Make colour ‘explode’ on the surface of milk to create some ‘Crazy Colour’ patterns.

This experiment explores the concepts of surface tension, solubility and colour mixing ina FUN way that never gets old. Gather up your equipment and get going!

  • milk-colour-explosion-exoeriment-materialsPlate
  • Food colouring
  • Cotton buds
  • Milk (full cream is best)
  • Detergent



1. Allergies to milk

2. Stains to clothing etc with food colouring

  • milk-colour-explosion-experiment-step1Pour milk into tray / plate.
  • milk-colour-explosion-experiment-step2Place 2-3 drops of each colour in the middle of the plate.
  • The colours can just touch each other.
  • milk-colour-explosion-experiment-step3Use the cotton bud to collect some detergent.
  • Place the cotton bud with the detergent in the middle of the food colours.
  • Hold it in place

milk-colour-explosion-experiment-step4milk colour explosion step5





Check out the ‘Wacky Science’ video of this experiment and ‘What’s Going On’ series link. They are currently ‘In Production’, so check back soon…..

Wacky Science Ep

What's Going On?



Milk is a solution made up of many components such as water, fat molecules, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates and things called enzymes. It comes in many shapes and forms (full cream milk, fat reduced etc).

This experiment used full cream milk and investigated how fats are affected by adding a detergent to the milk.

A fat molecule is made up to two main parts:

(1) A water loving head (called the hydrophilic region)

(2) A water fearing tail (called the hydrophobic region)

Oleic acid molecule isolated on white


Dishwashing liquids also have a similar structure. ie they have a region that is hydrophilic (and therefore joins up with water) and a region that is hydrophobic (and therefore joins up with oil).

It is this reason why detergents can clean dishes because the detergent molecules join onto both oil and water and here is the secret to our experiment!

When you add the food colouring to the milk, it allows us to see the movement of the fat molecules and water in the milk. As the detergent is added, the detergent molecules try to join up with fat molecules.




If you would like

– more details,

– pictures of the second half of the experiment

– information on how to investigate this further

– links to everyday examples

– management hints & teaching pointers (5P Teacher develpoment program)

 ….. then why not subscribe to one of the following


(1) Crazy science Club

Crazy Science Club slider5

(2) 5P Teacher Training course called ‘Looney Lab  Classroom Creations

Looney Lab Classroom Creations2

Or you can purchase the ‘Bright Sparkes Guide’ of this demonstration only ($2.50) which has:

    • HD pictures of experiment steps
    • Detailed explanation of science
    • Mini-challenge section (another experiment)
    • Making it a ‘Scientific Method’ experience
    • Graphing opportunities
    • REAL links and descriptions to everyday examples of concept.