Does the Mentos and Soda Trick Work With Regular Coke?

Diet Coke exploding into the air

Michael Murphy / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY SA 3.0

Have you ever wondered whether or not the Mentos trick works with regular Coke? Does it work with other drinks? Here's the answer!

Key Takeaways: Mentos and Coke Trick

  • The Mentos and Coke trick usually gets performed with diet cola.
  • But, any carbonated beverage works.
  • It doesn't matter if the liquid contains sugar or not. Diet soda does work a bit better than regular soda, but the main reason it gets used is because it doesn't leave a sticky residue on surfaces.

The Mentos Trick

All you do is drop a tube of Mentos candies into a bottle of soda. The carbon dioxide in the soda comes out of solution very suddenly, shooting up into the sky and drenching anyone within range with soda. Usually, the trick is done using diet soda, especially Diet Coke or another cola, however, the main reason for this is because diet drinks are less sticky/easier to clean up than other sodas.

Any Carbonated Beverage Works

The trick works with any carbonated beverage. It works with regular cola, orange soda, root beer, etc. It's actually very cool when performed with tonic water under a black light because you get a glowing blue fountain. However, you can use seltzer water (very easy cleanup) or any soda. While you may get a slightly higher fountain from a diet drink compared with a sugary one, the real determining factor is the size and shape of the bottle. A 2-liter or 1-liter bottle works much better than a smaller bottle. Plastic bottles seem to produce a better effect than glass ones, but really, either will ​work. Flat soda will not work.

  • Carbonation is key.
  • Ideally, use a large volume of any carbonated beverage, but make sure the neck or opening of the bottle is narrow.
  • Drop in the candies all at once. Slowly dripping in candies won't produce the desired effect.

Carnauba Wax and Geysers

It doesn't matter what flavor of Mentos candy you use, but Mentos candies do seem to work better than similarly-shaped candies (e.g., M&Ms, Lifesavers). The other candies do produce a geyser, but it won't be as tall. Mentos stack neatly onto each other, leaving very little extra space, so they displace liquid better than other candies. The carnauba wax that coats the candies seems to be key in producing the effect because old candies or ones that have been opened for a while won't produce a tall geyser.

So, when you drop the candies into the soda, the wax flakes away. It captures the carbon dioxide gas escaping from the liquid. Pressure quickly builds up until it suddenly releases a stream of foam.

Getting the Best Eruption

While you can use any carbonated beverage for the Mentos and soda project, there are a few tips to keep in mind to help get the best eruption:

  • Let the soda warm up to room temperature. Like most chemical reactions, the process occurs more quickly at a warmer temperature. You'll get more fizz and a better eruption using warm liquid.
  • Don't open the bottle of soda until you're ready to go. The goal is to keep as much dissolved carbon dioxide in the bottle as possible.
  • Make sure you drop in all the Mentos candies at once. You can buy a device to help you do this, but an easy solution is to roll a piece of paper or thin cardboard into a tube. Place a finger or index card over the end of the tube to hold the candy in place and drop an entire roll inside. When you're ready, open the bottle and let the candies fall.
  • Some people swear diet cola is the best soda for the project. If it's available, use it.


  • Kuntzleman, Thomas S.; Davenport, Laura S.; Cothran, Victoria I.; Kuntzleman, Jacob T.; Campbell, Dean J. (2017). "New Demonstrations and New Insights on the Mechanism of the Candy-Cola Soda Geyser". Journal of Chemical Education. 94(5): 569-576. doi:10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00862
  • Sims, Trevor P. T.; Kuntzleman, Thomas S. (October 11, 2016). "Kinetic Explorations of the Candy–Cola Soda Geyser". Journal of Chemical Education. 93 (10): 1809–1813. doi:10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00263
  • Spangler, Steve (2010). Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes. Greenleaf Book Group Press.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Does the Mentos and Soda Trick Work With Regular Coke?" ThoughtCo, Nov. 19, 2022, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2022, November 19). Does the Mentos and Soda Trick Work With Regular Coke? Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Does the Mentos and Soda Trick Work With Regular Coke?" ThoughtCo. (accessed March 30, 2023).