This is a continuation of the Laundry Soap and Rock Candy experiments, so make sure you’ve done those before trying this one.

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12 Responses to “Salt Stalactites”

  1. ericksonnationmom says:

    Michelle Stevens,
    please post your results i would like to see if that worked or not.

  2. Michelle Stevens says:

    Could you try to do it with three jars that have three different colors of food coloring? Will the crystals change color?

  3. susan harding says:

    i have a good solution some crystals formed when i put some of the solution in a plate

  4. Try non-iodized – that should work.

  5. Jennifer Freer says:

    can you use regular salt

  6. denisoncrew says:

    can you add color dye to the crystal solution???

  7. When it got thick, do you mean a thick liquid, or it crystallized into a solid? If it went to solid state, then there was not enough water in your solution. If it stayed a liquid, then you need a bit more dissolved into your solution. Remember, growing crystals can be tricky – most of the time you spend on it is setting up the solution just right so the crystals are able to grow.

    Scientists spend a LOT of time observing and troubleshooting… when you succeed at something, you don’t learn nearly as much as when it didn’t work – there’s more opportunity for learning when things don’t work out quite right. Helping your child through this process will hone their troubleshooting and observational skills for a lifetime. Keep working at at! 🙂 And of course, let me know if you have questions or need suggestions.

  8. Lee Giles says:

    Ours isn’t working either. We made the saturated solution and let it cool some as you said. While it was cooling, it crystallized and got very thick. It was not at all a clear liquid like yours. We put in our string and nothing has happened in days.

  9. Hmmm… sounds like your setup needs a bit of help. You can help start the wicking process by dunking the string in water first. In our experiments here in our lab, we used a thick piece of string, and you’ll find that the string forms a crusty outer layer but still allows the inner part of be wet. If your solution is too salty (meaning that the crystals stiffen up the string right away, then add a TINY bit more water to dilute the solution and delay the crystallization process until the water drop is ready to evaporate in the middle of the string.

  10. Michelle Carr says:

    Something isn’t working for us with this Salt Stalactite experiment. Five days ago we created the super saturated solution and suspended the cotton string between the jars, but the string isn’t wicking the solution. We are starting to get a thin layer of crystals on the surface of the solution in the jars, and the string is stiff from salt crystals up to the lip of the jar but it’s not traveling along the string past the jar. What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks for the help.