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Effectiveness of antibacterial agents has on sour milk bacteria

Names: Steven Wang, Mark Ocampo, Nila Thaya, Willie Kung Date Submitted: November 25th 2013 Date experiment conducted: October 21st - November 18th 2013

Cleaning agents is in almost every household in our modern days. Each cleaning product has its unique formula and chemical that makes the product itself unique from the rest. There are cleaning agents that are used to clean washrooms, kitchens, while some are used to cure disease such as fungi infection. This experiment attempts to explore and compare the effectiveness of antibiotics, commercial cleaners, and green cleaning agents. During this experiment 4 pairs of filter-disk paper is saturated in different substance. The first pair is saturated in distilled water, which will be used as control. The second pair of paper is saturated in antibiotics. The third pair of paper is saturated in commercial cleaning agent, Mr. Clean. The last pair of filter-disk paper is saturated in green cleaning agents, vinegar. These pairs of soaked filter disk papers are placed into 8 sections of 2 petri dishes which were preinoculated with sour milk bacteria. After the bacteria have been colonized, we will be able to see the zone of inhibition and based the data we obtain from it we can then compare the effectiveness of each cleaning agents. In our experiment commercial cleaning, Mr. Clean was the most effective cleaning gent compare to the other two agents.

Purpose The purpose of our experiment is to determine which of 3 antibacterial agents (antibiotics, commercial cleaners, and green cleaning agents) is best able to limit bacterial growth. Background and Theory As we know commercial cleaning product is usually used for unsanctified places such as washrooms, while antibiotics and green cleaning agent is used in more sanctified places with weaker bacteria, some are even digested by humans. Polysporin is an agent designed inhibits bacterial growth. Its generally used for infectious disease, such as fungi infection. Vinegar is an acid solution that is a mixture of acetic acid and water. Vinegar is generally used as a cooking ingredient. Both vinegar and polysporin is used on human badly, which means that generally it has to be a mild bacterial agent or else itll affect humans health. Commercial cleaning agent however, is generally used in places that have more dangerous bacteria, such as washrooms.

Vinegar, Mr. Clean and Polysporin are all effective antibacterial agents that are capable of eliminating bacteria since they all have chemicals that disinfect bacteria. We also predict that traditional

cleaners will be the most effective antibacterial agent because the chemicals in traditional cleaners are much more abrasive than "green" cleaning agents and antibiotics. For example most "green" cleaning agents and antibiotics can be digested without any harm to your body but if you ingest a traditional cleaner your health could be at risk since the chemicals are much more abrasive.


Sour milk 2 Petri dishes with pre-made agar 2 Q-tips 8 Filter paper disks Vinegar Mr. Clean cleaning detergent Polysporin Tape Access to computer Camera Paper and cardboard Printer Glue


1. Sour milk bacteria were obtained, by dipping the Q-tip into the sour milk. Afterward the premade agar was inoculated with the bacteria-soaked Q-tip. Contamination was reduced by opening the lid very slightly. 2. Each petri dish was separated into 4 sections, and was labelled 1 to 8. The first 4 number was labelled on the first petri dish and numbers 4~8 are labelled on the second petri dish.

3. 1 pair of filter paper disk was saturated in water to be used as control group. One water-filled filer was place in section 1 of the first dish and the second one was placed in part 5 of the second petri dish. Refer to figure 1 for reference. 4. The second pair of filter-paper disk was saturated in antibiotics. The first antibiotic-soaked disk was placed in section 2 of the first dish, while the other antibiotic-soaked disk is placed in section 5 of the second dish. Refer to figure 1 for reference. 5. The third pair of filter-paper disk was soaked in Mr. Clean. The first commercial cleaner-soaked disk was placed in section 2 of the first dish, while the other commercial cleaner -soaked disk is placed in section 5 of the second dish. Refer to figure 1 for reference. 6. The last pair of filer-paper disk was saturated in a green cleaning agent, vinegar. The last 2 pair of filter-disk paper was placed in the last 2 section of the 2 petri disk. Refer to figure 1 for reference

Distilled Water


Distilled Water


1 3
Commercial Cleaners

2 4
Green cleaning agent Commercial Cleaners

5 7

6 8
Green cleaning agent

Figure1 7. After putting the entire filer-paper disk in the correct section the lid was sealed with masking tape. 8. The two petri dishes were placed at room temperature for bacterial growth. 9. After the bacteria colonized, the zone of inhibition was visible. 10. The petri dish was placed on top of a flat surface. Pictures were taken from the exact distance of both the dish. 11. The pictures were uploaded onto a computer. The pictures were all enlarged by 5 times.

12. After printing out all the zone of inhibition, the zones of inhibition were cut along with the disk itself. 13. The 8 cut-outs were then glued onto a cardboard, which were cut again along the border. 14. After the border was cut carefully, the 8 completed zone of inhibition were weighted on an electric balance scale. The results were recorded in the Observation table.


Figure 2: 1st petri dish

Figure 3: 2nd petri dish

Observation Table
Liquids Colony shape Distilled water Antibiotics Mr. Clean Irregular Irregular Pale orange Pale orange 0.85 0.95 0.65 1.05 The bacteria was not swabbed properly in one of the petri dish Vinegar Irregular Pale orange 0.55 0.8 The bacteria was not swabbed properly in both the petri dish Irregular Pale orange Colour Weight of 1st cardboard(g) 0.5 Weight of 2nd cardboard(g) 0.56 The bacteria was not swabbed properly in one of the petri dish Additional Comments

Error bars chart

1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0

Error bar chart of the zones of inhibition

Distilled water Antibiotics Mr.Clean Vinegar

Weight of zone of inhinbition (g)

Distilled water


Mr. Clean


Type of Cleaning agents

Data analysis
The average weight of each of the cleaning agent is as following: Distilled Water is 0.53 g, Antibiotics is 0.75g, Mr. Clean is 1g and last but not least vinegar is 0.675g. As you can tell from average Mr. Clean is considered the best cleaning agent, while vinegar is considered the worse. As you can tell from the Error bar chart you can also see that Mr. Clean in above all other cleaning agent, which signifies that its most likely to be more effective compare to the other two cleaning agent, and while the average of antibiotic is higher than vinegar as you can see from the chart, that one of the weight of zones of inhibition is actually bigger than the average of the antibiotics. This signifies that the effectiveness of antibiotics and vinegar is actually very close. Too close to call it actually a difference.

Based on the result of the experiment we can conclude that the traditional cleaning product, Mr. Clean is the most effective cleaning agent compare to antibiotics and vinegar. Just as we expected, the result confirms that Mr. Clean does have a larger zone of inhibition compare to Antibiotic and vinegar. During this experiment we realise that several errors had been made which affected the result of this experiment. One error we had made is during our experiment is that the bacteria was not swabbed

properly, thus creating a huge amount of agar which had no bacterial colonies. This affected the accuracy of our measurement, since for some of the zone of inhibition we actually had to estimate the range of the zone due to the fact that there were no bacterial colonies in that part of the zone of inhibition. Also the cardboard was cut out inaccurately, which couldve also affected the accuracy of the measurement along with other factors such as the inaccuracy of the balance, inaccurate amount of antibiotics that was saturated. Another factor is that we only used 1 specific type of bacteria, which doesnt actually show the overall effectiveness of antibiotic agent, instead it only show the effectiveness of the antibiotics in one specific bacterium only. We believe that we couldve easily avoided these errors by being more thoroughly when inoculating the agar, and instead of using a scissor to cut out the cardboard we couldve used razor blade will increase the accuracy of out cardboard model. Even without inaccuracy our result is similar to the results of other groups in our class, this ensure that in fact even with the errors our data is correct.

This experiment confirm our hypothesis that traditional cleaning detergent such as Mr. Clean is more effective than green cleaning product, such as vinegar and antibiotics, such as polysporin, as the experiment shows that the zone of inhibition is indeed larger than the other two antibacterial agent.

"Antibiotic." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Nov. 2013. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. "Health Effects of Traditional Cleaning vs. Green Cleaning in Residential Companies."Kastle Klean Janitorial. Kastle Klean Janitorial, 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. "Mr. Clean." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. "Vinegar." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.