Investigating Suspension with Borax Crystals

Borax Crystals

Borax Crystals

This week we are thrilled to share this experiment with you, we will be investigating suspension with Borax. We will be creating a Borax Crystal Ornament. It can be altered to decorate for any time of the year, we did this experiment right before Easter and made a cute little Easter egg.  But since Fall is coming it may be fun to create something for Halloween or  Christmas. You can make a snowflake, heart, or what have you.

Little Passports

What You will need:

Boiling Water,
Scissors,
Measuring Spoon,
Glass Jar,
Pencil

What to do:

  1. First, twist, cut, twist your pipe cleaner into whatever shape you would like.
  2. Next, make sure that the shape can fit through the mouth of the wide-mouthed jar without having to squeeze through. If it can’t, trim the sides down or remold it.
  3. Then cut a 4″ length of string to one side of the shape. Tie the other end of the string to a pencil. You want the length of your string to be enough that the shape hangs into the jar but doesn’t touch the bottom. Once you have your length set, remove it from the jar.
  4. Next, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour into the jar (in the video we did this a little backward but it still worked after we stirred it up). Add 3 tablespoons of borax per each cup of water. Stir. It’s alright if some borax settles to the bottom of the jar.
  5. If you want a colored ornament/decoration, stir in some food coloring.
  6. Hang the pipe cleaner into the jar with the pencil resting on top of the jar. Make sure that you’ve added enough water to completely submerge the shape.
  7. Put the jar somewhere, where it is safe from being disturbed. For Real! You don’t even want it to be bumped! Let it stay there overnight.
  8. The next day, check out the gorgeous crystals! Untie the string from the pencil and you’ve got yourself a great ornament/decoration.

How it works:

How does a bent up pipe cleaner or a bunch of pipe cleaners twisted up into a solution of borax and water turn into a beautiful crystal?

When you mixed the borax in with the water, you created a suspension. A suspension is a mixture that contains solid particles large enough to settle out. By mixing the borax into hot water, instead of room temperature or cold water, the borax stays suspended longer within the water.

As the borax begins to settle out, or sediment, it begins to crystallize. You’ll see this crystallization on both the bottom of the jar and on your ornament or decoration. The borax continues to sediment on top of the snowflake and on top of other borax crystals until you pull it out of the water the next morning.

Check it out in action:

LET US KNOW!

Did you try this experiment? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments section below. Share your videos and photos with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using the hashtag- #sciencesunday

We would love to see you doing the experiments!

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