The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Classroom Activity


STEM Classroom header


Most people know that keeping themselves and their environment clean is important, but have you ever wondered how soap works? Did you know that scientists carefully develop soap in order for it to work properly?

The soap you use today to wash your clothes and clean your hands is the result of many years of research in chemistry. It takes the right mix of ingredients in order to create a product that will work properly. Soap has changed a lot over the years, as scientists have learned new and better ways to clean.

The American Cleaning Institute has created an activity to showcase the chemistry of cleaning products by interactively introducing participants to product formulation while creating sand art. The goal is to encourage students to think about how science impacts their daily lives.


During this activity, students will be simulating the creation of a liquid hand soap to learn about the chemistry that goes into their production.


1 per participant - Small, clear containers or test tubes (0.5 mL works well) with a lid or cap
6 - Colors of sand
8 - Containers to hold the sand
6 - Small spoons or scoops
6 - Funnels


Space will be needed for eight (8) separate stations.

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