How would I test the cleaning ability of vinegar?

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Offline MagicMarker

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I need some help coming up with experiment ideas regarding the cleaning ability of vinegar. How would I go about testing this?

I've heard of the cleaning pennies experiment, but, I live in Australia. We don't have pennies. How would I go about making copper "dirty"?

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Offline CliffordK

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How would I test the cleaning ability of vinegar?
« Reply #1 on: 25/06/2011 06:22:39 »
Can you find a piece of copper pipe?   You could cut it into short segments. 
Or, perhaps bare copper wire (old copper ground wire).

I cleaned a bunch of pennies.  Most of them being new series US pennies which are copper plated zinc.

For the lightly tarnished pennies, a dip in muriatic acid (HCl), and they instantly turned shiny.  I did try one that was a bit heavier oxidized, and it only cleaned up moderately well.

Anyway, to attempt to "tarnish" the pennies, I'm testing:

Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)
Household Hydrogen Peroxide
Baking Soda in water
Lye in water (NaOH)
Salt water (NaCl)
Milk of Magnesia

So far the results seem disappointing. 

Another option that I might try is to make an electro-cleaning device. 

Take a small battery charger or DC Transformer.  Or a solar panel?
Attach one electrode to a copper penny, another to a rusty piece of steel.  Perhaps place in a salt water bath.
I think you want + to the rusty steel, - to your copper if you wish to clean the steel and make the copper "dirty".

Another thing I didn't test.
What about a candle or a small torch. 
Be careful with the US Zinc pennies as they may burn, or melt at a lower temperature than the copper.

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Offline damocles

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How would I test the cleaning ability of vinegar?
« Reply #2 on: 26/06/2011 02:32:18 »
All Australian coins are actually copper coins: "Silver" coins are 75% copper, and "Gold" coins are 92% copper.

Check out the Royal Australian Mint website at http://www.ramint.gov.au/designs/ram-designs/2dollars.cfm and similar pages.
1 4 6 4 1
4 4 9 4 4     
a perfect perfect square square
6 9 6 9 6
4 4 9 4 4
1 4 6 4 1

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Offline CliffordK

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How would I test the cleaning ability of vinegar?
« Reply #3 on: 26/06/2011 03:22:13 »
I did some testing.

Lots of stuff didn't do much.  Although, I do have quite a few bright and shiny pennies.

The best patina seems to be arrived by time.

Muriatic Acid (HCl) seemed to be an excellent cleaning agent, but only for light tarnish.  Leaving a penny in the HCl overnight and it gave me the best darkening.  However, it seems to create a somewhat dry patina.

Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) seemed to be somewhat slow.  However, it tended to produce a bit better of a golden patina.  So far, not too dark.  It also created some green corrosion. 

I also got some discoloration with a match.  Some of it rubbed off.  But, some of it was lasting.

The electro-idea that I had yesterday should work, but I haven't set it up.

The discoloration that I got from the HCl would likely be very difficult to get off with vinegar.

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Offline CZARCAR

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How would I test the cleaning ability of vinegar?
« Reply #4 on: 26/06/2011 22:35:43 »
ax a old douchebag?

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Offline JSparkle

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Re: How would I test the cleaning ability of vinegar?
« Reply #5 on: 20/08/2013 05:08:57 »
I need some help coming up with experiment ideas regarding the cleaning ability of vinegar. How would I go about testing this?

I've heard of the newbielink:http://cgcleaning.com.au/services/window-cleaning/ [nonactive] experiment, but, I live in Australia. We don't have pennies. How would I go about making copper "dirty"?

I remember doing this experiment as a kid and vinegar is a great cleaning agent. I use it regularly to clean windows especially as it just eats through grime on glass.
newbielink:http://cgcleaning.com.au/ [nonactive]