, cleaning our homes, and ourselves today. This history can be found way far back to 2800 BC. 

Tides history informs us that after conducting 7 years of great experimenting this project was sadly canceled but a person which name was  Dave Byerly had kept working on it in his free time. After 14 years he finally made a prototype product that was in a rush named which was Tide. Tide had been launched in the year of 1946 and was called the name of The Washday Miracle. Since the year of 1949, Tide has been the most leading laundry detergent across Canada and at the same time across the U.S.

Persil ProClean was found in Germany making it a well-known German brand of laundry detergent. it was manufactured by Henkel {the owner}. this detergent was made and created in 1907, which was an astonishing 114 years ago. Persil ProClean is a global brand and sold all around the world in all places except a few.  Persil ProClean is marketed by Unilever.  Persil ProClean is a top brand in many countries around the world. 

 Have you ever wondered what the science behind detergents is? well, detergents are made from long molecules which have a head and tail. These molecules name is surfactants. Molecules can also help to make the washing process more effective meaning better by reducing the surface tension of the water.


The surfactants in detergents are known to improve the water's ability to make items damp, they spread over surfaces, and slowly seep into dirty clothes fibers. absorbing in the stain. Surfactants do another important job too. One end of their molecule is attracted to water, while the other end is attracted to dirt and also grease. this all together helps the stain gets removed. Detergents clean bacteria this means most detergents contain some sort of bleach, which is effective in killing bacteria and viruses lurking on clothes. 


 The chemical hydrogen peroxide is used to remove the stains off a shirt. it breaks down color-causing sections of chemical structures, removing and lifting the looks of the stain. 


Detergents clean by causing a strong chemical reaction when mixed with water forcing dirt and debris out of different clothing. Detergents work with water to loosen the dirt or other stains trapped in the material of clothing and clean them mostly all away


What makes detergent powerful? The most powerful ingredient in detergents that help remove stains as a whole is Alkalies. it is a major component in most of all the laundry detergents in markets today. alkalies are a type of salt and also a base that reacts with an acid that neutralizes it. Alkalies remove most stains without having to rub the alkalies and cloth in too much together. Alkalis help remove dirt and other stains without having to put too much work and effort into making them a very sufficient ingredient in detergents. 

Every detergent brand has different ingredients compared to the next. This is because some detergent brands are made from natural ingredients, such as plant oils (vegetable, coconut, palm, and pine) while others are made with strong man-made chemicals. The more chemicals added to make the detergent much stronger and more powerful. Some detergents have fewer chemicals making them “softer” but this means it will take fewer stains out of your clothes. 




independent variables: our independent variable is the brand of detergent. 

Dependent variables: Our dependent variable is the amount of stain removed by the detergent

Controlled variables: In this experiment, the controlled variables are the amount of detergent being poured on the t-shirts, the amount of stain we have put on the shirt, the type of clothing that is being used. How much time we wash the stained clothing for.

Uncontrolled variables: The uncontrolled variables in our experiment are which stain will be removed the most, the colour of the shirt when being washed, how much one person puts effort in rubbing in the detergent than the other person doing the other experiment, the temperature of the lukewarm water. 



Gather all the materials ensuring that you are pouring the same amount of detergent into each shirt and washing it for the same amount of time each test. Be prepared by having a stopwatch and 18 shirts ready to experiment on, and do the following methods. Before conducting the experiment please wear gloves and then proceed

  1. As stated before, put your gloves on, start off by laying your shirt on a flat surface 
  2. Cut a piece of tape {4.5 inches by 4.5 inches} so the stain does not spread out too much.  Stick this tape on the shirt. 
  3. start pouring 15 mL of any three substances you will be using, which we are using  (green tea, tomato ketchup, and lastly coffee) on your shirt.  
  4.  following that pour 15 ml of Tide or Persil depending on which detergent you will be testing on the shirt into a measuring cup. Ensure that it is exactly or around 15 mL 
  5. Put 5:00 minutes on a stopwatch for a fair test each time. start washing the shirt with your hands. 
  6. After 5 minutes wash your t-shirt out with water. 
  7. Observe how much the stain has washed out. 
  8. Get a new shirt and repeat these steps 2 more times. Make sure you measure the amount of substance that is being poured (15 mL) 
  9.  Lastly, Record these observations in your logbook 



Things that were observed while  testing our experiment were:

The two detergent brands: Tide was the colour of violet-blue. And Persil Pro-Clean was the colour of dark blue.  The scent of both of these detergents was really strong but pleasant at the same time. 

The three substances; substances that were used were green Tea, ketchup, and coffee. 

Green Tea- The colour was dark green and the scent was light and the green tea smelled like herbs and leaves. 

Ketchup: The colour of the Ketchup was dark red and sharp tomatoes scent.  

Coffee: The coffee was a pretty dark brown colour and the scent was not too pleasant as well. 


We tested the top two brands of detergents listed on the market to see which one would remove the most stains on a plain white T-shirt. The two detergents we tested were Tide and Persil Pro-Clean. The substance used throughout this experiment were green tea, ketchup, and coffee. To be precise we used proper measurements while testing each detergent on the stains. When tested the results were that Tide had removed most of the stains compared to Persil Pro-Clean. 


In conclusion, our hypothesis was right. Our final thought on this experiment is that we enjoyed doing this experiment as we have learned tons from it and we are sure you have learned a lot. Now that we know we can use the brand tide instead of Persil pro-clean or any other brand of detergent.


     Next experiment:

In order to further study the results of this experiment and to gain additional insight into this topic, a follow-up investigation on detergent ingredients affect how it smells would be helpful. My next experiment would be “do ingredients affect the overall condition of a shirt including its colour, smell, size?


Summarize your result:

The purpose of this experiment was to investigate which detergent will clean out the most stains on a shirt? In Order to conduct this experiment, the following steps were taken. Step one put a stain on the shirt, two, put 15 ml of detergent on the shirt, three, wait for 5 mins and wash with medium water temperature. Finally, observe how much of the stain has been removed. 

Revisit your hypothesis:

It was hypothesized that the result of this experiment would be that the detergent brand tide would remove the most stains. As a result, this was correct. When being tested the detergent tide had been removing the most stains compared to the brand Persil pro-clean. Therefore, we believe that this experiment has been successful and was really useful to every one of us. 

explain your result:

The result of this experiment showed that the detergent brand tide had removed the most stains. As in result, our hypothesis was absolutely correct.  This conclusion can be supported by research from the websites in our references.


All of those websites stated the information of tides and Persil. As a result, I have learned that tide is the best detergent for removing stains off a shirt. 


The result of this experiment would be useful to those who wash their clothes by the washing machine and also by hand because they will have an ideal amount of knowledge about which detergent they should use. Also, I am sure that people would want to look fresh and not have to wear dirty-looking shirts.


Sources Of Error

This experiment could have been improved if we had used more than 4 shirts for each substance, or at least 2 shirts for each as the tape had been soaked wet and as result, it had gotten removed. We could have tested more than 2 detergents because this way we could have gained better and useful knowledge about detergents and it would have been useful to our amazing judges. 



  History: Learn About Tide the Brand. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://tide.ca/en-ca/about-tide/about-us

 At the Beginning of Laundry There Was.. Persil. (2017, June 15). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/environment-history-household-products-quirky-science/beginning-there-waspersil#:~:text=History-,The%20world's%20first%20 commercially%20available%20 laundry%20 powder%20was%20 Persil%2C%20 introduced,key%20 components%20in%20the%20 product.

 Liquid laundry detergents for all your needs. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.persilproclean.com/us/en/home/products/by-form/liquid.html

 Bhasin, H., & Scudieri, S. (2019, April 22). SWOT analysis of Tide - Tide SWOT analysis & Internal analysis. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.marketing91.com/swot-analysis-tide/#:~:text=2)%20Good%20 quality%20 detergent%20at,lower%20than%20the%20 mainstream%20 competitors.

Chan, J. (2016, November 04). The Best Laundry Detergents of 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.reviewed.com/laundry/best-right-now/best-laundry-detergents

Palermo, A. (2021, January 06). Tide vs. Persil: Which Detergent Is Better? Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://prudentreviews.com/tide-vs-persil/


We acknowledge Ms.Bedi, Ms.Aulakh and our parents.  Thank You for helping us with this science fair project we owe you a big time.  Also thanks for leading us to the right path and showing us where we can improve to get better grades and to fix our mistakes so they are not repeated. Once again Thank You!