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Magic Milk – Virtual Science Space

Ready to tap into your creativity?

This simple science experiment is an awesome combination of artistic creativity and testing of scientific properties!

All you need is:

  • some milk
  • a few bowls
  • food colouring
  • dishwashing liquid
  • toothpick or some other small thin object for swirls


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[DAVID] Hi, I’m David, I work here at Science Space as one of the Experience Officers, and today we’re gonna be making what we like to call Magic Milk. So what you need for this experiment, you need some milk, full cream is actually the best to use, you need some dishwashing detergent, you need some food colouring, you also need some eye droppers, or you could just tip them in the bowl, and you also need a little dish, and you can either use a little dish or a cotton bud, that’s fine as well. So what we’re gonna do first, is we’re gonna pour the milk into your bowl. We have a couple of bowls here so we can have a few goes at it.

[OFF CAMERA] How much in it?

[DAVID] Probably about half a bowl is good. So fill this one up about half, and we’ll have a bit more in the last bowl. And as I said before, full cream milk works the best with this experiment. And often you might have milk that goes out of date, this is a good way to use it rather than tipping it down the sink, so you can do some science with it first. So what we’re gonna be doing now is we’re gonna be adding some drops of food colouring in here. So I might put some red in this one, and try and space them out a little bit. You can see things are starting to swirl a little bit, and watch what happens when I add some more food colouring in. Adding some yellow. Oops there’s a bit of blue in there. My favourite colour is yellow, what’s your favourite colour? And maybe a little bit of blue. Fantastic. 

So the next step, just gotta get your detergent, squirt a bit into a dish. And then, you can use a toothpick, you can use a cotton bud, and then you’re just gonna be dipping it in the milk. What do you think is happening everyone?

[OFF CAMERA] Wow, that looks so cool! That’s really awesome. 

[DAVID] And the more you put in, the more you get a bit of a reaction. So what’s happening here, is that the detergent is reacting with the milk. Inside milk we have what’s called fats and proteins, and the detergent’s reacting with those, causing them to start to swirl around and separate. And so it’ll keep swirling around and around as I add more detergent in, and if you look super closely you can see some really cool tie-dye colours. And it will go again and again. And as you can see when I place the toothpick in different parts of the bowl it’ll draw the milk up from underneath and start that sort of eruption, or that sort of reaction, again. And you can do it for as long as you like, to your hearts’ content, eventually it’ll turn- watch what happens when I put more in- it’ll turn a bit of a muddy brown colour- and eventually it’ll come to the point where the whole liquid is all saturated, and there’s kinda too many things combining with each other, and it will stop. But that’s a pretty cool experiment you can try at home. 

So if you try this one at home, let us know, we’d love to see your photos, or videos. Like this post, feel free to share it with your friends, we’d love to see how you’re going at home with all your experiments. Catch you later guys, hope to see you next time at Science Space.