Acids and Bases are easy to determine using cabbage water an indicator! Students will love seeing the color changes with this easy-to-do lab! Students can test every day household materials to determine their pH.
Make cabbage water by chopping up chunks of red cabbage. Place in a glass container that tolerates heat. Pour boiling water over cabbage chunks and allow to soak until cool. Drain out the cabbage chunks and store the water in a plastic or glass container.
Determining Acids and Bases
Set up clear liquids to test. I used white vinegar, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, baking soda in water, bottled alkaline water, tap water, and apple juice. Pour them into glass or plastic containers (because acid interacts with metal).
Have students predict if the liquid will be an acid or a base. Add the red cabbage water to each of the liquids. The ration will be 2:1 for liquid being tested to the cabbage water.
You can also test small amounts of liquid. Here I used a paint pallet and a dropper to add the cabbage water and test to determine acids and bases.
Students Look at the Color Result to Determine the pH of the Liquid
Here, students arranged the liquids to make a scale to show the relative degree of the acids and bases.
Students will learn about acids and bases, identify the pH of solutions, and learn about how we interact with acids and bases every day. Students will learn that ions are what determine whether a substance is an acid or a base. Students will also learn about the neutralization reaction and learn what happens when an acid and base are combined.