Learn About Density With Rainbow Jars

With a few household ingredients, anyone can be a scientist. Learn about density by layering dish soap, honey, corn syrup, olive oil and rubbing alcohol to create a beautiful rainbow jar.

What you’ll need:

  • A tall, see-through container (such as a 28 oz mason jar)
  • Honey
  • Light corn syrup
  • Dish soap (either blue like Dawn or green like Palmolive)
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A dropper
  • Food coloring


With the exception of the sixth and final layer of rubbing alcohol, make sure to pour all of your liquids into the middle of your container being careful to not let it touch the sides. You will have six layers stacked on top of one another in order of highest density (honey) to lowest density (rubbing alcohol) to create your rainbow!

  1. Pour honey into center of jar until around ¾-inch tall
  2. In a separate cup, mix around 1 ½ cups of corn syrup with red and blue food coloring together to create purple. Pour into the center of the mason jar.
  3. Add in your dish soap (we used blue!), about ¾-inch to one inch tall
  4. Mix around 1 cup to 1 ½  cups of water with a different food color than one of your previous layers (we used green) and add it to the mixture
  5. Pour in a thick layer of olive oil
  6. In a separate cup, mix around ½ to ¾ cup of rubbing alcohol with red food color, then use your dropper to drop it along the side of the container. Be careful to not break through the oil layer to prevent mixing with the food coloring from the water layer.

Now your rainbow is complete! Have your little scientist hold the container up to the light and see density at work.

Inspired by: Playdough to Plato's Rainbow Jar

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