Cabbage Patch Chemistry

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In this chemistry activity, learners will learn how to make their own pH indicator using cabbage leaves, and then test common household items with their homemade indicator. This is an excellent activity to show how science can often be done with everyday objects.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 3 Purple Cabbage leaves
  • 6 clear cups
  • Warm water
  • Spoons
  • 1 tsp. of clear soda
  • 1 tsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of window cleaner
  • 1 tsp. of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of powdered laundry detergent
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Chemistry of Life

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


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • COSI classroom and online activities


  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009