Salt Crystal Experiment

Early in the salt crystal experiment.

Early in the salt crystal experiment

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved rocks and crystals of all sorts.   So I was happy when my mom and I started a salt crystal experiment. We got this recipe from Science Arts, a book recommended in our curriculum. The author apparently did not try her experiment because she said that it would be done in a maximum of three days. It took at least a month. I’ve given you some pictures over the stages of progression.

The salt is creeping out onto the pencil.

The salt is creeping out onto the pencil.

During the time it took for the crystals to form, I actually learned a lot! If part of your project is not immersed in water, big, bulky blobs of salt crystals will migrate up and make themselves at home on your pipe cleaner, and pencil. The migrating salt crystals, which look like warts that are squashed together, are different from the ones in water, which are small, graceful, and are in the thousands.

The top of the pipe cleaner and the pencil are encrusted with salt.

The top of the pipe cleaner and the pencil are encrusted with salt.

The fact that the author didn’t try the experiment makes her unreliable.  An alternative to this experiment is to use borax which will grow over your pipe cleaner in less than 24 hours. I am always impatient which is not useful in life. So all you have to do for fast growing borax crystals is go to www.thediscovery.org, where you will find instructions.

The liquid is now lower than the pipe cleaner.  The experiment is over.

The liquid is now lower than the pipe cleaner. The experiment is over.

Personally I think the experiment was interesting, but I wouldn’t recommend it, because it takes a long time and it’s not that beautiful. If you want fast growing crystals, try borax not salt.

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