Skip to content

Separating colours

    Seperate food colouring

    Experiment with this technique to make different patterns and colours.

    Ingredients and equipment that you will need

    Food colouring – at least two different colours. I have found blue and green work best, but try others if you can. If you get a particularly good separation would you let me know which ones worked!
    Blotting paper – a piece about two centimetres wide and longer than the height of the jar.

    Method and further information

    Mix a little bit of two food colourings together in a jar. Put the blotting paper into the jar.

    It will take about ten minutes for the two liquids to run up the paper, and you will see that one colour runs higher than the other. Cut the paper so that you are separating the two colours and put the coloured paper into separate jars of water, stirring them to get the food colouring back.

    Be careful – you should ask an adult to help you with these experiments. Do your experiments in old yoghurt pots, jam jars or bottle tops. Don’t use cups or glasses in case someone thinks it’s a drink.