- 1 gallon of milk
- 1 or more bottles of food coloring
- 1 bottle of dish soap
- 1 plate or bowl
- 1 or more q-tips
- Gather all ingredients.
- Pour milk into the plate or bowl.
- Add food coloring of your choice to the milk.
- Take a q-tip and dip it in the dish soap.
- Then dip the q-tip into the food coloring and milk.
This experiment is an explosion of color! Some very unusual things can happen when you mix a little milk, food coloring, and a drop of liquid soap. During this experiment, students will experience a physical change occurring with the milk and soap. This is because adding soap causes the chemical bonds that are holding proteins to change. The food coloring molecules are bumped and shoved everywhere, which provides an easy to observe the invisible activity. There is also another reason why these colors explode the way they do. Since milk has surface tension, the food coloring that floats in the surface tends to stay put. Then, liquid soap wrecks the surface tension by breaking the bonds between water molecules and allowing the colors to move throughout the milk.
Relevant Chemistry Concept
1. A physical change is a change in which the form of matter is altered but one substance is not transformed into another.
2. This demonstration is a physical change because there is no new substance being created.