Red Cabbage Indicator Experiment

Red Cabbage Indicator Experiment

Did you know we use acids and bases everyday? With an adult's help, explore with chemistry in the kitchen! Repeat the experiment with items from your kitchen like vinegar, milk and coffee ground! Use the red cabbage scale to identify what you find. 

3 - 16
Est. Time:
<30 mins

How we did it:

Materials List

  1. citric acid - (available on Amazon)
  2. baking soda
  3. red cabbage
  4. bowl
  5. cups (3) - (or containers, preferably white or clear)
  6. spoon - (or scoop)
  7. stirring stick
  8. water
  9. measuring spoon - (1 tsp)
  1. Tear half a head of cabbage into small pieces and place them in a large bowl. 

  2. Fill the bowl with warm tap water and let it sit for an hour. 

  3. Pour the red cabbage mixture into a large cup. The purple liquid in the jar is your red cabbage indicator

  4. Take your two remaining cups, and fill both of them halfway with water. Add a scoop of citric acid to the first cup and a scoop of baking soda to the second cup. 

  5. Use the teaspoon to add small amounts of red cabbage indicator to both cups. (If you don't see the color change, keep adding more indicator.) Note that acids turn water into warm colors, while bases turn water into cool colors! What colors do you see?