Thursday, January 9, 2014

Science Experiment: Borax Crystal Hearts

This is fun experiment with very cool results.  Our inspiration was from The Scientific Mom.  She created Borax Crystal Ornaments as part of her 12 Days of Science Series with her daughter.  Be sure to check out her blog here to find out about all the amazing excursions and experiments that she does with her daughter.  We decided to make borax crystal hearts for Valentine's day and a few snowflakes for Winter.  Keep reading to find out how we made these.
Pin It

To make Borax Crystal Hearts You'll Need:
Pipe Cleaners
20 Mule Team Borax (found in the laundry section  of the grocery store) (5-6 Tablespoons or more)
***Borax is not-edible and should be handled with care when using with children)
Water (2 Cups or so)
Jar or Glass Container
Pencil or stick

The first step in making these is to shape a pipe cleaner into a the shape you desire.  Make sure to form a hanger or add one to the shape using the pipe cleaner. Then boil about 2 cups of water (depends on how big your glass container is), let cool a little and pour into your glass container. Then, take about 6 Tablespoons of Borax and stir into the water until dissolved.  Then hang your pipe cleaner shape from a pencil. Place the pencil on top of the glass container.  Make sure it is submerged.

You can add more Borax which will create more crystals.  Let this sit over night, and the next morning  you'll have beautiful crystal shapes. ***Keep the pipe cleaner submerged over night! It was fun to experiment and check them the next morning.  Here are some of our results:

Close-up Crystals

Red Metallic Heart

Silver Pipe Cleaner Snowflake

Swirls

We had a lot of fun experimenting with this idea. We tried adding food color, but the colorful pipe cleaners really brought out the color too.  Have fun with this experiment and let me know your results!

16 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, these turned out so great! The pictures are beautiful as well, I love how the swirls and hearts came out! We're definitely going to take some inspiration from your post to make hearts for Valentine's Day, this is such a neat idea! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! I appreciate your inspiration. Your experiments and excursions blow me away. You are doing some amazing any and fascinating things with your daughter.

      Delete
  2. Do you do anything to take this from pretty craft to science lesson. I have a 3 and 5 year old and would kove insight on how you take it to that next step. Or, is it just a good lesson in scieentific process? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brandy, it doesn't have to be a pretty craft. To me it is purely a science lesson and I was just making it to fit the upcoming holiday. To make it more scientific you could experiment with different amounts of borax, different pipe cleaners, different size containers, different amounts of water. The results can be very different depending on all these factors. Some of our crystals were larger or smaller because of these differences. Hope this helps!

      Delete
    2. You can also see what happens when you take the crystals you just made and dip them in warm water, cold or hot water.

      Delete
  3. http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/2507-20MuleTeamBoraxNaturalLaundryBoosterMultiPurposeHouseholdCleaner

    ReplyDelete
  4. We just did that but ours didn't turn out that good. Not sure why. Going to have to try again. Used smaller glasses so ? that is why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julie, Experiment with different amounts of borax and bigger containers. This is a science experiment and it is a good lesson that the results are not always successful. We've had our fails when the Borax wasn't totally dissolved and when the container was too large and there wasn't enough Borax. I hope this helps. Don't give up. When I did this ages ago it didn't turn out either, but decide to try it again when I saw The Scientific Mom post it on her blog (Link is above in the first Paragraph of my post; Click on the words "here" or "Borax Experiment" and it will bring you to the post. Let me know how it goes or if you need any help!

      Delete
  5. Yours are beautiful by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Julie. Please let me know after experimenting how it goes!

      Delete
  6. Can u spray w/diluted glue to preserve them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great question! I tried putting Mod Podge on them (this is a gloss sealant) and it took away the shiny look to them. I would not recommend it. Also, the sparkle on theses fades after a while too.

      Delete
  7. Can someone tell me if you're supposed to leave the pipe cleaner submerged in water over night?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are supposed to leave the pipe cleaner submerged over night. The crystals form on the pipe cleaner as the liquid cools. The Scientific Mom has a great explanation on her post about making these:
      http://www.thescientificmom.com/2013/12/the-twelve-days-of-science-day-9-borax.html Hope this helps. Let me know your results.

      Delete
  8. Does it have to be a glass container?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've tried growing crystals before-it was a failure. Perhaps second time lucky?

    ReplyDelete

Comments are always appreciated---Thank you! Thank you!