Science Projects with Dishwashing Liquid

Dishwashing liquid isn't just for washing dishes.
••• Morgan_dishes1_070307 image by TMorgan from

Accomplish fun science activities with liquid soap and kids of all ages. Dishwashing liquid is cheap and available at most stores. With some creativity and other basic household materials, liquid-soap science projects can be done in the classroom or at home.

Milk Explosion

Use whole milk and food coloring to create a unique science activity. Pour a small amount of milk in a tray or plate and add a couple drops of food coloring. Dip the top of a cotton swab in some liquid soap and then touch it to the milk. The milk will have an interesting reaction to the liquid soap. The liquid soap interacts with the fat in the milk creating a colorful display.

Bubble Magic

Make bubble mix for kids to experiment with. To a base mixture of equal parts of liquid soap and water, add small amounts of glycerin, vegetable oil and sugar. Experiment to find the best mix for making the biggest bubbles. See who can blow the biggest bubbles using wands or other items for blowing bubbles such as slotted spoons or a potato masher.

Liquid Tension

Use a glass full of water and a sprinkle of black pepper to experiment with surface tension. Gently press a toothpick into the water and have kids watch what happens. Experiment by dipping the toothpick in liquid soap and then into the glass of water with pepper. Does the same thing happen? Surface tension holds things together, and when it is broken the items on the surface behave differently.

Layers of Liquid

Gather several different liquids from around the classroom or home such as liquid soap, vegetable oil, water, honey or corn syrup and rubbing alcohol. Which liquids are heavier than the others? To find out, pour what everyone thinks is the heaviest into a clear glass container such as an empty mason jar. Layer another liquid on top and watch what happens. Continue layering with the rest of the liquids. Did the liquids create even layers or mix together?

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