Kitchen Crystals

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Kitchen Crystals

Last week, Grace and I had a great time making crystals in the kitchen.  We made two types…one with alum and one with Epsom salt.  The alum crystals turned out perfectly.  The Epsom salt crystals were not quite as perfect. 😉  This is a great way to talk about crystals, saturation, the effect of heat on saturation, and reversible and irreversible chemical reactions. 🙂

To make the alum crystals, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup alum (found in the spices section…I’ve actually spotted it in SuperTarget and Harris Teeter)
  • 1 cup water
  • pan
  • food coloring, if desired

Process:

  • add alum and water to pan (and food coloring if you’re using it)
  • heat to boiling while stirring frequently
  • when all alum has dissolved, remove from heat
  • let solution cool for a while
  • move to a clean container (we used jars)
  • leave it alone  (we waited two whole days before we removed our crystals)
  • dump off excess fluid and pull crystals out of container

Epsom salt crystals use the same process except you only need 1/4 cup of water.

 

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