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Paper Towel Experiement Essay

My wife and I go through an enormous amount of paper products. We discuss often which brand works best for the price. Typically, we buy the brand Bounty for our paper towel selection. There is no particular reason why we buy this brand but it seems to be the one we get home with. After reviewing some other literature in regards to the paper towel experiment, I found some different results. According to Consumer Reports (2009), Brawny was the most absorbent of all of the 21 brands that they tested. They found that Brawny held 2 ½ ounces more per square foot on average than the other brands tested. However another consumer, Chelle from Yahoo’s Contributor Network, found that Bounty was the most absorbent paper towel. She tested Scott, Brawny, and Bounty. (2010)

Twelve year old Samantha also performed an experiment on paper towels testing four brands: Bounty, Sparkle, Scott, and Western Family. Her hypothesis was that Bounty would be the most absorbent but after her experiment reported that Sparkle absorbing 50 ml of water on average. (2001) Mrs. McKee’s class from Arizona also did a paper towel experiment. They tested their school’s paper towel, Brawny, Bounty, Viva, Scott, and a generic brand. The results from their experiment showed that on average Viva was found to be the most absorbent. (2012) After looking at other research and preforming my literature review, I decided to test four paper towels: Bounty, Brawny, Viva, and Kroger Brand. I decided that I would use 200 ml of water and place each brand of the folded paper towel in the water five different times. I plan to squeeze the water into a beaker and measure how much water was absorbed. I would then take the average to find out which brand of paper towels was more absorbent.

Problem: What paper towel is the most absorbent and leads to the most cost effective? Materials:
1 Glass container labeled with ml to 750 ml
1 small beaker labeled with ml to 150 ml
1 stop watch
1 baby bottle (I only had one glass container with ml labeled) labeled with ml to 260 ml Paper Towels: Bounty, Brawny, Viva, and Kroger Generic Brand (4 brands X 5 sheets) Water
1 Funnel
Pen and Paper

Prices on the paper towels were how much I paid per roll, but with further investigation I found that the price per square foot was different. Independent Variables: Brand of Paper Towel, price per square foot Dependent Variable: Amount of Water Absorbed, Vivi sheets were much smaller than the other sheets and two sheets were used and cut to the same size as the other sheets – price is still based on per square foot for each paper towel Constants: Amount of water used in each trial, paper towel size, time exposed to the water, type of fluid (water used) I will make sure to use the timer to submerge the paper towels for the same amount of time. I will use the same measuring instruments for each experiment. Hypothesis: Because Bounty’s roll of paper towel cost the most, Bounty will absorb the most milliliters of water per square foot. I came up with this hypothesis because I wanted to show my wife how we could save money by continuing to buy the name brand paper towel.

Data Collection Process:

Each paper towel was folded four times to create a small square. Each paper towel was emerged into 200 ml of water and left for 20 seconds. Each paper towel was removed from the water allowing drip time of 5 seconds and then the remainder of the water was squeezed to a beaker. The left over water was poured into a baby bottle for measurement in milliliters. At first I was going to use the amount of water that I could squeeze out of the paper towel, but then I realized that some was still left over in the paper towel. To reduce the threats to internal validity, I then decided to subtract the amount of water left over from 200 ml to get an accurate reading of how much water was actually absorbed.

Conclusion:

Results from my experiment indicate that per square foot, Viva paper towels are the most absorbent. In addition, since Viva’s price per square foot was 4 cents, it would also be the most cost effective. Viva paper towels absorbed on average 8 more milliliters than Bounty and Brawny and 13.4 milliliters more than the generic Kroger brand. At first glance, Bounty looked like the most expensive paper towel with Viva 2nd. However, when you look at price per square foot, the price of Viva and Bounty are the same. Brawny is actually the most expensive per square foot. With this being said, my experiment refuted my hypothesis that Bounty was the most absorbent because it cost the most.

Bounty was not the most cost effective because it did not absorb the most and the price per square foot was the same as Viva. Price per square foot indicated that Brawny was in fact the most expensive and it still was not the most absorbent. It is imperative when doing an experiment that the experiment is done with several trials and that the procedure are completed in the same manner. This adds to the validity and reliability of the experiment. To replicate this experiment, you must have the above materials. Choose at least 4 paper towel brands.

Fold each paper towel (five trials per towel) four times.

Submerge each paper towel individually into 200 milliliters of water for 20 seconds. Remove the paper towel, allowing it to drip for 5 seconds. Measure how much water is remaining and subtract that number from 200 to see how much water the paper towel absorbed. Record this and continue the step for each of the remaining paper towels. It is recommended to do at least 5 trials per brand of paper towel. When others perform the same experiment, it validates the results from my experiment.

References
Chelle. (2010)Which Brand of Paper Towels is the Most Absorbent? Retrieved on October 27, 2012 from http://voices.yahoo.com/which-brand-paper-towels-most-absorbent-5714586.html?


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