Science Experiment: Chemical Reaction – Exploding Ziploc

Science Experiment: Chemical Reaction – Exploding Ziploc

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In today’s experiment you will be able to watch a chemical reaction. In this experiment vinegar (a substance) and baking soda (a substance) will mix together. When mixed together the molecules of the two substances will re-arrange, or change, to make new substances.

Vinegar has acetic acid in it. The chemical name for baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. When you mix the two together you get sodium acetate and water. You also get carbon dioxide, which is a gas. The bag puffs up because carbon dioxide is a gas and takes up a lot of space. Eventually the bag isn’t big enough to hold all that carbon dioxide gas so it explodes.

You Will Need:

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Snack size ziploc bag
  • Quart size ziploc bag

srpziplocdogMeasure one tablespoon of  baking soda into a quart size ziploc bag. Measure 1/2 cup of vinegar into the snack size ziploc bag and zip the bag closed. Put the snack size ziploc bag full of vinegar into the quart size ziploc bag with the baking soda in it. Get as much air as possible out of the quart size bag before zipping it closed. Go outside! Stand in the middle of your yard. Grip the snack size ziploc bag from the outside of the quart size bag and pull it open. As soon as the vinegar starts to mix with the baking soda drop the bags into the grass and watch what happens.

If your bag inflates, but does not explode, try increasing the amount of baking soda and vinegar. If you do this, be sure to drop the bag quickly and take several steps away after you mix the two substances together – when the bag explodes it splashes vinegar everywhere…which does not feel good in your eyes. See the dog’s nose and eyes? Too close! And…it goes without saying to do this OUTSIDE. To investigate chemical reactions further – try some more experiments at home!

IndyPL Kids Science Experiment Posts about CHEMICAL REACTIONS:

Acids: Bouncing Egg
Acids: Folding Egg
Chemical Bond: Kool Aid Tie Dye
Chemical Reaction: Penny Cleaner
Chemical Reaction: Plastic Bottle Geyser
Chemical Reaction: Milk Play Dough
Chemical Reaction: Milk Glue
Nucleation: Mentos Volcano
Oxidation: Brown Apples

srpziplocinflated1Websites that give you good directions for making exploding ziplocs.

Here are some books that give you good directions for making exploding ziplocs or other demonstrations using vinegar and baking soda to make a chemical reaction.

  • Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes: Make a CO2 Sandwich  (Pages 44-47)
  • Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble: Personal Puffer (Pages 14-15)
  • Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble: Soda Shooter (Pages 26-29)
  • Mythbusters Science Fair Book: Make Your Own Water Rocket (Pages 108-109)
  • Science Experiments That Implode and Explode: Plastic Bag Bomb (Pages 12-13)
Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble Mythbusters Science Fair Book Science Experiments That Explode and Implode

Words to Know:

Chemical Reaction – When a substances or substances is changed into a new substance.

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17 Responses »

  1. The exploding ziploc is the result of an acid/base reaction. The vinegar and the baking soda are the acid and the base. When the two m ix, a chemical reaction happens to create the gas that expands the ziploc. To do research on this experiment look up acid/base reactions. Good luck!

  2. Ok so first off, my friend found that out before I went on this website and she was playing around with the chemicals and the bag started expanding and then eventually exploded it is a very cool experiment and it is even more fun when you add food coloring into it. We added dawn dish soap, (blue), vinegar, water, food coloring, and baking soda. It is a very fun and easy experiment I will definitely try to do this with my kids when they get older

  3. this is really awesome i will be doing this for my science experiment

  4. Very interesting experiment! It`s good to know that this kind of tests are being documented and shared all over the internet.

  5. I think that is a really cool idea and i bet that anybody would do that experiment.

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