What else can I do with baking soda and vinegar besides the old paper mache volcano?

Baking soda and vinegar probably make the best-known kitchen science combination around.

There are few that have results quite as impressive.

Here’s an alternative to the age-old volcano. You will need a leak-proof Ziploc sandwich bag, vinegar, warm water, a tissue, and two tablespoons of baking soda.

Now place about a half cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of warm water into your Ziploc bag. Carefully zip the bag halfway closed.

Pour the baking soda into the tissue and twist the top. This will prevent the baking soda from spilling into the mixture immediately when it’s added.

Insert the baking soda tissue into the bag, but don’t let it fall into the liquid yet. Instead, hold onto it from the outside while you completely seal the baggie.

Let the tissue fall into the liquid and run. When the baking soda, which is a base, hits the vinegar, —an acid—, the mixture reacts, creating carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide fills the Ziploc bag pretty quickly, causing it to burst open with a bang.

Oh, wait, did we forget to mention that this experiment is best done in a bathtub or outside? Sorry!

Here’s another, quieter, less messy, and therefore less interesting way of causing the same reaction. Get a soda bottle and pour a half inch of water and a half inch of distilled vinegar into it.

Now take a deflated balloon and see if you can get some baking soda into it. Fit the end of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle without letting the baking soda spill into the liquid yet.

Hold the balloon securely on the bottle and let the baking soda drop down into the liquid mixture. The carbon dioxide that’s released will blow up your balloon.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “What else can I do with baking soda and vinegar besides the old paper mache volcano?”

  1. This same process is also a good fire extinguisher. The carbon dioxide created suffocates fires. This application can be a substitute for a fire extinguisher, in the event you do not have one, such as a new or remodeled home. Simply take a jar and fill 1/2 way with vinegar. Then take a small plastic cup (Dixie-Cup sized) and fill 1/2 way with baking soda. Poke a hole in the Jar’s lid with a large nail. Shake when needed. then watch the carbon dioxide foam come out of the lid and squash any fires, when sprayed. You can test this on a grill in the garden (back yard).

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