Regular Salt to Rock Salt

    Kids, have you ever seen a chef cook with pink salt or put their food on a big pink slab that looks like a large marble cutting board?  Rock salt is a natural, unrefined salt consisting of large crystals containing mineral impurities. Sometimes the impurities give color to the salt.  Therefore, natural salt can be white, pink, red, or even black. The grain size, color, and flavor make rock salt popular for recipes, bath products, and crafts, but it can be very expensive. You can make your own rock salt from regular table salt.

    Please note:  All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult supervision.

    You'll need:

    • table salt (NaCl); iodized salt, uniodized salt, or sea salt.  All of them work well.
    • water
    • a cooking pot and a stove
    • a clean container in which the solution can cool and the crystals can grow
    • food coloring


    • Have an adult partner heat the water to a rolling boil. Very hot tap water is not hot enough because the solubility of the salt increases rapidly with temperature.
    • Stir in salt until no more will dissolve.
    • Add a couple of drops of food coloring. Two drops of red and one of yellow will create pink Himalayan rock salt.
    • Pour the solution into a clean container. For the cleanest crystals, avoid getting undissolved salt into this new container. For the quickest results though, leave the undissolved salt to help start crystal growth.
    • Let the salt crystals grow as the water cools.  As the water evaporates, the liquid becomes more concentrated and the crystals will grow more quickly.
    • When you have enough crystals (or when they stop growing), pour off the remaining liquid and let the salt dry. You can break it into pieces and store it in a sealed bag or jar.  You can also test to see if it dissolves in water.