Magic Purple Cabbage Juice


Cool. That’s all I can say. Purple cabbage has a pigment that changes color when a base or acid is mixed with it. Bases and acids are opposites on the ph scale going from 0 (base) 14 (acid) Bases are milk soap, soda. Acids are lemon juice and vinegar. Water is neutral at ph7. The magic cabbage juice changes color when you add a base or an acid. You can get a wide range of colors as you add liquids of all different ph’s.
I think most people will have everything on hand except for a head of purple/red cabbage. Ask your mom to put it on her grocery list. It will keep you busy for a long time on a cold winter day. We actually did this several times and there is another cool thing we did the next day. Here is part two where I make magic pH paper out of the same cabbage juice. Link
Here’s what you need for this first experiment:

3-4 cabbage leaves peeled off or cut a 1/4 of the cabbage off in a wedge
Blender full of water (6-8 cups) you want a ratio of 1 leaf to 2 cups water
A sieve or fine mesh colander
Clear glass cups, bottles or bowls
Different household liquids of different ph ( some acidic/some base)
I used lemon juice, vinegar, milk, laundry soap, dish soap, baking soda, alka seltzer, pop
Blend the cabbage and pour juice out into a mesh strainer over a bowl.

Next fill glass cups full of juice. I had 8 cups and 8 different items to mix in. Start adding your liquids one at a time and stir. You only need to add a tablespoon to get a reaction. This is the best part. We lined up the different colors according to the ph scale with red being acid, green being a base and pink and blue shades in between.

We added an alka seltzer tablet to plain cabbage juice in a tall tube. It bubbled and oozed out all over.

There are lots of things to experiment with around your house. We stored extra cabbage juice in a glass jar sealed uo in our fridge for a few days and it worked later on just great.
This idea could be used for a school science fair project.
Laundry soap was my favorite because it made green. This picture shows green the best.




  1. That is way cool. Will you help me with my science fair project?


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