Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where did the Peppermint go?

For this experiment I used a peppermint because it is a candy people often like to use to freshen up their breath. I observed what would happen to peppermints after I put it lemon juice, vinegar, and clorox (tide laundry detergent), clorox (disinfecting), and boiling water. This process allowed me to observe some physical properties of a peppermint and some chemical properties too.

Physical Properties:

Color: Red and White Stripes
Smell: Peppermint
Texture: Smooth
Diameter: 1/2 inch
Length: Little larger than 3/4 inch
Observing Chemical Properties by Performing a Chemical Reaction

Lemon Juice

For this experiment, I first poured a little bit of lemon juice into a glass and then dropped a peppermint into it. I then stirred it a little bit and watched what would happen.
1. When a peppermint is added to lemon juice, it immediately started to fizz because it was dissolving the peppermint.
2. I then observed a color change in the lemon juice. It changed colors from a yellow-ish to a red-ish & pink-ish color.
3. After the peppermint half-way dissolved i noticed that there was a slight change in odor, the odor of the lemon juice started to smell more lemony that it initially smelled
5. The glass now has the lemon juice with the dissolved peppermint and bubbles on top.
6. It looked like the lemon juice got more dense (thicker) than it was before.
7. It also looked like the peppermint sediments and lemon juice were slowly starting to separate I saw sediments starting to go to the bottom of the glass and the lemon juice was rising to the top. I think this happened because the peppermint sediments were more dense than the lemon juice therefore causing it to settle at the bottom of the glass.
Conclusion: I had figured out a chemical reaction was occurring because of color change, odor change, a solid was formed, and the bubbles of gas were produced. I also think the volume changed because the glass seemed to have more inside of it.


I first took a glass and poured some vinegar in it. I then took the peppermint and dropped it into the glass.
1. As soon as the peppermint was dropped into the vinegar the vinegar started to fizz.
2. It started to dissolve right after it was dropped into the vinegar.
3. Gradually changed color from clear to pale pink-orange color as it dissolved.
3. Fizzing was happening until the peppermint was not completely dissolved.
Conclusion: I had known a chemical reaction had taken place after I saw the color change, odor change, and saw the bubbles of gas were being produced.

Clorox (Tide Laundry Detergent)

I first took a glass and poured the clorox into the glass and then dropped the peppermint into the glass.
1. The color changed from a blue to a purple-blue color.
2. The clorox smelled more pepperminty.
3. The red stripes on the peppermint went to the bottom of the glass. On the bottom of the glass there was a redish color and on the top of the glass there was the blue-ish-purplish color.
4. The peppermint took over 1 hour to dissolve (longer than the lemon juice and vinegar)
5. Bubbles and Fizz are present on top of the clorox.
6. Out of all of the solutions I found this one to be most interesting because after 30 minutes only the peppermint skeleton remained (white dissolved red stripes still there). It took over 3 hours for the red skeleton to chip away and dissolve into the solution.
Conclusion: I had known a chemical reaction had taken place because of the color change, odor change, and bubbles of gas were being produced.

Clorox (Disinfecting)

For this experiment I poured some clorox into the glass and then dropped the mint in there. As soon as i did that I had to put a plate over the glass because the smell was really strong.
1. As soon as I dropped the peppermint into the clorox it made a sound (like the sound of when you open a can) and it immediately started to fizz
2. While the peppermint quickly dissolved bubbles and fizzing were being produced
3. Within ten minutes the peppermint quickly dissolved
4. At first there was a little clear-red-ish color change but after the peppermint dissolved the color change was no longer visible it turned back to clear liquid
5. I could not really tell if there was a smell change just because I did not really take a good sniff at the clorox because it is hazardous and not safe to smell. I immediately threw away the clorox but what I can say is that clorox by it self has a really strong odor.
6. Since I covered the glass with a plate over it i noticed some fogging up on the glass. This is probably because the gas has no where to escape therefore causing the glass to fog.
Conclusion: I knew a a chemical reaction had taken place because of initial color changed and bubbles of gas were being produced. Also my glass was fogged up.


For this experiment I took a pot and put hot water into it and then let it sit on the gas burner until i saw it boiling. I then dropped the peppermint into the pot.
1. When I first dropped it in it immediately started to meld and created fizz and bubbles.
2. I then saw that the red stripes of the peppermint was changing the color of the water from clear-pink-ish & red-ish.
3. Within three minutes the peppermint had completely melted.
4. I then smelled the water and it smelled like peppermint.
Conclusion: I knew a chemical reaction had taken place because of the color change, odor change, it melted due to the boiling water, and bubbles of gas were being produced.

I had trouble designing my experiments because I wasn't sure if what I was doing was going to be correct. For instance I wasn't sure if my peppermint idea would work. I thought I should use other food items. After contemplating on what to do for awhile I decided I should go ahead and just try it because I had nothing to loose, I would just gain more knowledge even if it didn't work. When I tried it, I was pleased with my results and wrote down everything I saw. While I was observing I wasn't sure of some observations. For example, with the lemon juice I wasn't sure if the liquid got more dense, if the volume increased, and were those little particles in the lemon juice the leftovers from the peppermint? I then tried to use clues and asked my self why the liquid was separating. I guessed that maybe what I called "sediments" were a solid and that the solid was more dense therefore causing it to float to do the bottom. After the lemon juice experiment I started to understand most of what was happening.

Note: The picture's are all in order from what I did first to last.