Thursday, January 27, 2011

Acid/Base Chemistry: Goldenrod Paper Indicator

If you can get your hands on some true goldenrod paper, you'll have yourself an indicator paper.

Goldenrod paper turns bright red in the presence of a base. 

The red color can be returned to the goldenrod color with an acid.

Dissolve some baking soda in water or use ammonia to paint and vinegar to erase. 

I know a high school science teacher who, on Halloween, would pretend to cut himself, "wash" his hand (with ammonia) and fling his hand at a sheet of this paper hanging on the board.  Totally freaked his students out!  He lists several other demonstrations using this paper on his website. 

Now, not all goldenrod paper is true goldenrod (i.e. it doesn't contain the real dye/extract), so you'll want to test yours out before passing it along to your students.  Astrobrights Galaxy Gold paper does work, so look for it at office supply stores if you're having a hard time finding paper that works.


  1. Hi Karen,
    I am wondering if you ever accept guest posts? I've written a few articles about an experiment I think students will really enjoy and hopefully help spark their interest in science. It’s a great hands-on project being sponsored by the International Year of Chemistry for all elementary school and high school students, and according to the IYC there is little to no cost to perform the experiments. They are trying to make it a World Record for largest chemistry experiment ever!

    To get my message out to teachers and students I’m reaching out to sites like yours asking to submit a guest article, so if that is something you would consider I would be happy to send one along for review, just let me know! Thank you!


    Alan Parker

  2. Hi Alan,
    Email me at
    adventures(dot)in(dot)science(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll talk more.


  3. Our trained chemists work on custom projects designed specifically for the needs of each client. Acid Blue 90

  4. If I ever tried this what would be acids and bases to use???