To demonstrate an ACID-BASE reaction (a chemical reaction that occurs between an acid and a base).
Baking Soda! That fun leavening agent that can be found in almost any household. Primarily used at home for cooking, baking soda (proper name sodium bicarbonate) is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3 and is used for the expansion of batter in cakes, breads, and other baked foods.
I can recall getting into the pantry many a time to pull out the box of baking soda my mom had bought for her baking. As a kid I would sometimes spend hours going through an entire box and mixing it with various liquids just to see what would happen. There were so many different (and fun) chemical reactions that it just kept me interested in trying different experiments. The best ones were the ones that went BOOM!
- Ziploc bag (or several if you want to keep repeating this awesome experiment)
- Box of baking soda (if you don't have one at home, you can find them in any grocery or general store)
- Tissue paper (or a piece of thin toilet paper)
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Warm water
Estimated Experiment Time
About 15 - 20 minutes
- 1. Prepare your baking soda bomb by placing a tissue flat on a table.
- 2. Put 4 teaspoons of baking soda in the center of the tissue.
- 3. Wrap the edges of the paper over the center to form a small pocket. Leave the tissue as is for now.
- 4. Pour about 1/4 of a cup of warm water into the Ziploc bag.
- 5. Pour about 1/2 of a cup of vinegar into the Ziploc bag.
- 6. Close the bag completely and mix the water by shaking the bag several times.
- 7. Open the bag at the corner, just enough to allow your baking soda bomb to be dropped in.
- 8. Pick up your tissue from easier and quickly drop it in the open corner of the bag and quickly zip the bag shut.
- 9. Place the bag down and stand back!
- 10. KABOOM!!!
You'll want to conduct this experiment where it won't make a big mess, preferrably outdoors. If you absolutely must do it indoors (perhaps it's raining out), it's probably a good idea to place the bag in a bathtub or shower to minimize the potential mess.
What do you think is happening once the tissue with the baking soda is dropped in the bag? Why does the bag continue to expand? What happens if you add some dish detergent?
As you've guessed by now, once the baking soda is added to the Ziploc the bag starts expanding and expanding until it finally pops under the pressure! The vinegar and baking soda mix causes an ACID-BASE reaction (a chemical reaction that occurs between an acid and a base). When the liquids come in contact a carbon dioxide gas is produced. This gas starts to fill the bag and continues to do so until the bag can no longer contain the gas, causing it to explode.
Take a moment to visit our table of Periodic Elements page where you can get an in-depth view of all the elements,
complete with the industry first side-by-side element comparisons!