Beets as a Natural Indicator

Jeremy Sernick Ethan Fivel Henry Laurich Jake Solovy Ryan F.


The purpose of our experiment was to test the fruit, beets, as a natural indicator. An indicator's job is to show the level of something, and in this case it was showing the pH level by changing colors; a change in color indicated a change in pH. If it turned red, orange, or yellow, then it was an acid. An acid has a pH of 1-6 and it dissociates to produce H+ and an anion. If it turned blue, green, or purple, then it was a base. A base has a pH of 8-14 and it dissociates to produce OH- and a cation. The household items we tested were soap, vinegar, bleach, and isopropyl alcohol. We predict vinegar and isoproyl alcohol to be acids, and bleach and soap to be bases.


pH (known): 1/color: dark red

pH (known): 3/color: lighter dark red

pH (known): 5/color: red

pH (known): 7/color: light red

pH (known): 9/color: yellowish red

pH (known): 11/color: reddish yellow

pH (known): 13/color: yellow

Substance: Isopropyl alcohol/color: scarlet/final pH: 10

Substance: Bleach/color: yellowish clear/final pH: 14

Substance: Vinegar/color: clear/final pH: 14

Substance: Soap/color: Mango/final pH: 8


We determined the color range using the pH because all indicators chemically react with hydrogen or hydroxide ions to give it a unique color. Each indicator, and our was beets, has its own color and its own individual range over which it changes color.