Candy Cane, Oh Candy Cane, Where Have You Gone?

In my post earlier this week I wrote about the Christmas-themed science experiment we would be doing…the case of the disappearing candy cane!

Mini candy canes
Small dishes
Various liquids: Vinegar, hot water, cold water, dish soap, oil, etc.

First, tell your child that he/she can have a candy cane after the experiment is complete. Or at least after all of the candy canes are in their respective liquids.

Second, place a candy cane in each dish.


Third, fill each dish with some sort of liquid. We used dish soap, hot water, cold water, olive oil and vinegar.

Fourth, open a candy cane for the kiddos and watch what happens!

The candy canes in the water, both hot and cold, started to dissolve almost immediately. After about 10 minutes, maybe less, the candy cane in the hot water had completely disappeared. Of course, the kids were playing with other toys by then so I had to call them over to check it out.

Joe asked “Mommy, where did it go?” Then he ran off before I could start to explain dissolving to him.

Hot Water Progression

IMG_20131205_101306_647 IMG_20131205_101923_976 IMG_20131205_102559_292

The candy cane in the cold water dissolved a few minutes later, followed by the vinegar.


The dish soap took about 45 minutes and the candy cane in the oil has not changed.

IMG_20131205_104011_565 IMG_20131205_104020_174

Oil will not dissolve the candy cane because it’s made of sugar. Sugar is a polar substance which means that it is attracted to other polar substances like water. This site has a detailed explanation if you are interested.

The experiment took about an hour in total and I had the kids’ attention for about 10 minutes of it. They loved putting the candy canes in each dish and pouring the liquids in too (they made quite a mess but they had a blast).

2 responses to “Candy Cane, Oh Candy Cane, Where Have You Gone?

  1. You are so patient.

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