We’re going to take two everyday materials, salt and vinegar, and use them to grow crystals by creating a solution and allowing the liquids to evaporate.  These crystals can be dyed with food coloring, so you can grow yourself a rainbow of small crystals overnight.

The first thing you need to do is gather your materials.  You will need:

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28 Responses to “Salt & Vinegar Crystals”

  1. Yes, the solution may affect the pot and spoon. So you’ll need to use an old pot and spoon that will be reserved only for science experiments. You would no longer use them for food.

  2. yvan_page says:

    Will the solution damage the spoon and pot?

  3. A sponge works best, but feel free to try a lava rock.

  4. ericksonnationmom says:

    could i use a lava rock

  5. No pipe cleaner won’t work. It needs to be something porous, so a sponge works best.

  6. ericksonnationmom says:

    could i use a pipe cleaner????

  7. If you don’t see any crystals after 24 hours, I recommend trying the experiment again from the beginning. Be sure you use a dish that is shallow and small enough so the liquid comes just to the top of your sponge. Also, remember that non-iodized salt works best.

  8. lsmith8314 says:

    we just did this experiment yesterday, about 24 hours ago. no crystals yet. anything i can do to get them forming?

  9. Yes – I would try the ones you have side by side, and compare the results!

  10. wjhofmans says:

    Will rock salt work?
    You said non-iodized salt works “better”, will Himalayan salt work?

  11. Julianna Richard says:

    A very thin, hard to see crusty layer formed on the surface of our sponge, but the small crystals that formed on the sides of our glass pie plate were better. This took a very long time (a couple of weeks) and the crystals were not numerous or large. Did we do something wrong? The results of our crystal projects have been kind of underwhelming, and my kids are losing interest as I try to finish this unit. I notice that another family moved the location of their solution to get better results. Should I try a sunny spot? Our rock candy isn’t growing, either, even though we’re on our second try (added more sugar to the solution). The same with our solution that contained laundry bluing, salt, and ammonia. The crystals really never developed. I know I’ve asked several questions here… thanks!

  12. Elias Pealer says:

    ok 🙂


  13. No, but you should have a pot just for chemistry use, because some of the other experiments in this section will, and it’s a good practice not to mix chemicals with your food. 🙂

  14. Elias Pealer says:

    Will this experiment damage the pot that you use?


    -Elias Pealer

  15. Marcelene Ryan says:

    could you use a rag instead of a sponge?

  16. Not quite… but it’s an interesting idea!

  17. Loreena Baker says:

    Would this be how they make the flavouring for salt and vinegar potato chips?

  18. You need a weak acid to mix with the salt in order to form the crystals, and acetic acid is perfect for the job. 🙂

  19. Ellen Kimzey says:

    Why do we add vinegar to the solution?

  20. Not a good idea to eat chemistry experiments, no matter how edible they may be. It’s not a good habit to start.

  21. Huma Qureshi says:

    Are these edible?

  22. denisoncrew says:

    Can you add color dye to it??? or will that mess it up??

  23. Jennifer Atchison says:

    Very cool!:P

  24. I’ve had best results with distilled, but I’d encourage you to try out what you have and see how it works… who knows – you might figure out something new! 🙂

  25. Lorelei Grecian says:

    Do you have to use distilled vinegar?

  26. Vicki Jordan says:

    We did this and put it in our bathroom. It was not growing, so we moved it to the sun room, and then it started growing crystals. When we looked at the them under a magnifying glass, the top had lots of crystals but the bottom ones were cooler becuase they were square.