Cabbage Juice Indicator: Test the pH of household products

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Learners make their own acid-base indicator from red cabbage. They use this indicator to test substances around the house. Red cabbage juice is purple in water (neutral), pink or red in vinegar (acid), and blue or green in baking soda (base). Learners are encouraged to make acid-base indicators from other plant materials, juices, and berries. Because of the equipment involved, adult supervision is recommended. This is one of three activities in the Take Home guide for the Biochemistry unit in OMSI's Chemistry Lab. Also included in the PDF are two additional activities: Yeast Balloons and Egg Osmosis.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • large pot half full of hot water
  • water
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • chopping knife or food processor
  • strainer
  • large bowl
  • spoon
  • plastic cups
  • baking soda
  • vinegar


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation