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Goldenrod Color-Changing Paper

Use pH and bases and watch the brilliant red color appear from nowhere


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Product Name Price
Goldenrod Paper (100 Pack) with Spray Bottle

Item #: WGRP-250

Goldenrod Paper (500 Pack)

Item #: WGRP-500


Usually ships the next day.

Goldenrod Paper is available in Deluxe Halloween, Halloween Party and Halloween Science Kits

Recommended for age 6 and up with adult supervision.

Availability: Out of stock

Goldenrod Paper is available in Deluxe Halloween Party Kit, Halloween Party Kit and Halloween Science Kit.

At first glance our Goldenrod Paper looks like an ordinary piece of yellow paper. In fact, someone could go their entire life thinking that this was just yellow paper. But the secret is hidden in the dye used in the making of the paper. Rub a cotton ball soaked with ammonia water on the paper and it turns bright red! Ammonia water is a cleaning agent and is classified in chemistry as a base. If the opposite of a base is an acid, what would happen if you rubbed a cotton ball soaked with vinegar or lemon juice on the red streaks? The paper changes back to yellow! Recommended for children ages 6 and up.

Our 100 pack of Goldenrod Paper now includes a spray bottle for your "magic" ammonia-water solution!

What's Included?
  • Your choice of 100 sheets with an included spray bottle or 500 sheets of Goldenrod Paper (without a spray bottle)
How Does It Work?

True goldenrod paper is coated with a dye that acts as an acid-base indicator. In fact it's the world's largest acid/base indicator strip and can be used for lots of science experiments!

What Does It Teach?

Learn about the difference between acid and alkaline substances by testing them on the paper.


Paint pictures on your goldenrod paper with vinegar first, and then paint with a baking soda solution. The pictures appear in different colors when the chemical reaction takes place! Be creative with your chemistry!

Customer Reviews

Loved this product. Review by Kathie Brand

I used this product at Halloween for my monthly Library Cool Science program the kids loved it, it was great. I am using it again in a week or so for my color program. We will touch on acids and bases. I thought it would be a good experiment to do just for fun. (Posted on 6/18/14)

awesome! Review by kathy wilmovsky

I searched high and low for this paper in all the local office supply stores and couldn't find it. Although it is pretty expensive, it was well worth it and the class had a great time making their "bloody" handprints. The kids couldn't wait to show this demonstration to their parents at our "open house." (Posted on 4/17/13)

Works great with store-bought ammonia Review by SuperFun Science lady

I disagree with the other reviewers. My batch of paper turned a convincing bloody red with ammonia. I pretended to have an accident and spilled "blood" on the paper. The kids were so convinced I thought one was going to faint! Hilarious! And they will never forget that this paper changes color with pH. Great addition to my acids/bases experiments. (Posted on 3/4/13)

Making science great... Review by Kathleen

Days long ago I was a registered Radiologic Technologist. It was way before digital x-rays and all the x-rays were hand developed. I worked with a doctor who loved to play tricks. One day, when I opened the darkroom door, I noticed the paper sleeve that was between the films was red “bleeding”. I figured out it was from the developing chemicals mixing with the goldenrod paper. Perfect opportunity to get back at the boss. I ran out of the room and told him I must be bleeding from somewhere, showed him the paper and tried really hard not to laugh as he was checking my hands and head for any wounds. Gotcha was an understatement!

Thanks for making science so great for so many kids and adults. (Posted on 2/19/13)

Paper is too thin Review by Esther Dijkdrenth

The color change is not nearly as dramatic as the description makes it out to be. Also, when you try to get the color to change in any truly noticeable fashion, the liquids will quickly soak through the paper and it starts to tear. I was unimpressed. We'll probably use the remaining batch as plain old yellow coloring paper.

We're extremely sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your Goldenrod Paper. That is definitely not the way that your paper should react. We would love to help rectify the situation. One of our customer service representatives will get in contact with you soon to see how the problem can be resolved.
-Steve Spangler Science Web Team

(Posted on 1/7/13)

Doesn't work without liquid plumber Review by Linda Youmans-McDonald

This paper does not create "bloody" anything unless you use ingredients that require safety goggles, thick gloves, and immediate handwashing. I tried to make the "bloody handprint" using windex and the color change was from goldenrod to a slightly darker yellow. No luck when trying a baking soda paste. Pure ammonia created a burgendy color that was not even close to blood-like. I finally got the "bloody" color when I used pure drain cleaner (liquid plumber). This made the paper useless for my halloween science "hands-on" experiment and had me scurrying around at the last minute to find an alternate. Either I got two bad batches that need to be replaced (too late) or the advertising of this paper should be changed to note that the color change is undramatic except when using dangerous household chemicals (pure ammonia and sodiume hydroxide). I am very dissapointed. A refund would be appreciated.

We're extremely sorry that you received bad batches of our Goldenrod Paper. Given the explanation that you've provided, that has to be what's happened here. Our customer service team will be in contact with you soon to resolve this issue and make sure that you experience is a good one.
-Steve Spangler Science Web Team

(Posted on 11/30/12)

Disappointing Review by Joe Childers

Be warned! This paper is hardly thicker than copy paper. Furthermore, the red is not as vivid as with other goldenrod papers. It seems to me that Steve Spangler has cut corners; there should be more indicator on thicker paper. I will try to find another supplier for this item in the future.

Joe -
We're sorry that you are disappointed with the Goldenrod Paper. Rather than cutting corners, we have exhausted every effort to find the best Goldenrod Paper available. The truth is, Goldenrod Paper and other acid/base indicating papers are being phased out. We are doing everything we can to keep this fun, useful demonstration and experimentation tool available.
- Steve Spangler Science Web Team

(Posted on 11/9/12)

Goldenrod Paper Kit Review by jim lorz

I thought this would be good to have my kids make Valentine's Day cards for their mothers. I read all about it in your ad. It didn't say anywhere that the paper would change back to yellow when the ammonia evaporated. When the package arrived I checked it out well before I opened it. The directions do say that the red change is only temporary, but that information is hidden behind the other sticker on the package. I re-visited the web site and re-played the video clip. There it wqs. A whole second or 2 saying that the red would turn back to yellow when the ammonia dried. Oh, well. Live and learn. (Posted on 11/2/12)

Goldenrod Color-Changing Paper Review by Harmony

Great for making "Bleeding Heart" valentines. (Posted on 10/10/12)

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