Color Changing Lemonade Experiment: Create a pH indicator

Creating a pH indicator using red cabbage is a fun and educational experiment that demonstrates the principles of acidity and alkalinity. Here’s how you can make your own pH indicator and use it to observe the color change in lemonade.

Color Changing Lemonade Experiment

Materials Needed for this science experiment:

  1. Red cabbage
  2. Water
  3. Strainer
  4. Lemonade (or lemon juice and water)
  5. Clear containers (glass cups or jars work well)
  6. Optional: pH testing strips or a pH meter for more precise measurements


Prepare the Red Cabbage Indicator:

  • Chop up a red cabbage into small pieces.
  • Boil the cabbage in water for about 10-15 minutes until the water turns a deep purple color.
  • Strain out the cabbage pieces, leaving only the purple liquid. This liquid is your red cabbage pH indicator.

Test the Indicator:

  • Pour a small amount of your red cabbage indicator into a clear container.
  • Test the pH of various substances by adding a few drops of each substance into the indicator and observing the color change.
  • Acids will typically turn the indicator pink or red, while bases will turn it blue or green. Neutral substances may not cause much of a color change.

Observe the Color Change in Lemonade:

  • Pour some lemonade into a clear container.
  • Add a few drops of your red cabbage indicator into the lemonade and observe the color change.
  • Lemonade is acidic due to the presence of citric acid from the lemons, so you should observe a color change indicative of acidity.

Experiment with Dilution:

  • If you’re using lemon juice instead of lemonade, you can experiment with diluting it with water to see how the concentration affects the pH and thus the color change.

Additional Tips:

  • Keep in mind that the color change might not be as dramatic as with stronger acids or bases, but you should still observe a noticeable difference.
  • The accuracy of your observations can be enhanced with the use of pH testing strips or a pH meter for more precise measurements.

Enjoy your color-changing lemonade experiment! It’s a great way to learn about acids, bases, and pH indicators in a hands-on way.

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