|MadSci Network: General Biology|
I'm afraid I cannot tell you all the ingredients in vinegar or lemon juice. Both are complex organic solutions with lots of stuff in them. What I CAN tell you are the active ingredients in each that are of interest as stain fighters: Vinegar is primarily acetic acid [CH3COOH] If you are using distilled white vinegar - it is almost entirely acetic acid and water. That would be my choice as a vinegar stain remover as other vinegars might contain things that will stain (for instance basalmic vinegar contains tannins that stain quite well - among other things, they are used for tanning leather). Oh and vinegar that you buy in the store is always 5% acid. Lemon Juice's primary stain fighting ingredient is citric acid [HOOCCH2C(OH)(COOH)CH2COOH H2O]. Lemons are quite a higher in acid - 30% - 45% citric acid depending on the variety. However, this doesn't mean that lemons will be automatically better. I'd watch carefully watch as to what kinds of stains do what with which acid. Good Luck - and check your spelling before you turn in your report! Greta
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