Sweet Potato Indicator

By: Jack Moran, Eli Horwitz, Collin Hinds, and Jacob Avenaim


The purpose of the lab is to use a sweet potato as our natural indicator to test for the pH levels of four unknown substances which consisted of: Dishwasher liquid, super miracle bubbles, Granite cleaner, and floor cleaner. An acid has an H+ ion which results in a pH of 1-6 while a base has an OH- ion that results in a pH of 8-14. An indicator is a substance that changes colors (physical appearance) in the presence of an acid and/or base. The color change is due to the dissociation of of the H+ or OH- ion in the indicator causing the color to change.



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PH with indicat

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Dish washing soap (yellow, pH=10)

Granite cleaner (clear pH=1-8)

Bathroom Cleaner (clear pH=1-8)

Bubbles (light yellow pH=9)


The sweet potato indicator mixed with any acid resulted in no color change, and remained a clear solution showing no indication for acids. The sweet potato mixed with any base resulted in the solution turning yellow, and the stronger the base, the darker the yellow became. Our indicator is better at detecting bases because it was unable to detect acids, and could detect all levels of bases. It was was difficult to judge substances with pH under 8 because substances mixed with our indicator that had pH 1-8 stayed clear. This was a well performed experiment and the only way to make this a better experiment would be to use an indicator that could detect a wider range of pH.