Chemistry Experiment 2: Color Changing Liquids

Our second mind-blowing science experiment was dubbed “Color Changing Liquids,” an experiment you can easily do at home without special equipment. Our science kit included red cabbage juice powder, which we added to two separate cups of water to create a purplish-colored indicator (a substance that changes color when mixed with an acid or base). To make your own indicator, simply shred some red cabbage and soak it in water overnight. Strain it the next morning, and you are ready to test!

To our first cup, we added citric acid (you could use vinegar), which turned the liquid red. To the second liquid, we added baking soda, which turned the liquid blue, indicating a base. Then, we mixed the two liquids together. The acid and base neutralized each other, creating a purple liquid and released carbon dioxide just like in the “dancing powders” experiment.

Steve Spangler Science has some variations on this experiment. These include ideas for other acids and bases to test and  how to create your own pH  test strips from red cabbage juice. Enjoy!

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3 responses to “Chemistry Experiment 2: Color Changing Liquids

  1. Ola! Creatingcuriouskids,
    On a similar note,, Part of our activity series experiment in school was to drop a piece of magnesium into a beaker of water, see what happened, add phenolphthalein (an acid-base indicator), and see what happened.
    When doing this, I saw no reaction or colour change for both actions.

    We then had to put magnesium in a beaker of water and boil it for 10 minutes and then add phenolphthalein and see if there was a colour change. There was – the water turned pink. This meant that it was basic.

    My question is: Why was it different? Why was magnesium in water at room temperature acidic and how did it turn basic when the water was boiled?

    Thanks in advance!
    Thanks

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