Science with Shields: Episode #51 – Cabbage pH Test

WTAJ Plus

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make your own pH test.

What you need: 

  1. Red Cabbage
  2. Blender
  3. Strainer
  4. Containers
  5. Vinegar
  6. Baking Soda
  7. Water

Instructions:

First, put about three to five big red cabbage leaves into a blender and fill it up halfway with water. Next, blend until it is a pulp. Then strain the red cabbage and water into three containers. One will be your control. In one of the containers add vinegar and watch and notice what color the cabbage juice turned. In another container, add baking soda and notice what color the cabbage juice turned. You can compare it to the control container to see how much the colors changed by adding these ingredients!

Science

Everything is either acidic, neutral, or basic. We use a pH scale to tell if something is an acid or a base. If it is an acid, a 1-6 on the scale, the cabbage juice will turn red. If it is a base, an 8-14 on the scale, the cabbage juice will turn a blue or green. If it stays purple, it is neutral or a 7 on the scale. Red Cabbage is great to use as a pH scale due to a pigment called anthocyanin that will change color if it is mixed with an acid or a base. From our experiment, we learned that vinegar, since it turned red, is acidic. We also learned that baking soda is a base, since it turned a blue/green color. Try this out with different foods or substances in your house to see if it is more acidic or more basic!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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