Experiment of the Month
Using simple household items, you can grow your own crystal garden. Here's what you need to do:
- (1) disposable plastic bowl
- (1) disposable mixing bowl or cup
- (1) cellulose kitchen sponge
- (1) scissors
- 4 tablespoons (T) salt
- 2 T water
- 2 T Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing
- 2 T ammonia
- In your bowl, put several pieces of cut-up sponge. The more surface area you provide, the more crystals will grow.
- In a separate bowl or cup, combine the 2 T salt, 2T water, and 2T Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing.
- Pour this mixture over the base of sponges.
- Gently add the ammonia.
- Set the bowl in a quiet spot where it can remain undisturbed.
- On Day 2, add two more table spoons of salt.
- On Day 3, add a few drops of food coloring to the bottom of the bowl (not on the sponges or crystals)
The sponge absorbs the solution you mixed together. As the water evaporates, the molecules of other substances are too heavy to evaporate with the water and stay behind. These molecules become solids again and become the crystals. By the way, you may be wondering the purpose of the ammonia and the Mrs. Stewart's - it the speed up the evaporative process.