Baking Soda Science Projects

Experiment with Baking Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate

 If you have baking soda, you have the prime ingredient for a slew of science experiments! Here's a look at some of the projects you can try, including the classic baking soda volcano and growing baking soda crystals.

Adding baking soda causes the volcano to erupt.
The volcano has been filled with water, vinegar, and a little detergent. Adding baking soda causes it to erupt. Anne Helmenstine

If you only try one baking soda science project, make a baking soda and vinegar volcano. You can color the liquid to make the volcano erupt 'lava' or go with the original white eruption. The baking soda reacts with vinegar, a weak acid, to form water and carbon dioxide gas. If you add a small amount of detergent to the volcano, the gas gets trapped to make a thick foam. More »

It's easy to simulate the growth of stalactites and stalagmites using household ingredients.
It's easy to simulate the growth of stalactites and stalagmites using household ingredients. Anne Helmenstine

 Baking soda is a good material for growing homemade stalagmites and stalactites. The non-toxic crystals form quickly and show up well against a dark-colored yarn. It's easiest to use gravity to get crystals to grow downward (stalactites), but constant dripping from the center of the yard will produce upward growing crystals (stalagmites), too. More »

Gummy Worms Candy
Gummy Worms Candy. Lauri Patterson, Getty Images

Use baking soda and vinegar to make gummy worms dance in a glass. This is a fun project that demonstrates how vinegar and baking soda produce carbon dioxide gas bubbles. More »

This smiley face was made with invisible ink. The face became visible when the paper was heated.
This smiley face was made with invisible ink. The face became visible when the paper was heated. Anne Helmenstine

Baking soda is one of many common household ingredients you can use to make invisible ink. All you need is baking soda and a bit of water to write a secret message. Baking soda weakens the cellulose fibers in paper. The damage is invisible under ordinary conditions but can be revealed by apply heat. More »

Black Snake Firework
Black Snake Firework. ISTC

 Black snakes are a type of non-exploding firework that pushes out a snake-like column of black ash. They are one of the safest and easiest fireworks to make, plus the homemade ones smell like burnt sugar. More »

Baked Goods Made from Wheat
Baked Goods Made from Wheat. Keith Weller, USDA Agricultural Research Service

 Baking soda loses its effectiveness over time. It's easy to test whether or not your baking soda is still good, so you'll know if it will work for science projects or baking. It's also possible to recharge baking soda to get it to work again. More »

Ketchup contains vinegar, which reacts with baking soda to producelava for a chemical volcano.
Ketchup contains vinegar, which reacts with baking soda to produce an extra-special lava for a chemical volcano. Anne Helmenstine

 There's more than one way to make a baking soda chemical volcano. The advantage of reacting ketchup with baking soda is that you get a thick, red eruption without having to add any dye or colorant. More »

These are crystals of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate that have grown overnight on a pipecleaner.
These are crystals of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate that have grown overnight on a pipecleaner. Anne Helmenstine

 Baking soda forms delicate white crystals. Typically, you'll get small crystals, but they grow quickly and form interesting shapes. If you want to get larger crystals, take one of these small seed crystals and add it to a saturated solution of baking soda and water. More »

This is powdered sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda or soda ash.
This is powdered sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda or soda ash. Ondřej Mangl, public domain

 Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. It's simple to use it to make a related non-toxic chemical, sodium carbonate, which can be used for a host of other science projects. More »

Blow out a candle by pouring a glass of what appears to be air onto the flame.
Blow out a candle by pouring a glass of what appears to be air onto the flame. This easy science trick demonstrates what happens when air is replaced with carbon dioxide. Anne Helmenstine

 The carbon dioxide you can make from baking soda can be used as a homemade fire extinguisher. While you won't have enough CO2 to put out a serious blaze, you can fill a glass with the gas to extinguish candles and other small flames. More »

Honeycomb candy has an interesting texture.
Honeycomb candy has an interesting texture from bubbles of carbon dioxide getting trapped in the candy. Anne Helmenstine

 Baking soda produces bubbles that cause baked goods to rise. You can also cause it to produce bubbles in other foods, such as this candy. The bubbles get trapped inside a matrix of sugar, producing an interesting texture. More »

This is a photograph of sodium acetate crystals.
This is a photograph of sodium acetate crystals. Anne Helmenstine

 Baking soda is a key ingredient to make sodium acetate or hot ice. Hot ice is a supersaturated solution that remains liquid until you touch it or disturb it. Once crystallization is initiated, hot ice evolves heat as it forms icy shapes. More »

Baking powder causes cupcakes to rise.
Baking powder causes cupcakes to rise. You can use either single-acting or double-acting baking powder, but double-acting powder ensures success. Lara Hata, Getty Images

Baking powder and baking soda are two different products used to make baked goods rise. You can use baking powder in place of baking soda in a recipe, although the result may taste a bit different. However, you have to add another ingredient to baking soda in order to make baking powder. More »

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Baking Soda Science Projects." ThoughtCo, Mar. 16, 2017, thoughtco.com/baking-soda-science-projects-604174. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, March 16). Baking Soda Science Projects. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/baking-soda-science-projects-604174 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Baking Soda Science Projects." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/baking-soda-science-projects-604174 (accessed September 23, 2017).