Increasing the Accessibility of the Rainbow Flame Test By Utilizing Household Chemicals


  • Abigail Rossi


The rainbow flame test is a demonstration conducted to demonstrate the different colors produced when salts containing various metal cations are sprayed into a flame. The demonstration serves as an exciting and visual method of introducing the concept of electron transitions in atoms. This project began with an inquiry into increasing the safety of the rainbow flame test and was continued by investigating mixtures different salts to create new colors previously unavailable in the flame test. This portion of the project assesses the viability of using household chemicals to produce similar results as the rainbow flame test when conducted with laboratory grade chemicals. Some of the substances considered are Windex, Borax, Wite-Out Liquid Paper, table salt, and a salt substitute. This research seeks to incorporate green chemistry principles, as well increase the accessibility of the demonstration to K-12 teachers and homeschool students since all chemicals utilized can be found at big-box stores.