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Which soda removes rust

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I am doing a 7th grade science fair project on which soda removes rust from nails. I chose 4 sodas: Coke, Diet Coke, Orange Soda, and 7 Up. The only problem is that I can't find very much research on this, so I can't form a hypothesis. Please help!

Adrianna H.
Student - Springfield, Illinois, USA


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You won't find research on this specific project, Adrianna, because it's actually a trivial subject. In other words, let's say Fanta Orange is better at removing rust from nails than 7-Up. So what? Who cares enough to publish a book about it? Nobody. That's why you haven't found research on it.

Your experiment isn't really about conducting ground-breaking research so that you can tell an eager world which soda removes rust from nails better -- because nobody really uses soda to remove rust from nails, so nobody cares a whole lot. Your experiment is really about learning what a hypothesis is, what an experiment is, and how and why to proceed.

A hypothesis is just an educated guess that you will try to prove or disprove by experiment. So you did the research and you came up empty; that's okay. Just flip a mental coin and guess which is best. I flipped it and I say Coke is best. So that's my hypothesis: "Coke is better at removing rust from nails than Diet Coke, Orange soda, or 7-Up." Form yours, then conduct your experiment and prove or disprove your hypothesis. Good luck.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey

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I am also researching a similar topic. Although against what the previous poster said, I have found some research. You can research what chemical reactions form the various acids that remove the rust. I have found that phosphoric acid, an acid nearly as powerful as battery acid, is one of the chemicals that removes rust. Among others are carbonic acid and sodium. There is research on topics similar to this, but when you search use things such as:

Which soda has the most acids
Which soda cleans pennies the best
Why do acids remove rust

James S
- Canton GA, US


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Yes, those are good search terms, James. Thanks.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey

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