How to Make Water Clear After Adding Food Coloring

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Children love to see science experiments that defy their concept of reality. A small amount of bleach delivered with an eye dropper will change the color of colored water, making the color seem to disappear before your students’ eyes. Use this opportunity to tell a story, to bring a visual to more complicated topics such as environmentalism and the effects of pesticides or to discuss dispersion in water and the properties of liquids. Whatever your reason is for bringing this experiment into your classroom, conduct this simple project and amaze your students.Just be certain to handle the bleach with appropriate care.

    Clean off your desk or table, in case you spill the bleach or colored water, which could stain your paperwork, apparel and other items.

    Fill one beaker with water and another with a little bit of liquid bleach. Don’t fill the bleach beaker too much, as you will only need a few drops of the bleach. If you want to try more than one color, you may want to fill more than one beaker with water.

    Add food coloring drops to the beaker that contains water.

    Stir with the glass stirrer or allow the food-coloring particles to disperse on their own.

    Fill an eye dropper with liquid bleach and drip it into the food-coloring beaker, one drop at a time. Stir with the glass stirrer, or let the bleach disperse, and continue to drop liquid bleach until the color is completely gone.

    Things You'll Need

    • Beakers
    • Glass stirrer
    • Safety glasses
    • Liquid bleach
    • Food coloring
    • Eye dropper
    • Rags or paper towels


    • Do not allow students to use the bleach or come in contact with the beakers with bleach. Keep towels on hand to clean up any spills before the food coloring or bleach can damage any fabric, surfaces, and other items.


About the Author

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.