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Chemical Change with baking soda and vinegar.

A completely new substance is created during a chemical change. .A new solid, gas, liquid, odor or heat may be detected. You may not sense the change. This is why mixing different cleaning materials can be so dangerous. You can produce an odorless gas which can be harmful. You can produce something that may make you have to evacuate your house until it is completely aired. 

The most basic and by the way fun activity is to mix baking soda and vinegar.

1 teaspoon of baking soda with 20 mL of vinegar in a clear container. Kids and adults like to watch this.

You can make the experiment more challenging in several ways.

1. Have substances measured.
Ask students to measure 20 grams of baking soda and 20 mL of Vinegar.

2. Vary the amounts of the substances (reagents).
5 grams of baking soda and 20 mL of vlnegar
20 grams of baking soda and 20 mL of vinegar
50 grams of baking soda and 20 mL of vinegar
Students can measure the height of the reactions in a clear container and whether all of the substances become part of the reaction.

3. Change the order you add substances. I recommend baking soda in container first and then vinegar. However, changing the order may change how fast and high the reaction is.

4. Measure the temperature of the vinegar and baking soda before and after they are mixed. Measure the temperature of the solution formed by the chemcial change.

Do what is appropriate for the age group.

Measuring should be introduced with Grade 3. The comparison of different amounts to affect the reaction should be grade 5 and above.
You can spend a lot time getting children to do activities that are grades ahead or you can lay the foundation so they can learn more readily later.

A variation of this is to have students put vinegar in a used plastic soda bottle. Then baking soda in a balloon. They carefully fit the balloon over the bottle opening. hey spill the Then they lift the balloon to spill the soda into the vinegar. The balloon inflates with the CO2 created.

For high school students, Students can create CO2 gas to put out the flame of a candle. Students mix vinegar and baking soda in a soft drink bottle and pour the CO2 gas over a lit candle. The flame is snuffed because no oxygen can get to the burning wax to continue the oxidation process of burning. Carbon dioxide is denser than the atmospheric gases of nitrogen and oxygen. It sinks and produces a barrier at the same time.


  1. If you put your vinegar in something like a golden syrup tin, and then put the bicarb in a small plastic bottle lid and float it in the vinegar, then seal the tin tightly, then shake .... place in the garden and stand well back ... it gives a wonderful demonstration of the power of a chemical reaction.

    1. It would indeed produce an explosion with hopefully only the lid popping off. However, you would need to be very cautious about having an explosion. You would need to wear safety glasses and place it behind an explosion proof shield. Explosions and their results are unpredictable.

    2. I wanted to add this link about a man creating an explosion and blowing his leg off. You have to be very cautious about creating explosions in front of children. People have a fascination with explosions. This is a part of why people love fireworks. There is just great danger when children go home and do it themselves.


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