Red Cabbage Indicator Experiment

Did you know we use acids and bases everyday? With an adult's help, explore 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.

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Tear half a head of cabbage into small pieces and place them in a large bowl.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

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

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

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

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 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.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Done!

    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?

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

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