What You Need

  • 250mL (1 cup) milk (whole milk, if possible)
  • 3-4 different bottles of food coloring
  • Pie plate
  • Liquid soap

What You DoMilk-O-Rama

Step 1:

Fill a pie plate with room temperature milk.

Step 2:

Add a few drops of food coloring to the milk. Make sure to use different colors!

Step 3:

Put a single drop of liquid soap in the middle of your plate, and watch your milk colors explode!

What’s Going On

Milk contains fats and proteins in solution. Any change in the solution (for example, adding soap) affects these fats and proteins. By adding food coloring, we can observe the effect the soap is having on the molecules, which are twisting, bending and swirling into all kinds of different shapes. The soap has weakened the surface tension, which is the watery skin that holds the liquid’s molecules together. This creates the explosion of different colors!

Now Try This

Try using cold milk…does the temperature of the milk have any effect? What happens when you use different kinds of milk, like skim or 2 percent? Be daring and try half-and-half or even cream!



Mad Science LogoMad Science is a unique way to entertain an audience at a party, corporate event or school function! Check out the website at austin.madscience.org or call 512-892-1143 for details or more information. Mad Science is putting the fun back into learning!


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