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Video:Grow Alum Crystals

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Alum crystals are one of the fastest and easiest to grow, and the materials can be found in any grocery store. This video will show you the steps for growing alum crystals.See Transcript

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Transcript:Grow Alum Crystals

Hi, I'm Lisa Nelson for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to grow crystals at home using alum.

Alum Crystal Materials

You will need:

  • Hot water
  • Alum powder
  • A shallow dish or bowl
  • Paper towels or coffee filters
  • String
  • A dowel
  • A large glass jar

Alum, or hydrated potassium aluminum sulfate, can be found at most grocery stores with the herbs and spices.

Creating Alum Solution

Fill a small container with hot water. Add a teaspoon of alum powder and stir until dissolved. Continue adding the alum powder one teaspoon at a time, and stir until no more alum powder can be dissolved in the water. This is known as a saturated solution. The water is at its max carrying capacity for the alum.

Carefully pour the alum solution into a shallow container. If there is any undissolved alum remaining at the bottom, avoid pouring it into the container.

Getting Seed Crystals

Place the container someplace where it won't be disturbed, and cover it with a paper towel or a large coffee filter. After several hours, small crystals should form at the bottom of the container. Select one of these seed crystals, and dry it using a paper towel.

Growing Larger Alum Crystals

Tie the string around your seed crystal, then tie the other end around the dowel. Prepare a fresh batch of saturated alum solution, like you did before, and pour the solution into a large glass jar. Suspend the seed crystal inside the jar using the dowel, place the jar someplace where it won't be disturbed, and cover it with a paper towel to keep out the dust. After several days, you should have a large alum crystal.

I hope you enjoy this project, and for more information, please visit About.com.

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