Introduction: Easy Science Fair Project

Making a PH reactive liquid is an easy science fair project that could be made in a single evening with great results. This project requires little more than red cabbage and some basic household supplies. This project is an easy way to visually determine if a liquid or powder is an acid or a base. With the plurality of liquids and powders in your household, this allows for vast experimentation.

Step 1: Materials

There are few required materials for this project.

The first and most important item is red cabbage. One large cabbage will yeild more PH liquid than is necessary, so it is probably best to cut it in half (or get a very small cabbage).

Also, a standard coffee filter is recommended.

Step 2: Chop It Up

Chop one of the halves of the cabbage into little pieces. Put these pieces in a bowl.

Step 3: Add Boiling Water

Boil a few cups of water, and then pour it into the bowl until the cabbage is fully saturated and the water level reaches the top.

Step 4: Wait

Wait for the water to cool down to room temperature. Notice that the liquid will grow increasingly dark purple.

Step 5: Pour the Liquid

Pour the liquid into a jar or plastic container.

It is recommended to pour the liquid through a coffee filter to keep bits of cabbage out of the final liquid.

Step 6: Prepare

Pour a small amount of the liquid into a wide-mouthed secondary container.

Step 7: Experiment

You can now test where different liquids and powder to determine if they are an acid or base.

Acidic items will turn the liquid red.

Bases will turn the liquid green.

The more pronouned the color, the more further the chemical being tested is from being neutral.

Use new PH indicator liquid for every test and never mix acids and bases together because the chemical reaction they create can potentially be dangerous.

Step 8: DIY Litmus Paper

This solution can also be used to make litmus paper.

All you need is some white acid-free drawing paper.

Cut the paper into small strips and then dip the strips into the solution. They are now ready to be used to test where a chemical falls on the pH scale.

Just like in liquid form, red indicates an acid and green indicates a base. Blue is neutral.

Comments

author
mrsmerwin (author)2017-02-07

can you use the purple liquid to dye fabric or yarn? It is a very pretty color.

author
randofo (author)mrsmerwin2017-02-07

I don't know. It would be easy enough to try and see how it goes. I would speculate it would make a much lighter purple color than it currently is.

author
mrsmerwin (author)randofo2017-02-07

I am picking some up next grocery day. I have a ball of cotton yarn to try it on.

author
Lea423 (author)2017-01-20

Thank you for this i am hoping to show my science teacher this!

author
Wan Ahmad Kamil (author)2016-02-04

Can you use another thing instead red cabbage? I don't have red cabbages HELP ME!!!

author
Yonatan24 (author)2015-12-20

Very interesting, Thanks for sharing!

author
lolodancer123 (author)2015-09-29

thanks! I may use this as my science project! LIFE SAVER!!!

author
Fission_Chips (author)2015-09-26

Will have to try this sometime. Looks awesome!

author
Lindie (author)2015-09-25

Interesting. Good video!

author
janine.rinker.3 (author)2015-09-24

You can also use purple all-the-way-through potatoes e.g. Purple Peruvians. It may help to dilute the solution with distilled water so it will change color more readily.

author
thundrepance (author)2015-09-24

love your vid/gif!! :^D

author
belsey made it! (author)2015-09-23

I made this several years ago... definitely a fun activity. Appeals to the mind and the senses...

Cabbage juice with text.jpg
author
maximzodal (author)2015-09-23

Eons ago I was a science teacher and this is neat idea demonstrating that chemistry is all around us.

author
mikeasaurus (author)2015-09-22

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Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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