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Testing pH with Purple Cabbage

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  1. Chop the cabbage into small pieces until you have about 2 cups of chopped cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large beaker or pitcher and add boiling water till it covers the cabbage. Leave for about 10 minutes until purple color leaches out of the cabbage.
  2. Use your strainer or coffee filter to strain out the plant material to obtain the purple liquid by itself. Allow cabbage water to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the cabbage water into different cups depending on how many liquids you wish to test.
  4. Add the various household solutions to each cup and watch as the color will change according to its pH level.
  5. Refer to the chart below to indicate if the substance is an acid or a base.
  6. Record your results!


  1. You can also make your own pH paper strips by soaking the coffee filter paper in cabbage water and then drying it. Once it dries you may cut the paper into several strips where you can drop several of the different solutions on the paper and watch the color change.
  2. This experiment will tell you whether the substance is acid or base, but not the exact value of the pH.
  3. This demo uses acids and bases
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