There are many ways to create a stunning reaction between baking soda and vinegar, but I would have to say that this super fun science experiment ranks towards the top of the list in my household.
My kids…and my wife and I loved doing this simple experiment together at home while learning about the science behind it! I hope you and your kids will love it too! So let’s go ahead and get started with this Baking Soda and Vinegar Balloon Experiment.
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I can’t tell you how many times I have created the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano for myself and my kids and it never gets old. But I really think I have found my new favorite way to show the baking soda and vinegar reaction with this experiment you can try for yourself at home!
Baking Soda and Vinegar Balloon Experiment
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How to inflate a balloon with baking soda and vinegar
- Use a funnel and a spoon to get 1 Tablespoon of baking soda into the balloon.
- Fill a plastic bottle about 1/4 full of vinegar (Add food coloring if you want).
- Connect the balloon to the top of the plastic bottle, while being careful not to let the baking soda out of the balloon yet.
- Raise the balloon upright and watch your balloon inflate right before your eyes!
Step 1: Fill your balloon with baking soda
You need to get a heaping tablespoon of baking soda into your balloon before you inflate it. This first step might actually prove be the trickiest part of the whole experiment, but it’s totally worth it!
The easiest way to get the baking soda into the balloon is to connect the balloon to a funnel and then pour the baking soda into the funnel. You may need to stretch the neck of the balloon a little bit to help the baking soda fall down into the balloon.
Heads up: You just might happen to be like me and get clumps in your baking soda and it can clog your funnel into the balloon. If this happens, don’t worry! I learned a little life hack by using a skewer to poke into the funnel and unplug the clog (just use caution not to poke a hole in your balloon with it).
Step 2: Add some vinegar to the bottle
Now that we have the balloon filled with baking soda, go ahead and grab your water bottle and carefully add some vinegar to your bottle. You will want to add enough vinegar to fill your bottle about 1/4 of the way full.
You might want to use a funnel to make this part less messy, but just remember to wash it first so that you don’t cause an early reaction with the baking soda that may still be on your funnel from filling the balloons earlier.
After you have put some vinegar into the bottle, you can also add a drop or two of food coloring of your choice into the bottle. This is completely optional and does not affect the reaction, but it does make it a little more fun to watch!
Step 3: Attach the baking soda filled balloon to the bottle
We are almost ready to watch our balloon magically fill up with air! In this next step, you need to use caution not to spill any baking soda out of the balloon into the bottle! This would cause a premature eruption before you get a chance to inflate your balloon…and nobody wants that to happen!
The easiest way to avoid an early eruption while attaching your balloon to the top opening in the bottle is to keep the ballon hanging off the side of the bottle while sliding the mouth of the balloon over the bottle.
Step 4: Lift the balloon up and watch it inflate as the baking soda falls into the vinegar below
Now it’s time to watch the magic happen as you hold your balloon upright above the bottle. The first thing you will see is the baking soda in the balloon falling down into the vinegar inside the bottle.
The baking soda and vinegar will react together and begin to bubble and expand first. Then you will see your balloon start to grow and grow until the reaction slows down and the balloons will begin to shrink again (or you can quickly take them off while they are full and tie them too).
Baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment explanation:
The reason that we are able to inflate a ballon in this experiment is thanks to the magical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar. As the baking soda and vinegar interact they release a gas (carbon dioxide) and increase the air pressure in the bottle.
As the air pressure increases due to the additional gas being created by the reaction, it forces air into the balloon and begins to inflate the balloon. This is why the amount of baking soda and vinegar you use in this experiment will determine how big or small your balloon will inflate too.
If you want to dive a little deeper into the science behind air pressure then you might want to check out this super cool experiment – How to make a cloud in a bottle (without matches).
Why does baking soda react with vinegar?
The very common and exciting reaction of baking soda and vinegar is the base for many household experiments, but what is the science behind why the two ingredients make such an eruption!?
The simple science behind the reaction is that baking soda is a base, while vinegar is an acid, which do not get along when mixed together. Another important factor is that vinegar also has water in it.
The water in the vinegar plays an important part in allowing the baking soda (the base) to take a proton from the vinegar (the acid). As this reaction takes place, carbon dioxide is released by the baking soda into the bottle, which eventually fills the balloon up!
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