The Wintergreen Lifesavers Trigger – A Variation on the Mentos-Coke Experiment

In response to a question about triggering the soda eruption, here’s an experiment from the Fizz Factor book using Wintergreen Lifesavers and dental floss.
The Ultimate Eruption II – Another minty variation of the Ultimate Eruption””guaranteed to send your friends and family running for cover! Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 2-liter bottle of diet soda
  • 6 Wintergreen Lifesavers®
  • Towel and/or a mop (by now, you know how useful these can be)
  • Electric drill or large nail
  • Dental floss
  • Tape


  1. Carefully open the bottle of diet or club soda, so it doesn’t fizz too much.
  2. Have an adult drill a hole (the width of a pencil) in the top of the plastic, 2-liter bottle cap. If you don’t have an electric drill, punch a hole in the cap with a large screw or nail.
  3. Unwrap 6 of the Wintergreen Lifesavers and loop a 2-foot piece of dental floss through the holes. Tie the dental floss tightly around the Lifesavers, leaving the end of the dental floss free.
  4. Thread the free end of the dental floss through the bottom of the bottle cap and pull the Lifesavers tightly against the cap. Tape the floss to the top of the cap, so the Lifesavers stay in position.
  5. As in the previous activity, find a large space in the middle of an abandoned field, or on a huge lawn. Time for crowd control! Warn the spectators to stand back.
  6. Very carefully, replace the cap on the top of the 2-liter bottle and tighten it. Make sure that the Lifesavers are still tucked snugly into the cap so they don’t touch the surface of the diet soda.
  7. Get ready””and””loosen the tape on the top of the cap! When the Lifesavers hit the soda, you’re in for an incredible show! The bottle shoots like a fire hose because of the restriction of the smaller hole.

The reason why the soda erupts with such gusto has something to do with the tremendous number of nucleation sites on the porous Wintergreen Lifesavers. Remember that a nucleation site provides a place for bubbles of carbon dioxide gas to adhere. In this case, the nucleation sites are all over the surface of the breath mints. If enough carbon dioxide molecules gather in one place within a bottle of soda they form a bubble, but these bubbles cannot form without a place to adhere. In other words, the dissolved carbon dioxide gas molecules in the soda make a mad dash for the nucleation sites on the breath mints and form big bubbles that burst out of the liquid.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *