Observing the Reactions of Household Chemicals
By: Jacquelyn J. Greenwood
The purpose of the lab is to practice describing reactions of ordinary household
chemicals with several reagents. Also, to be able to identify a household chemical that is
presented as an unknown by observing the reaction patterns.
Introduction: In this experiment you will be provided with a set of household
chemicals that were purchased at a local store. Each of the household chemicals is
composed mainly of one active ingredient. You will mix each of these substances with a
few different reagents. Then you will carefully observe and record what happens when
you add each reagent to a fresh sample of the household chemical. Using the observed
reaction patterns, you’ll then be asked to identify the unknown chemicals.
24-well reaction plates
10 polyethylene transfer pipets
Handi-Wrap plastic film
Nine 13 X 100mm test tubes\
30 mL Beaker
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Arm & Hammer Baking soda
Vanish Crystal Bowl Cleaner
Blue Food coloring
Silver Nitrate (AgNO3)
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
Hydrochloric Acid (HCl2)
Thymol Blue indicator
1. Obtain samples of the household chemicals: 2-3mL of Clorox Liquid Bleach,
.5 mL of Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, .5g of baking soda, and .5g of Vanish
Crystal Bowl Cleaner in the 30mL beaker.
2. Add about 8mL if deionized water to each of the test tubes that contain Lysol,
baking soda, and also to the 30mL beaker of Vanish. Cover the test tubes
with plastic film and shake thoroughly until solids are dissolved. Stir the
Vanish with a glass rod until the solids are dissolved.
3. Obtain 5 reagents (Blue food coloring, Silver Nitrate, Calcium Chloride,
Hydrocholoric Acid, and Theymol Blue indicator) in test tubes and add
about 3mL of each.
4. Take the 24-well reaction plate and each column will correspond to the
household chemicals and each row will correspond to the reagents.
5. Take note to what happens as you add the reagent to the household chemicals
and record your findings.
1. Obtain a clean 24-well reaction plate. Put each of the samples of the
unknowns in each of the columns.
2. React them with the same 5 reagents used in Part 1.
3. Compare the reaction patterns used for the unknowns with the household
chemicals in Part 1.
4. Record your observations.
Reagent Lysol Toilet Baking Soda Vanish Crystal Clorox Liquid
Bowl Cleaner Bowl Cleaner Bleach
Blue Food Gel-like In a glob but Blended Food color
Coloring *stayed in one spread out more went to the
blue glob as time went on outer edge &
made a blue
Silver Nitrate Gel-like Spread out with Spread out Made a ring on
*white glob a little opening leaving the the outer edge
with little in the middle middle empty with spindles
chunks going to the
Thymol Blue Made a pink Mixed up and Made a pink Mixed up and
blob that turned green ring turned a pale
created little yellow
Calcium Pale white blob Small bubbles Thick Bleach color
Chloride spreading in the white precipitate and precipitate
*some lump formed
precipitate *finely divide
Hydrochloric No reaction Produced a lot No reaction Produced
Acid of bubbles chlorine gas
Reagent Unknown A Unknown B Unknown C Unknown D
Blue Food Made a blue Blended Spread out Gel-like
Coloring ring *stayed in one
Silver Nitrate Made a ring on Spread out Spread out with Gel-like
the outer edge leaving the a little opening *Chunky white
middle empty glob
Thymol Blue Mixed up and Made a pink Mixed up and Pink blob that
turned a pale ring turned green created little
Calcium Creamy color Thick Small bubbles Pale white blob
Chloride and precipitate precipitate in the white spreading
formed lump *some
Hydrochloric Produced No reaction Produced a lot No reaction
Acid chlorine gas of bubbles
Conclusions: After doing the mystery lab of trying to figure out what chemical
was what, we came up with Unknown A is the Clorox Bleach, Unknown B is the Vanish
Crystal Bowl Cleaner, Unknown C is the Baking Soda, and Unknown D is the Lysol
Toilet Bowl Cleaner.