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Why you can't bleach sheep

Postby Trail2win » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:22 pm

My daughter has chosen the project "why you can't bleach sheep"
This is her first fair and she is in third grade. I thought I would get different types of wool from sheep ( wool, hair sheep wool, course long wool) and have her blend it with straight bleach, diluted bleach and "safe" bleach to see the outcome. Any ideas going into this what we should do??? Thanks in advance :))

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Re: Why you can't bleach sheep

Postby microkts » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:09 am


This is a great project idea. It sounds like you have most of the details worked out.The only thing that isn't clear is what you are going to measure. You could make specific observations for each kind of bleach and wool; things like color and consistency. You could also make a rating system to go along with your observations something like 1-5.


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Re: Why you can't bleach sheep

Postby Trail2win » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:35 pm

What we do know is that wool is very acidic like all hair and will dissolve in Clorox (or at least I know that, she hasnt done the test yet). My mind is spinning on several tangents. I want to keep it fairly simple so this is fun and keeps her engaged. I was wondering measuring ph levels of the wool before and after? Use the three types of bleaches (Clorox, Clorox 2 and oxyclean) and learn why the different bleaches react with the wool? She is using four types of wool fine, medium, course and hair. Argggg!

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Re: Why you can't bleach sheep

Postby HeatherL » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:02 pm

Hi Trail2win,

It sounds like you are trying to do this project: ... ach-sheep/. It is a fun idea!

I think that measuring pH is a good start. That gives you numbers to record. But keep in mind that simple observations (bubbles, etc.) can be very useful in an experiment like this. Your daughter can note if there are a lot of bubbles (using a rating scale like the one Kierstyn suggested), how long it takes the bubbles to form, and how long they last. She can also note whether the hairs change color (if they don't dissolve completely). Have her write down as much as she can observe, and you may find a result that you did not expect!

I hope that helps. Please post again if you need more guidance.


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