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Red cabbage litmus paper

Red cabbage litmus paper

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Published by Powerhouse Museum
Learn about acids and bases by testing with homemade red cabbage indicator paper - litmus paper.
Learn about acids and bases by testing with homemade red cabbage indicator paper - litmus paper.

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Published by: Powerhouse Museum on Mar 07, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/22/2013

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 THE SCIENCE LAB
Make & Do Activity Kit 
500 Harris St UltimoPO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia Tel: 02 6217 0111http://play.powerhousemuseum.com This work is licensed under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Homemade litmus paper
Litmus paper is used in many simple experiments to testor PH balance. When dipped into dierent substances itwill turn dierent colour according to how acidic or basicit is. It is sometimes called acid-indicator paper.
 Time:
 
1+ hrs
Difculty:Hints:
Remember that some household substancescan be harmul to eyes and skin so this is an activityto do with adult permission and supervision.
 Adult or supervised step:
Chop some red cabbageleaves into small pieces andplace in a saucepan. Pour water over the cabbage andsimmer or 20 minutes.
1.
 To prepare your testsubstances place eachseparately in a dish or cup.Powdered substances needto be mixed with a littlewater. Label each clearly.
2.
When the red cabbagemixture has cooled, placethe seive over the largebowl, strain the cabbageand collecting the liquid. Allow to cool until warm.
3.
Soak each strip into thecabbage sollution and lay itonto the old tea towel to dry.
4.
 Arrange labelled test dishesin a row on scrap paper.Place a litmus strip in ronto each test dish. Dip eachinto a bowl or 5 seconds.
5.
Watch the colours changeon the litmus papers.Compare them to the phchart on page 3. Choosemore substances to testrom our suggestion list.
6.
•
a chopping board
•
a knie
•
a saucepan
•
1 litre o water 
•
1 dish or cup or each test substance(suggested list below)
•
Pen and paper 
•
large plastic bowl
•
a seive
•
blotting or watercolour paper (cut into10cm x3cm strips)
•
old tea towel & paper 
What you will need:
 
500 Harris st. UltimoPO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238Australia Tel: 02 9217 0111http://play.powerhousemuseum.comCreative Commons Licence for use of this workThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Australia Licence (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU)http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/
Household substances to test:
•
lemon juice
•
shampoo
•
orange juice
•
white vinegar 
•
laundry detergent or powder 
•
bicarb soda
•
tartaric acid or citricacid
•
milk
•
egg whites
•
toothpaste
•
lemonade
•
tap water 
 
Page 2
500 Harris St UltimoPO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia Tel: 02 6217 0111http://play.powerhousemuseum.com This work is licensed under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
 THE SCIENCE LAB
Make & Do Activity Kit 
Homemade litmus paper
 
What else can i do? 
 Activity 1: Record your results.
Recording test results is important or observingand comparing outcomes o dierent tests. It allows you to nd answers to questions and come toconclusions. You have used strips o litmus paper to testsubstances around the house. Now create a resulttable to sort your ndings into acids, neutrals andbases.Use the PH scale on the next page to order your testsubstances into acid, neutral and base by matchingup the colours.
 Activity 2: Create decorating craft paper 
. This is a simple variation and results in beautiullycolored paper that can be used or art projects likecollages. Here is an example we prepared using alitmus paper painted with lemon juice, baking sodasollution and white vinegar.
 Acid, neutral or base? 
What’s going on? 
Chemicals can be either an acid,a neutral or a base. In order totest i something is an acid or a base we can use anindicator. An indicator will change in colour when itgoes rom a neutral condition to an acidic or basiccondition and can tell us the pH o dierent things.Red cabbage contains a natural pigment moleculecalled favin which changes colour when it comesinto contact with acids and bases. We call thischemical a pH indicator. The indicator changes rom purple to bright pink inacids to blue or green in bases. Using the changingcolours we can create a pH scale which numbers 1to 14.When a chemical has a pH o 7 it is neither anacid or a base and it is called neutral. Water isconsidered neutral. It is important to note that theindicator itsel might not be neutral.Lemon juice and vinegar are both acid so they willturn the litmus paper pink. Baking soda turns agreen/blue colour indicating a base is present.
500 Harris st. UltimoPO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238Australia Tel: 02 9217 0111http://play.powerhousemuseum.comCreative Commons Licence for use of this workThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Australia Licence (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU)http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/

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