For this science experiment we are going to see what happens when we mix two common household liquids, oil & water. Then we’ll add another item to the mix and see if it impacts the experiment.
Mixing Oil & Water Science Experiment Video
- Glass Jar with a lid (a pint canning jar works great)
- 1 cup Water
- Food Coloring
- 1 cup Oil (we used vegetable oil)
- 2 teaspoons Dish Soap
Step 1 – Start by filling the jar with 1 cup of water.
Step 2 – Add a few drops of food coloring to the water and stir until combined.
Step 3 – Pour 1 cup of Oil into the jar.
Step 4 – Securely tighten the lid on the jar and shake it for 15-20 seconds.
Step 5 – Set the jar down and watch the liquid for a minute or two. Observe what happens to the Oil and the Water.
Step 6 – Next, take the lid off the jar and squirt in 1-2 teaspoons of dish soap.
Step 7 – Tighten the lid back on the jar and shake again for another 15-20 seconds.
Step 8 – Set the jar down and watch the liquid for a minute or two. Observe what happens to the Oil and the Water now that the dish soap has been added to the mix.
How Does the Experiment Work?
The first thing you will observe is that Oil and Water won’t stay mixed together. Instead, the oil slowly rises to the top of the water. This is because of the density of the two liquids. The oil is less dense than the water, therefore it rises to the top.
The second thing you will observe is that including Dish Soap in the mixture, changed the result of the experiment. When Oil, Water and Dish Soap are mixed together, the Oil and Water don’t separate like they did when they were the only two items in the jar. This is because the dish soap is attracted to both the oil and the water and helps them both mix and stay mixed together.
Fun Fact: This same effect happens when you are washing dishing. The oil and grease on the dirt dishes is attached to the dish soap and water being used to wash them.
I hope you enjoyed the experiment. Here’s some printable instructions.