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Household Product Testing

Science Fair Project Ideas


Diapers can be used to study science.

Diapers can be used to study science.

Marco Ariesen, stock.xchng

When you are looking for a science fair project idea, one of the of the biggest obstacles is coming up with a project that uses readily available materials. Science doesn't have to be complicated or expensive or use specialized laboratory equipment. There are great projects that use common household products. Use these questions to help trigger more science fair project ideas. Who knows... maybe you have a lucrative career in consumer product testing in your future!


  • If you use invisible ink (several recipes in the how-to section), does a message appear equally well on all types of paper? Does it matter what type of invisible ink you use?
  • Do all brands of diapers absorb the same amount of liquid? Does it matter what the liquid is (water as opposed to juice or... um.. urine)?
  • Do different brands of batteries (same size, new) last equally long? If a brand lasts longer than others, does this change if you change the product (e.g., running a light as opposed to running a digital camera)?
  • How long do home haircoloring products hold their color? Does brand matter? Does type of hair make a difference in determining the degree of colorfastness? How does previous treatment (perming, previous coloring, straightening) affect initial color intensity and colorfastness?
  • Do all brands of bubble gum make the same size bubble?
  • Do all dishwashing detergents produce the same amount of bubbles? Clean the same number of dishes?
  • Is the nutritional content of different brands of a vegetable (e.g., canned peas) the same?
  • How permanent are permanent markers? What solvents (e.g., water, alcohol, vinegar, detergent solution) will remove the ink? Do different brands/types of markers produce the same results?
  • Do plant-based insect repellents work as well as synthesized chemical repellents (e.g., citronella versus DEET)?
  • Do consumers prefer bleached paper products or natural-color paper products? Why?
  • Is laundry detergent as effective if you use less than the recommended amount? More?
  • Is bottled water more pure than tap water? How does distilled water compare with drinking water?
  • How does the pH of juice change with time? How does temperature affect the rate of chemical changes?
  • Do all hairsprays hold equally well? Equally long? Does type of hair affect the results?


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