Elementary Science Fair Projects – Make Your Own “Litmus” Paper And Use It

In today’s Elementary Science Fair Project we are going to make our own “Litmus” paper and then we are going to use it. Do you know what “Litmus” paper is and what it is used for? Yes, it is the paper used in chemical laboratories to test for acid or alkali, it changes color and that is how you can see whether a substance is acid or alkali. The litmus paper turns red-pink in acid and green in alkali. This is an easy and fun Elementary Science Fair Project. Because there is some boiling involved, this experiment should be done under adult supervision.

This is what you need to make your “Litmus” paper:

  • Some grated fresh red cabbage
  • Water, enough to fill your jar
  • Paper towels, 2″ strips
  • A wide-mouthed jar
  • Other fruits, flowers and vegetables

How to do it:

  1. Boil the cabbage in the water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Let it cool down.
  3. Strain it into a wide-mouthed jar.
  4. Take your 2″ strips of paper towels and soak it in the juice for a minute.
  5. Let the strips of paper dry.
  6. You now have your “Litmus” paper that you can use.
  7. Now make paper in the same way with different substance such as fruits, flowers and vegetables. When we start testing, you will see that the color changes are different and because of what you see with the cabbage “litmus” paper, you’ll be able to determine what color of your alternative “litmus” paper shows acid and what color shows you an alkali.

Now we are going to experiment with our different “litmus” papers

What you will need for this elementary science fair project:

  • Your “litmus” paper
  • A little bit of leman juice in a small bottle
  • A little bit of grapefruit juice in a small bottle
  • A little bit of pineapple juice in a small bottle
  • Some vinegar in a small bottle
  • A little bit of dissolved baking soda in a small bottle
  • Some milk in a small bottle
  • A little rubbing alcohol in a small bottle
  • Some soap in a small bottle
  • Oil in a small bottle
  • A small medicine dropper
  • Sticker labels
  • A black felt tipped pen

This is what you have to do:

  1. Start with your “cabbage litmus” paper and drop a little bit of each onto your paper.
  2. Remember to wash your dropper after each one.
  3. You will see that the ones that are acid will turn pink.
  4. The ones that turn the litmus paper green are call “bases” and are alkaline.
  5. With your stickers, mark each one clearly as either acid or alkaline.
  6. Now you place a little drop of all your juices onto your other “litmus” papers and record the color changes.
  7. Now you know what color each of the alternative “litmus” papers turn for acid and for alkaline substances.

This is a fun elementary science project and very easy to do. To find out how the results of this experiment can show you why poison control centers used to recommend vinegar or lemon juice for some kinds of poisons visit Elementary Science Fair Projects

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