Degradation of Fertilizer Residues by Common Household Products
Luis Liendo



For many years fertilizer has been used to improve the growth of plants and crops. Even though fertilizer can be beneficial, high amounts of it can be harmful to humans. The purpose of this project was to find out which house-hold product decreased fertilizer residues the most. After the results were obtained my hypothesis was confirmed, the house-hold product that reduced the level of fertilizer the most is the vinegar. 



Fertilizer, a natural or artificial substance containing the chemical elements that improve the growth and productiveness of plants. Fertilizers enhance the natural fertility of the soil or replace the chemical elements taken from the soil by previous crops. They can cause short-term adverse health effects, called acute effects, as well as chronic adverse effects that can occur months or years after exposure. Examples of acute health effects include stinging eyes, rashes, blisters, blindness, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and death. Examples of known chronic effects are cancers, birth defects, reproductive harm, neurological and developmental toxicity, immunotoxicity, and disruption of the endocrine system.



Experimental details

  • Organize the materials that will be used for each trial in the table
  • Add, to bowl number 1, two spoons of baking soda and  two cups of temperature water and mix them

Add, to bowl number 2, four cups of room temperature water.

Add, to bowl number 3, four cups of hot water.

Add, to bowl number 4, the two cups of vinegar.

  • Get the 4 potatoes that will be used in the  experiment.
  • Check the level of nitrate for each potato with the nitrate detector before beginning the experiment and record the results in the table from potatoes 1 to 4.
  • Locate the potatoes inside of each numbered bowl from 1 to 4.
  • Wait 5 minutes.
  • Take out the potato located in the bowl number 1, check with the detector the level of nitrate for potato numbered 1 and record the results for the potato # 1.
  • Repeat this with the other bowls and
  • Repeat the procedures from step 1 to step 12 two more times
  • Compare the numbers recorded at the table for each trial.
  • Observe the results.
  • Write the observations.




Results and discussion

After the third trial of the experiment, the results showed that the only cleaning product that effectively reduces the level of fertilizer residue (nitrate) to a safer consumption level in the potatoes is the vinegar. On average, the potato cleaned with vinegar showed 240 mg/kg of nitrate, the one cleaned with baking soda 293.3 mg/kg nitrates, the one cleaned with room temperature water 366.6 mg/kg, the one cleaned with hot water 1,246.6 mg/kg of nitrate in potatoes. Considering that a safe-consumption amount of nitrate in potatoes is 250 mg/kg, it can be assumed that baking soda, room temperature, and hot water did not decrease the level of nitrates to a safe consumption amount.



The purpose of this project was to find out if common household items were effective in reducing the amount of fertilizer residue on potatoes to a safe-consumption level. After the results were obtained, our hypothesis was confirmed; the only cleaning product that reduces the level of residues in the potatoes is the vinegar. The other cleaning products used, baking soda, room temperature water, and hot water, did not decrease the level of nitrates on potatoes. In conclusion, it can be said that the vinegar was very effective in decreasing the level of fertilizer residues in the potatoes.








It will be very difficult almost impossible for me to do all the steps of these project by myself. For that reason, it is very important to give the credit to those people who help me unconditionally.

The first person I have to thank is my mom. She helped me in all parts of the project and guided me to do better writing in the report.

The second person, I have to thank is my Dad. He helped me buying the materials for the experiment. Also, He made possible to finishing the presentation and to implement the experiment.

The third person, I have to thank is my teacher ¨Ms. Martinez¨ because she taught me all the steps of the scientific method and advised me about my project. So I was able to do better in my final report.


Bibliography Prasjar, P (2016). ̈Impact of Fertilizers and Pesticides on Soil Microflora in Agriculture”.


 _____,(2002). Journal Of Human Agriculture university. ̈Effects of Chemical Fertilizer on Nitrate Content in Vegetables ̈.


 Schultz, R (2014). ̈Are Apples a Health Rish? ̈. backpacking-meals


 Rabin, R (2017) ̈Do Pesticides Get Into the Flesh of Fruits and Vegetables? ̈.


 _______, (2020). ̈Greentest Science & Technology Co., LTD ̈.


 Schultz, R (2014). ¨Are Apples a Health Rish?¨.