OPERATION: pH Indicator

OPERATION: pH Indicator


You may have heard that citrus juices are acids or that ammonia is a base. The terms acid and base refer to the concentration of hydrogen ions (pH) in the substance; acids have a high concentration of hydrogen ions, while bases have a low concentration of hydrogen ions. But how can you test whether a substance is an acid or base? You can use a pH indicator to measure some liquids to see whether they are acids or bases.  Just like in determining if a solution is an acid or a base, Jesus told us of an indicator to determine if we are his disciples, it is the love God gives us for one another.




  • head of red cabbage

  • stove

  • pot

  • water (preferably distilled)

  • funnel or coffee filter basket

  • coffee filters

  •  set of eyedropper bottles (e.g., clean infant medicine bottles)

  •  medicine cup with teaspoon or milliliter markings

  •  several small paper cups (Dixie Cups)

  •  clear test substances (e.g., lemon juice, clear sports drink, lemon-lime soda, window cleaner, vinegar)





Preparing the pH Indicator-

  1. shred some red cabbage leaves

  2. place them in small volume of water (1/2 cup) in the pot

  3. bring the pot to a boil on the stove, and boil for 5-10 minutes (Note – You should wear some form of eye protection and use pot holders when handling boiling solutions)

  4. pour the water with the boiled leaves through the coffee filter to remove the pieces of cabbage

  5. collect the filtered juice in a clean glass, and let it cool; it should appear purple

  6. pour the juice into the eyedropper bottles for use and storage (this filtered juice is your pH indicator) ***Note that the concentration of the indicator solution depends upon the amount of cabbage and the volume of water used; the more cabbage in the smallest possible volume of water will yield a high concentration of indicator molecules***



Using The pH Indicator-

  1. pour about 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of each test substance into a separate Dixie cup

  2. add approximately 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) of cabbage juice indicator to each cup

  3. watch for the color changes

    • If the substance is an acid (i.e. lemon juice), the indicator should turn bright pink.

    • If the substance is neutral (i.e. Gatorade), then the indicator should remain reddish-purple.

    • If the substance is a base (i.e. window cleaner), then the indicator should turn green.









Acid or Base

1. Lemon Juice or Orange Juice
2. Sports Drink
3. Vinegar
4. WindowCleaner




In “My Utmost For His Highest” Oswald Chambers states:

“The first thing God does is forcibly remove any insincerity, pride, and vanity from my life. And the Holy Spirit reveals to me that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to others by saying, “. . . love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). He is saying, “I will bring a number of people around you whom you cannot respect, but you must exhibit My love to them, just as I have exhibited it to you.” This kind of love is not a patronizing love for the unlovable— it is His love, and it will not be evidenced in us overnight. Some of us may have tried to force it, but we were soon tired and frustrated.”


It is God’s Love in our lives for others that is the Indicator to know and for others to know we are disciples of Jesus.  A questions I’ve been asked before that has made me think regarding if others would know I am a disciple of Jesus that you can ask yourself, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

God Bless

-Mosh Burner





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