At Home Experiment: Acids & Bases
The idea for American Provenance came to Kyle when he was teaching middle school science. We thought that since the kids are home, it would be fun to share one of our favorite at home experiments with you! (Kids, only do this under the supervision of an adult.)
This experiment will teach your kids about acids and bases by using red cabbage juice. Red cabbage contains a special pigment called anthocyanin that changes color when it is mixed with an acid or a base.
All liquids are categorized as acids or bases and we have an entire scale that tells you how acidic or basic something is: the pH Scale. This scale ranges from 1-14. Numbers 1-6 are considered acidic and numbers 8-14 are considered basic. The number 7 on the scale is considered neutral and is neither an acid or a base, water is neutral.
The lower numbers mean something is very acidic, and the higher the number means it is very basic. It is important to remember that strong acids and bases can be harmful to the skin, so be careful when using those types of chemicals.What you will need:
Red Cabbage, chopped up
3 Cups of Water
5 Clear Cups/Glasses
Let's get started!
Take the chopped up cabbage and put it in your blender with 3 cups of water. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
Once blended, take mixture and strain the leaves out collecting the cabbage water in a large container.
Label each of your glasses with the liquids you have. Example: Lemon Juice, Vinegar, etc.
Pour a ¼-½ cup of each liquid into its respective glass. For baking soda, mix 3 tbsp baking soda into ½ cup of water.
Before you mix the red cabbage juice with the other liquids in the cups, ask your kids what color they think the liquid will become when you add the cabbage juice.
Next, slowly pour ¼ cup of red cabbage juice into each cup and see what happens to the color.
If the color turns red or pink in color, that means the liquid is an acid.
If the color turns green or yellow in color, that means the liquid is a base.
If the color remains the blue/purple color of the cabbage juice, that means it is neutral.
You can try this with other liquids you have at home as well! We tried it with Witch Hazel and Laundry Detergent!