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The Effects of Antibacterial Agents on the Concentration of Hydronium Ions in an Aqueous Solution: Which cleaning products have the “safest” pH. ​

Luna Curtner

Elyse Wexler

Manufacturers include dilution instructions for cleaning products to make them safe and effective. They aim for a pH revolving around the number seven, which is neutral and safest for people using the products regularly. However, previous workings have failed to address deviation from this ideal pH due to the chemical composition. If a product has difficulty achieving a neutral pH even at the recommended concentration, it's important to clearly inform consumers about any safety concerns. Experimentation involved measuring the pH of leading cleaning products at various concentrations, and comparing the values when tested at the directed dilution level. Bleach displayed alkalinity at the recommended concentration of 0.09%, disproving the hypothesis that it will emerge as the "safest" once diluted to fall within the pH range of 7-8. Antibacterial Soap and Pine-Oil Disinfectant Cleaner displayed alkalinity with Pine-Oil showing a quirky rise in pH, possibly because of chemical reactions occurring during dilution with water. Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, and Hydrogen Peroxide all displayed values in range of seven, but not enough to be considered during final analysis. White Vinegar displayed acidity across all tested concentrations.​ ​Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Detergent soap displayed neutrality across all tested concentrations. Detergent soap was favored for its compatibility with human-beneficial bacteria. ⁤By identifying the safest options for human exposure, the project's outcome empowers individuals to make informed choices that protect their health. Understanding the role of pH and bacteria in cleaning products can lead to the development of safer and more effective disinfecting strategies. 

Project presentation

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Research paper

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5 thoughts on “The Effects of Antibacterial Agents on the concentration of hydronium (H3O+) ions in an aqueous solution: Which cleaning products have the “safest” pH. ​

  1. Nice project! You did a through job finding and testing a variety of cleaner types.

  2. Interesting research to identify safe cleaning products. Your trend analysis is good and highlights future questions to be researched.

  3. Thanks for sharing your research at the SARSEF Fair. I hope you enjoyed your project and will continue to explore the wonder of science!

  4. Great job with this study! This was a very intriguing study with many useful aspects that will contribute to this field. Keep going and conducting this type of work. Overall, an amazing study and amazing execution of displaying your work.

  5. It was smart to use a pH meter instead of pH paper in order to be more precise. Your future directions investigating how the acidity affects bacteria on the surface.

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