The Difference Soap Makes in Handwashing

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Title: The Difference Soap Makes Hypothesis: Washing with soap for a longer period of time yields cleaner hands than washing with only water, or washing with soap for a short period of time. Materials and Procedure: Soap, Blindfold, Paint. Two experimental conditions were used, one with soap and one without. Two participants. One participant placed paint on his or her hands, and washed hands with soap four times: once for 1 second; once for 5 seconds, and once for 20 seconds. The second participant did the same, but using no soap and only water. Water was lukewarm, measured by touch. The dependent variable (paint left on hand) was measured by sight. Data and Observations: The results substantiate the hypothesis and are summarized in the chart below. Condition: Water vs. Soap TIME: 0 SECONDS TIME: 1 SECOND TIME: 5 SECONDS TIME: 20 SECONDS WATER ONLY 4 3.5 2.5 1.5 SOAP 4 3 2 0.5 Conclusions: These trials show that washing with soap is visually more effective than washing with water alone. However, the results also show that time spent washing is also a factor. Based on appearances only, washing with soap for 20 seconds yielded the cleanest hands. Washing with soap for 5 seconds yielded the second cleanest hands. Washing with water only for 5 seconds yielded the third cleanest hands. Washing with soap for one second yielded cleaner hands than washing with water only for the same period of time. The greatest difference was between washing with water

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