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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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 cup salt (non-iodized works better)
  • 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons of vinegar (you decide how much you want to use)
  • a shallow dish (like a pie plate)
  • a porous material to grow your crystals on (like a sponge)

First, mix together the salt, vinegar, and water in a cup.  (You cal alternatively boil the water on the stove and stir in as much salt as the water will dissolve.)  Add the vinegar after you turn off the heat. Next, place your sponge in a bowl and pour the solution over the sponge, submerging the sponge in the solution.  Leave out, undisturbed, until the liquids evaporate, leaving behind a sheet of crystals.

Download worksheet and exercises

You can add more liquid carefully to the bowl to continue the growth of your crystals for long after the first solution dries up.  Also, as your crystals grow, dot the sponge with drops of food coloring to crow various colors of crystals.

Although it takes awhile for the crystals to start growing, once they do, they will continue to grow quickly!


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2 Responses to “Salt & Vinegar Crystals”

  1. No, it’s just salt and vinegar. HOWEVER I always do my science experiments in a space pot just for chemistry!

  2. Will this solution ruin a pot?