Science Fair Project
The Affect of Vinegar on a Stain
Physical Science
Sarah Behring and Maddie Wentworth
Statement of the Problem
Which type of vinegar gets stains out best?
Project Overview
Our project went very smoothly and it was very easy. It just
took a few simple steps. We gathered our materials then
laid them all out. We decided which vinegar would go on
which carpet. Then we poured the wine on each carpet
and let it sit. We then poured the vinegar on the carpets
and then rubbed it out. Finally, we made observations
and came to a conclusion.
Cider and rice vinegar are most commonly used for baking and cooking. Distilled
vinegar is most commonly used for cleaning, but it may be used for baking and
cooking sometimes, too.
People say that distilled vinegar gets stains out really well and that it works like
 Heinz company spokesperson “Michael Mullen has cited numerous studies to show
that a straight five percent solution of vinegar such as you can buy in the supermarket
kills ninety-nine percent of bacteria, eighty-two percent of mold, and eighty percent
of germs (viruses).”
Vinegar is “green friendly”, so don’t worry about it destroying the environment.
According to the Vinegar Institute, vinegar was discovered by accident. Someone
left there wine glass laying around for too long. The wine then became sour and
turned to vinegar.
 Independent variable: The type of vinegar used.
 Dependent variable: How well the stain is removed.
 Constant variables: The color and size of the carpet, the wine I
use to stain the carpet, the amount of vinegar used.
 Control group: The distilled vinegar. Distilled vinegar is the
control group because it is the vinegar that has statistically
removed the stain better than the others.
If I use the distilled(white) vinegar to remove
stains, then the stains will come out, because
distilled vinegar is stronger than the others and
more commonly used for cleaning purposes.
3 12.70x12.70 Carpet Squares
1 Stop Watch
3 Wash Cloths
45 mL of red wine
45mL of distilled(white) vinegar
45mL of rice vinegar
45mL of cider vinegar
1. Gather all materials.
2. Take the three pieces of carpet and lay them on the ground.
3. Spill 15mL of red wine on each carpet.
4. Wait 5 minutes for the wine to soak in.
5. Pour 45mL of rice vinegar on the first carpet.
6. Pour 45mL of cider vinegar on the second carpet.
7. Pour 45mL of distilled (white) vinegar on the last carpet.
8. Let the vinegar soak for 5 minutes.
9. Then take a wash cloth and blot each carpet dry with its own cloth.
10. Then look at each carpet and determine which vinegar got rid of the stain best.
Data/Observations (Analyzes)
Qualitative Observations
Quantitative Observations
The wine and vinegar had a
very strong smell especially
when mixed together.
There was three carpet
samples and three different
types of vinegar.
The carpet had a rough texture. There was one bottle of red
It wasn’t very smooth or soft.
The rice vinegar was very
We used three rags to rub out
the stains on each carpet.
The carpet that we cleaned
with cider vinegar got rid of
the stain best.
We patted and rubbed the stain
out of the carpet for about 2
minutes per carpet.
When the wine was poured
onto the carpet, it spread all
across the carpet.
We let the stain sit for about 5
minutes before removing it.
 When coming to our conclusion, we realized that our hypothesis was
incorrect. The data didn’t support out hypothesis. The cider vinegar
actually worked the best, the rice vinegar worked the second best, and
the distilled(white) vinegar worked the least. We could tell this by
closely analyzing and observing our carpets and the stains on them.
Possible Experimental Errors
 Possible experimental errors could have been that there was
maybe a little more wine or vinegar poured on one carpet then
the other. This wouldn’t have drastically changed the results
but it could have some impact.
 Another possible experimental error could be that some of the
wine could have leaked through the carpet making it so that
there is more wine in one carpet then the other. This could
have could have easily changed the results of the experiment.
Applications and Recommendations
 Based on the results of our experiment we would definitely make sure to find
thicker carpet so the wine or vinegar doesn’t soak through as much as it did. This
experiment was actually a good one because now we know how to get a stain out
with an easy to access product if you don’t have any cleaning products.
Works Cited
Briggs, Margaret. Vinegar: a Sour-tasting Liquid Containing Acetic Acid : 1001
Practical Household Uses. [S.l.]: L7K Designs, 2007. Print.
 Gonzalez, Kellie. "The Ingredients of Vinegar." Personal interview. 10 Dec. 2010.
 Howard, Brian C. "Vinegar Uses –Vinegar Green Cleaning and Home Remedies - The
Daily Green." Going Green, Fuel Efficiency, Organic Food, and Green Living - The
Daily Green. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <>.
 Shaeffer, By Michelle. "28 Practical Uses for Vinegar, Nature's Magic Cleanser." - Have More Fun, Spend Less Money. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.
 "Uses for Vinegar." Cleaning With Vinegar - All Natural Solution - Go Green. Web. 12
Dec. 2010. <>.
 "Why Clean with Vinegar?" Cleaning With Vinegar - All Natural Solution - Go Green.
Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <>.

Maddie Wentworth and Sarah Behring