T is for … Talking pH


One of the fun parts of reviewing products is that we never know what we are getting into. Okay – that is also one of the scary parts but that is a different discussion! Star Toaster is one we are working on right now – you can look for that review mid-April; you’ll want to see it.

Part way through one of the chapters in Orphs of the Woodlands, the story from Star Toaster the girls are reading, there is a video that gives instruction on pH and pH indicators. Well, since it was an easy experiment to do and none of us could easily believe that red cabbage was a pH indicator, we decided we had to try it out.T red cabbage juice

We bought a red cabbage. E cut a hunk of it off and put it in a glass measuring cup. We poured boiling water over it and let it sit until the water was a very dark blue-ish purple. While we were waiting for the color change, we picked a number of different liquids to test the pH of.

T starting line up

Lemon juice, orange juice, lemon-lime soda, water from the tap, water from the Brita pitcher, soapy water, and baking soda water were all chosen. We talked about what the video from Star Toaster had said about acids, neutrals, and bases. Then it was time to test and see if the red cabbage juice actually indicated pH. While the changes were not as dramatic as the cartoon video, the changes did in fact occur. We poured a small ladleful of red cabbage juice into each liquid and talked about the change to show acid or base. We then added some more of the red cabbage juice and looked for additional change. Each ladle was about 3 tablespoons. So we were experimenting to see if there was a point at which it did not change any further. We saw changes with two ladles but not with three.

T lemon juiceT orange juiceT lemon-lime soda collageT filtered waterT tap waterT baking soda waterT soapy water

This was a cheap and easy experiment that the giggly girls loved. And they now know a lot more about how to verify what they are being told, as well as knowing a lot more about acids, bases, neutrals, and pH. It was fun to see that acids are reddish in color and bases are blueish in color. Neutrals, of course, don’t change. So here are our side by side results for all of the liquids.

T starting line up T ending line up

At Home.

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