Candy Chromatography

Do you have a favorite color of candy? Did you know that a green Skittle is actually made using many different colors? We can use chromatography – a technique to separate mixtures – to see what colors were used to create your favorite color candy.


  1. Filter paper (tip: you can use coffee filters!) cut into strips (about one inch wide)
  2. Paperclips
  3. Colored candy (like Skittles or M&Ms) of varying colors
  4. Paper or styrofoam plate
  5. Water
  6. Eye dropper (if you have one – you can substitute with your fingers!)



  1. Place a few candies of different color on the plate, leaving space between each candy. 
  2. Using an eye dropper, drop a few drops of water onto each candy – or simply use your fingers by dipping your hand in a bowl of water. 
  3. Watch the colors start to dissolve off the candy. 
  4. Thread a paperclip through the top of the paper strips.
  5. Dip the bottom edge of the paper into the colored water on the plate. Use one color for each strip of paper. (You may want to mark each paper with the original color).
  6. On a new plate, fill with shallow water.
  7. Lay each strip of paper on the plate with only the bottom edge in the water and the top laying out of the water on the rim of the plate.
  8. Leave for about ten minutes and watch what happens! The filter paper will start to show the different color bands that were used to create the final color. Can you tell what the original color was? How many colors were used to create that color?
  9. Ask your parent or guardian to share your creation! Use the hashtag #RASatHome to share your artwork and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free month of Right At School!
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Did you Know?

Did you know that a green Skittle is actually made using many different colors?

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