Have you ever seen what happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda together? You get an amazing chemical baking soda and vinegar reaction that looks spectacular. This science experiment is SO easy to do and your child will enjoy learning more about chemical reactions.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Reaction
What you need for this science experiment
All you need for the baking soda and vinegar experiment is:
- sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda)
- normal clear vinegar
- a spoon to use for the baking soda
- cups or other types of containers to put the ingredients into
- a tray or large dish to prevent mess
The reason we do activities like this is so that I can help build a natural excitement for science. My children love doing science experiments, but I love adding that educational twist to it when they are naturally curious about something.
Why Do Vinegar and baking soda react the way they do?
We first hypothesize. What do you think will happen when you mix baking soda and vinegar together? Thereafter, we do the science experiment. Once complete we discuss the why.
Baking soda and vinegar reaction explanation
The baking soda and vinegar reaction is an acid-base chemical reaction. The Vinegar is an acid, while baking soda is the base.
When you mix Vinegar (aka Acetic Acid) with the baking soda, the baking soda takes on a proton from the acid. This reaction then transforms the baking soda into water and carbon dioxide.
Carbon Dioxide is a gas that is released during the reaction and causes the bubbling effect. It is also what causes bread to rise and it’s the same gas that we exhale. The water is a byproduct of the reaction and it also helps to keep the bubbling effect going.
You can see the Carbon Dioxide gas in effect by doing the balloon baking soda science experiment. Watch how the Balloon blows up once you mix the baking soda and the vinegar.
You can find the scientific equation for the activity here.
This activity is really easy to adapt to any theme.
Baking Soda And Vinegar Experiment Video
You can watch our video tutorial here.. seeing it in action captures so much more of the essence and fun of this activity.
Begin by adding a few drops of food coloring into your cups. I chose to use different colors.
I chose to use the colors red, blue, purple, yellow, and pink. You could also theme the colors you choose according to a specific holiday. The vinegar color will be based on the color you added to your cup.
I also like to use trays under activities like this.. like pouring activities because then, I don’t stress about the kids dropping anything on the floor. It generally contains all the mess. I also sometimes do these activities on our sensory table.
When ready, add in your vinegar.
You can choose to do this part slowly or fast. I wanted there to be a color explosion so we poured the vinegar in really fast. Next time, I will probably do it super slow. You can also use much smaller cups/containers or even empty ice cube trays so that you don’t waste any vinegar.
As you add in the vinegar, the color erupts.
Helpful tip: To make the bubbling effect last longer you can add a squirt of dishwashing liquid before putting in the vinegar.
My children then proceeded to mix colors. They used some tools as well as just pouring the glasses into each other to create fun new colors.
This activity was a blast. Have you tried the baking soda and vinegar reaction experiment?
This was a very fun science experiment for kids! You can find more science experiments for kids here.
Have you tried the baking soda and vinegar reaction experiment?
This post was originally published on February 15, 2018. It was updated on December 30, 2021.