Does the Mentos and Soda Trick Work with Regular Coke?

A 2-litre (0.44 imp gal; 0.53 US gal) bottle of Diet Coke just after Mentos were dropped into it
Using Diet Coke for the Mentos and Soda trick is recommended because it's easier to clean up. 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!

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.

What Works and What Doesn't

  • Soda
    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 ​works. Flat soda will not work.
  • Candy
    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.

    Tips for 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.