This summer we had friends visit, when they left we found a few of their food items in our refrigerator. Since these were items that we don't eat, we decided to use them in summer science experiments instead of tossing them in the trash. We took what was left from a carton of their regular whole milk that was reaching its expiration date and decided to use it, along with a couple of common household ingredients, to make tie-dye milk. At first, my boys thought this experiment would be boring, however once we started, they were amazed with the magic swirling action. Read on to learn how to tie-dye milk with your children.
What You Need for Tie-Dye Milk:
- eco-friendly liquid dish soap
- natural food coloring
Step 1: Pour the Milk
In a shallow dish, bowl enough milk to cover the bottom of the dish.
Step 2: Mix the Water and Liquid Dish Soap
In a separate cup, mix a 1/2 cup of water with a squirt of eco-friendly liquid dish soap.
Step 3: Add a Little Color
Add several different drops of food coloring to the milk.
Step 4: Get Tie-Dying
Dip the end of the toothpick into the liquid dish soap mixture, then touch (don’t stir!) the end of the straw to the surface of the milk mixture.
Step 5: Watch!
The detergent mixture will break the surface of the milk causing the food coloring to swirl by itself. Magic!
Why it Works?
The surface of the milk is thick like a skin and the dish detergent is what breaks it. The food coloring and milk break through the surface when the liquid dish soap mixture hits the milk causing the swirling. This experience teaches children about surface tension.