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Cabbage Juice Indicator

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    The Science House

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Cabbage Juice Indicator

In this chemistry activity, learners make indicator solution from red cabbage. Then, learners test everyday foods and household substances using the cabbage juice indicator. Learners will record the color change, approximate pH (using the pH scale), and identify if it is an acid or base. As an extension, learners can make pH paper strips to conduct an "at home" pH test of other household items. The indicator solution can be frozen in ice trays and when mixed with alcohol, can last for months. For safety reasons, adult supervision is recommended.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • hot plate
  • 1 heart red cabbage
  • food processor or knife and cutting board
  • 1000 mL beaker or large size saucepan
  • 500 mL beaker or large jar
  • 4-5 250 mL beakers or small jars
  • sieve, tea strainer or colander
  • substances to test (recommended materials: baking soda, bathroom cleaner (e.g. Formula 409™), washing soda, vinegar, lemon juice, milk, cream of tartar, orange juice, milk of magnesia, lime, soft drinks, or ammonia)
  • distilled water
  • rubbing alcohol


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


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Access Rights:

  • Free access with registration




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