January 14, 2017

Recently we conducted an experiment with the cleaning solvents Krud Kutter, Speedball, and De-Solv-it, in which we set different amounts of water and solution into beakers in order to find the combination that would dissolve the gum best. We tested different brands of gum including Trident, 5, and Extra in order to see if they reacted differently to our solvent solutions. We then placed nine pieces of gum in nine different beakers and added the different solvents mixed with water and documented our observations.

We labeled each beaker with the amount of Krud Kutter, Speedball, and De-Solv-it used, and the volume of water used to dilute it. We had a set of three beakers for each solution trial, which we left overnight to later analyze what had occurred to the gum’s structure.
Results:

 

We discovered that the Speedball solution left the gum with a strong adhesive quality,  which made the gum difficult to pull apart. This led to immediately eliminating Speedball from our list  of possible cleaning solutions. Next, we tried the De-Solv-it solution, which worked great in removing the adhesive quality of the gum, but produced a glue-like bi-product which would result in a messy clean up after the gum is removed.

After observing these two solvents, we decided that the best one was Krud Kutter. Using 70 mL of Krud Kutter and 30 mL of water resulted in the best working solution. Our next step is to analyze the main components of the Krud Kutter, starting with Trilon M (trisodium salt of methylglycinediacetic acid (Na3MGDA) We will then see how effective this chemical is at breaking apart the chemical bonds of chewing gum.