Color Changing Milk Experiment to Magically Mix Colors

SciencePreschoolers14 Comments

What could be a more fun way to learn about mixing colors than with a color changing milk experiment that’s like magic?

I’ve tried doing this magic color changing milk experiment in the past, but remember not having the best great success with it. I don’t remember what we did differently though because this time it worked great.

We took this milk experiment as an opportunity for George to be introduced to mixing primary colors to see what colors they would make.

How to do make color changing milk:

Pour milk into a small, flat dish (a pie plate worked perfect for us).

Squirt drops of food coloring in all different colors, (affiliate link), or just two primary colors, into the milk.

Be sure to not mix it up!

Just let the drops sit as they are.

Magical Color Changing Milk Experiment for Kids to Mix Colors

Dip a Q-tip (cotton swab) into some dish soap. I don’t believe it matters what type of dish soap, but we used Ivory dish soap and had great success.

Dip the dish soap soaked Q-tip end into the milk and watch the magic happen!

Mixing colors with the color changing milk experiment!

After doing a first experiment with all three primary colors, I thought this would be a great experiment to introduce mixing colors to George using only two primary colors at a time.

It magically mixes colors!

We did this color changing milk experiment over and over with all the combinations of primary colors.

Of course, George is just like his older brother and loves green, so that was our first experiment.

Magically mixing colors!

How do we make the color green?

We’ve also had fun mixing colors with with fizzy eruptions! Check out all our science experiments for kids.

Magically mix primary colors with the color changing milk experiment!

George saw the green in the yellow and blue right away!

Mixing green with the color changing milk experiment!

And then we tried red and yellow to see what they made.

Mixing orange with the color changing milk experiment!

It takes a long time for the colors to actually mix together.

They like swirl around each other more than anything.

So George didn’t see orange, he kept seeing yellow. Until finally, after letting is mix almost completely together he could see the orange.

Magically make orange with the color changing milk experiment!

What’s so interesting about this experiment is that it bubbles up, the yellow will just appear out of no where in the middle of the red all of a sudden!

It really is like magic!

And then we tried to make purple. Blue and red together.

George thought it looked like it made black. I think we overdid it with the drops of color and it got to dark.

Magically make purple with the color changing milk experiment!

The photos here just don’t do this experiment justice. The swirling effect the colors do is just plain amazing to watch. George’s face gives that away in some of the photos. If we had more milk on hand we could have done this to fill up our entire morning.

My husband suggested that any liquid, like water, could probably work. Its something about breaking surface tension. I don’t know what those terms mean, so I’m not going to pretend that I do. But the reason for the milk is to have the white background so you can see the swirls happening.

If someone has tried color changing milk with anything other than milk, let me know if it does work! Does color changing water work?

More takes on this classic color changing milk experiment:

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  1. Rio says

    We did it with water and then we used blotting paper to record our findings onto,
    The blotting paper also works, well when wet, and with Any ink run onto it, pen, ink,
    Food coloring, and thing that runs even ready,made poster paint
    Have you tried
    Oil, conflour and food colouring
    That molds like flaky snow, it is great to use with winter animals
    There is also slim with custard powder and water that is gloup, strange consistance on your hands
    Great too with a mint and a fizzy drink stand well back
    Watch on you tube
    I wana know is who makes this up, i think of pop corn that was a mistake gone wrong, how nice and graet it is to get things wrong nowadays

  2. says

    We just tried this using almond milk {all we had} and it didn’t work. This was a suggested science activity for our my 1st graders curriculum today; they explained it as the dish soap breaking up the fat content in the milk– which is why I a guessing the Almond milk didn’t work and water probably wouldn’t either. Off to the store we go!

  3. Catherine Jakuta says

    The colours swirl and mix because the soap is trying to break down the fats in the milk (this is why it works best with full fat milk) much like the soap does when you wash the dishes. This causes the colours to swirl around.

  4. Lisa Horton says

    Really enjoying your ideas. I have tried using primary colored skittles with water in a bowl and it works great. After the coloring from the candy dissolves you are able to mix and see the blended colors change into a secondary color. I tried the experiment from a post by

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