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Blow up balloon with baking soda and vinegar experiment.

Bouquet of six latex and one foil balloon arranged into a "stacked layer"

Blow up a balloon with baking soda and vinegar

  1. Use a funnel to add 1/3 cup baking soda to the inside of a balloon.
  2. Fill a plastic bottle with approximately 1 cup vinegar.
  3. Attach the balloon to the mouth of the plastic bottle, taking care to not let any of the baking soda fall into the plastic bottle with the vinegar.
  4. When ready, lift the balloon upright so the baking soda falls and causes the reaction.

Bonus experiment! How to blow up a zip lock bag with baking soda and vinegar

When vinegar is mixed with baking soda, a double replacement reaction takes place. The result is carbon dioxide but behind the scenes, there is more than one reaction taking place.

  1. Put a tablespoon of baking soda in the center of a paper towel. Fold the paper towel over the baking soda a few times. The objective is to create a “time release” mechanism for our reaction.
  2. Pour ½ cup vinegar into a plastic bag.
  3. Pour ¼ cup warm water into the bag with the vinegar.
  4. Hold the baking soda filled paper towel inside the mouth of the plastic bag by pinching the sides to hold it. Don’t let the paper towel touch the solution yet.
  5. Release the sides of the plastic bag so the baking soda filled paper towel drops into the solution. Quickly seal the bag and set it down.
  6. The bag will swell and pop.

Vinegar reacts with baking soda to create carbonic acid. Specifically, the acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda. That is the first step of the reaction. The resulting carbonic acid is unstable and immediately it starts to fall apart and break up into carbon dioxide and water. The bubbles are carbon dioxide escaping from the solution.

Parent/Teacher/Advanced Notes

Any baked food that rises is caused by carbon dioxide gas. In the case of bread, yeast (a one-celled fungus) converts sugar to carbon dioxide which causes the bread to rise.

Baking soda neutralizes both acids and bases, so it really does eliminate odor rather than just covering it up.

Experiment Supplies

Supplies: Vinegar, Baking soda, Paper towels, Balloon

Image Credits

Bouquet of six latex and one foil balloon arranged into a "stacked layer" via Wikimedia Commons by Warren Denning - Pioneer Balloon Company with usage type - Public Domain. May 2002

Featured Image Credit

Bouquet of six latex and one foil balloon arranged into a "stacked layer" via Wikimedia Commons by Warren Denning - Pioneer Balloon Company with usage type - Public Domain. May 2002
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