There are several fun ways to create a cloud in a bottle, but this method is the simplest and easiest way that I have discovered how to do it! Let’s jump into the clouds and learn how to make a cloud in a water bottle!
Get more fun and simple Atmospheric Pressure Experiments here!
This simple science experiment only takes a couple minutes to create a cloud that will entertain and educate the kids!
How To Make A Cloud In A Water Bottle
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How Do You Make A Simple Cloud In A Bottle
- Pour rubbing alcohol into an empty water bottle.
- Put the lid on the bottle and shake it.
- Twist the bottle.
- Release the pressure to form a cloud!
- Increase the pressure again to make the cloud vanish!
Step 1: Pour Rubbing Alcohol Into An Empty Water Bottle
Get started by adding just a tiny bit of Rubbing Alcohol into the bottom of an empty water bottle.
You just need enough rubbing alcohol to cover the bottom of the bottle.
If the bottle still has water in it, you will want to empty it out first before adding the rubbing alcohol.
Don’t worry if a few drops of water are left in the bottle though. This will actually help add some moisture to make an amazing cloud!
Step 2: Put The Lid On The Bottle And Shake It
Now screw the cap onto the bottle and shake the bottle up for a few seconds.
This will coat the inside of the bottle with a layer of rubbing alcohol.
Some of the water in the rubbing alcohol will evaporate and turn into invisible water vapor during this process.
Step 3: Twist The Bottle
It’s time to increase the air pressure inside the bottle now. To do this, hold the bottle with both hands and twist your hands in opposite directions.
Twisting the bottle up will force the air inside into a smaller area than before and this will increase the air pressure in the bottle!
You should be able to feel the pressure building in the bottle and it will become more firm as you twist.
Step 4: Release The Pressure To Form A Cloud
After the pressure has increased in the bottle, quickly decrease the air pressure and watch a cloud form inside the bottle!
You can decrease the pressure by quickly releasing your grip and letting the bottle untwist on it’s own.
This will increase the available space for the air inside the bottle and decrease the air pressure to form a cloud!
Another way to decrease the air pressure in the bottle is to keep the bottle twisted tightly while quickly unscrewing the lid.
As the lid comes off, the air will quickly rush out of the bottle and the air pressure will drop!
Just be careful where you are pointing the lid because the pressure will likely make the lid shoot across the room when you loosen it!
Decreasing the air pressure with this second method of loosening the lid is pretty fun because you can let the cloud escape and billow out of the bottle!
No matter which method you choose to use, the cloud-making process is the same…and it’s even similar to how clouds are formed in the sky too!
The dramatic drop in air pressure in the bottle allows the water vapor in the bottle to condense onto the rubbing alcohol particles to create a cloud!
In the wonderful world of weather, clouds form as air rises, cools, and condenses under low-pressure conditions.
But the tiny water vapor molecules also need something called cloud condensation nuclei to give water vapor something to stick to and form water droplets.
These are usually dust particles, smoke in the sky, or other tiny aerosols that help water vapor stick together and condense under the right conditions.
These cloud condensation nuclei particles are represented by the rubbing alcohol particles in our cloud in a water bottle experiment.
Step 5: Increase The Pressure Again To Make The Cloud Vanish
The cool thing about learning how to make a cloud in a water bottle is that you can make the cloud vanish just as quickly as it appeared in the bottle!
To make the cloud go away, just repeat the process and twist the bottle up again with the cap screwed on tight.
This will create higher air pressure in the bottle and the cloud will vanish just as quickly as it appeared!
This is the same reason why high-pressure systems in the atmosphere bring sunny skies and low-pressure systems bring clouds and stormy weather!
For more fun ways to make a cloud in a bottle check out this 3 Easy Ways To Make a Cloud in a Bottle experiment!
How Much Does A Rain Cloud Weigh?
The average puffy, white cumulus cloud you see floating above your head on a summer day weighs about 1.1 million pounds!!!
And those big, dark rainclouds that contain lots and lots of water can way even much more than that!
So how does all that weight defy gravity and seem to just float around in the sky!?
How Do Clouds Float In The Sky?
The tiny individual water droplets that make up a cloud are so tiny and light that they don’t fall to the ground very fast.
In fact, the majority of water droplets in a cloud are about the same size as a particle of dust and can easily float in the air.
Clouds form as warm, moist air rises from the ground up into the sky and begins to cool and condense into a cloud.
The cloud will continue to rise as long as it is warmer than the air surrounding it.
There are also warm air currents that will continue rising and pushing under the cloud that helps keep the cloud floating in the sky.
As some water droplets in a cloud begin to grow larger and larger, they will eventually get heavy enough to fall as rain, while still leaving behind the much smaller cloud particles to float in the sky.
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