However: you need to have a CLEAN wire loop (platinum or nickel-chromium most common) and a way to hold it (not your fingers, please) in the flame. Wash the loop in concentrated hydrochloric acid (caution--nasty stuff, wear safety equipment) and rinse in distilled or de-ionized water. Put the loop in the hot part of the burner flame. If there is a burst of color, the wire is not clean enough (clean it again). When the wire loop is clean, heat it and touch a bit of your unknown. This should transfer enough to the loop to carry out the flame test. If it doesn't, make a few drops of saturated solution using the unknown in distilled water.
The main difficulty is getting the wire clean enough. Sodium ion (yellow flame test)is much brighter than potassium and is a common contaminant. A little bit of sodium will mask a lot of potassium.
Look in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics for a list of flame test colors. You may also want to look into a process called the "borax bead" test. Have fun!
Author: Garcia Oliver firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 1997-2010 by Fred Senese
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Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/inorganic/faq/print-verifying-kcl.shtml