How can I make glue from milk?
- Hot water (from the tap is fine)
- Room temperature water
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Coffee filter
- Small bowl
- tablespoons powdered milk
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of powdered milk in 1/4 cup of hot tap water.
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of vinegar and stir the solution well. Recall that household vinegar is a dilute aqueous solution of acetic acid. At this point the milk should begin to form little blobs of insoluble material (curd). These are a substance called casein, which are a class of proteins found in milk. Proteins are typically soluble in water and aqueous environments, but the acetic acid from the vinegar causes the casein to no longer be soluble in this solution.
- Position a coffee filter on top of a cup and pour the solution through the filter to collect the curd. To further dry the curd, try to use the filter to squeeze out any remaining liquid.
- Dispose of the liquid in the cup, dry the inside of the cup, and then transfer the curd from the filter into the now dry cup.
- Break the curd into smaller chunks using a spoon. This will help it to mix more readily with the ingredients you will add next.
- Add 1 teaspoon of hot water, and ¼ of a teaspoon of baking soda to the cup containing the chopped-up curd. The mixture may foam a little from the reaction of the baking soda with the remaining vinegar, producing carbon dioxide gas.
- Stir this mixture, which should eventually become smooth and liquid-like. You may need to add a little more water or baking soda to reach a smooth, even consistency.
- Now you have your glue! You can use it just like you would any other glue, though you should test it out first to make sure it’s working well before you use it for that science fair project you’re finishing up.
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