Forum Thread: Planets Made Out of Milk

Step 1: Gathering Materials

This is a fun experiment that you will want to do again and again, just to see how many different ways you can accomplish this experiment!

Things you will need are the following:

1) Shallow plate - the plate doesn't need to hold a lot of milk, just enough to get a layer of milk on the surface.

2) Milk - as long as you have a shallow plate a pint of milk is enough to do this six or more times.

3) Dish Soap - make sure its non-concentrated

4) Food Coloring - we had both regular and neon colors

5) Pepper - this version is an instant result

6) Various objects to apply dish soap on - we used a glass stone, ball chain, spray, cotton swabs & pebble stones *Note - What you are looking for is a variety of sizes and absorption for the dish soap

Step 2: Making Your First Planet

Place your shallow plate down on a table. Go ahead and pour a layer of milk to get a good area of the plate filled. Now comes your creativity and imagination into play. Think about the outcome you want and start placing drops of food coloring on the milk. Once you are done, grab one of your objects and cover it with dish soap. The idea is to have the dish soap touch the food coloring to make the reaction start. In this version we used the glass stone.

Step 3: Variations

Now that you have an idea of how the experiment works here are some ideas to take into account.

  • What would happen if you added more or less food coloring?
  • What would happen if you added more or less dish soap?
  • What would happen if your dish soap object was bigger or smaller?

In the following we used a ball chain - I felt the ball chain wasn't big enough to hold a lot of dish soap, but having the reaction start in so many places was interesting

Pebble Stones - This allowed us to place food coloring anywhere on the plate

Spray - filling the spray bottle with water and dish soap gave us a completely different effect - *Note - we got a little carried away with spraying coming from all different directions, so beware of the mess!

Cotton Swab - this soaks up a lot of the dish soap so I recommend lots of food coloring and maybe only using one end of the cotton swab with dish soap

Step 4: Food Coloring? What About Pepper!

In this version, fill your plate with water instead of milk. Sprinkle lots of pepper onto the water the more the merrier. Once you have your layer of pepper, grab a cotton swab and dip it in dish soap. You can even place dish soap on your finger to add a magic effect. *Note - this is an instant reaction so don't blink! Place your cotton swab directly in the middle and enjoy!

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