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 use it. Do you know what litmus paper is and what it is used for? Yes, it is the paper that is used in chemical laboratories to test for acid or alkali, it changes color and so you can see if a substance is acidic or alkaline. Litmus paper turns pinkish red in acid and green in alkali. This is a fun and easy 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 fresh shredded red cabbage
  • Water, enough to fill your jug
  • Paper towels, 2 “strips
  • A wide-mouth 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 into a wide-mouth jar.
  4. Take your 2 “paper towel strips and soak them in the juice for a minute.
  5. Let the paper strips dry.
  6. You now have your litmus paper that you can use.
  7. Now make paper in the same way with different substances like fruits, flowers and vegetables. When we start testing, you will see that the color changes are different, and because of what you see with cabbage litmus paper, you will be able to determine which color of your alternative litmus paper shows acid and which color shows is alkali.

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

What you will need for this elementary science fair project:

  • Your paper “litmus”
  • Some leman juice in a small bottle.
  • Some grapefruit juice in a small bottle.
  • Some pineapple juice in a small bottle.
  • A little vinegar in a small bottle.
  • Some dissolved baking soda in a small bottle.
  • Some milk in a small bottle.
  • Some rubbing alcohol in a small bottle.
  • A little soap in a small bottle.
  • Oil in a small bottle
  • A small medicine dropper
  • Stickers
  • A black tipped marker

This is what you have to do:

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

This is a fun and easy elementary science project 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 types of poisons, visit Elementary Science Fair Projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *