Ever wanted to create your own lava lamp or play with liquid fireworks in a bottle. This is a simple experiment that uses an acid-base chemical reaction as well as exploring the concept of density.
What you’ll need:
- A clear glass bottle
- baking soda (between 1 to 2 tbsp)
- Oil (any oil, about 1 to 2 cups)
- Food colouring
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoon
How to do it:
- First add 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda so that it sits in the bottom of your bottle. The amount would depend on how big your bottle is. If it is a big one, you may need more.
- Fill your bottle with oil, carefully pouring it in so it does not disturb the baking soda on the bottom of the bottle. A small bottle may need 1 to 1.5 cups of oil.
- Then in a separate container mix vinegar with about 2 drops of food colouring. You don’t need a lot of vinegar for this, maybe 1/4 cup. You can choose any colour you want.
- When you’re ready, scoop your vinegar and start dropping them by the spoonful into your oil mixture.
- You’ll start to see the fireworks in oil when the vinegar hits the baking soda on the bottom of bottle. Enjoy!
The science behind it:
Mixing baking soda and vinegar produces a chemical reaction because the baking soda is a base and the vinegar is an acid. Putting that in a medium such as oil makes the reaction even more visible especially because of the density difference between the oil and the vinegar. These two liquids will not mix so it is easy to see the vinegar’s reaction as it floats around in the oil.
Here’s a video on how we did it: