Baking soda and vinegar experiments begin with the classic science fair volcano and end with homemade rockets. It’s not surprising – this reaction creates bubbly, fizzing potions that are fun to create over and over.
We decided to put a Valentines twist on the baking soda and vinegar experiment and try it with frozen hearts.
The best part? Even though this experiment stinks from all the vinegar, it’s safe to touch.
Let’s Try it!
(Measurements aren’t exact and will depend on size of mold. Proportions are more important)
1. Combine 3/4 vinegar to 1/4 water in heart shaped mold and freeze.
2. Combine 3/4 baking soda to 1/4 water in heart shaped mold and freeze.
3. Place frozen vinegar heart in 3/4 baking soda and 1/4 water solution.
4. Place frozen baking soda heart in pure vinegar bath.
We found the frozen baking soda hearts fizzed and reacted much more than the frozen vinegar hearts.
The Science Behind the Reaction
The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) reaction actually occurs in two steps.
First, the acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the sodium bicarbonate to make sodium acetate and carbonic acid. The carbonic acid is unstable and basically decomposes in a reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas. The CO2 gas escapes as bubbles. These bubbles are heavier than air, so they sink or run over the plate edge, versus taking flight.
Some people add dish soap to this reaction to capture the bubbles and help the solution flow. Try adding a squirt or two of dish detergent on top of your heart and see if anything different happens.
Or try different proportions of vinegar, water and baking soda. What are your results?
Thanks to Inspiration Laboratories where we found this original idea.