The blue to white color change that occurs in the foam of Scrubbing Bubbles or KABOOM Brand cleaners has always fascinated me. Many times I have wondered how this color change takes place. Inspired by this year’s theme for National Chemistry Week (Chemistry Colors Our World!), I recently carried out some investigations to discern how this mysterious color change takes place. You can view some of my explorations in the video below:
What do you think my proposed explanation for how the color change takes place? Do you have any suggestions for further inquiries?
I plan on performing some of these experiments for my students (and during outreach events) during National Chemistry Week (NCW) this year. If you’d like a great NCW-themed challenge, try to explain how the purple-to-green color change occurs in this cleaner. If you decipher how this occurs, be sure to let me know. My students and I will be working on this problem, too!
For Laboratory Work: Please refer to the ACS Guidelines for Chemical Laboratory Safety in Secondary Schools (2016).
For Demonstrations: Please refer to the ACS Division of Chemical Education Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations.
Other Safety resources
RAMP: Recognize hazards; Assess the risks of hazards; Minimize the risks of hazards; Prepare for emergencies