Foaming Volcano Experiment

Over recent months I have seen many tutorials on how to make a volcano experiment. Given Lewis’ recent interest in the subject,  (you can read about that here), I decided we should give it a try.

As the ingredients necessary are common items you may well have them in the house. You will need:

250ml vinegar (I used brown malt but I’m sure white would be the same)

60ml bicarbonate of soda

6 drops of washing up liquid

4 drops of food colouring

A container, such as an old bottle or jar

A stick (according to some tutorials though to be honest it wasn’t really necessary)

Foaming volcano tutorial

The instructions are simple.

Choose wisely when deciding where to carry out your experiment. Outside being the most sensible, but also consider that food colouring might cause mild staining on some surfaces.

Add the bicarbonate of soda, food colouring and washing up liquid to the container.

Pour in the vinegar. Some tutorials say you should give it a stir at this stage, but to be honest I didn’t find that necessary. It started foaming instantly.

Stand back and watch your volcano erupt… okay, erupt might be a strong choice of word. Gently foam over the top of the container in a manner similar to adding bubble bath to running water, may be a better description.

Of course that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun! Lewis enjoyed it and actually the stick turned out quite useful for when he wanted to explore the remains!


Foaming volcano experiment

If you want to try this out at home here are my tips:

Don’t bother with the food colouring, it didn’t have much effect.

Don’t try to impress any children over the age of about 5. I suspect that the novelty would be lost on older children, unless you are carrying out the experiment for the purpose of actually teaching them about chemical reactions.

Have fun anyway, regardless of the success or otherwise of your erupting volcano! After all, not everything in life turns out the way you expect!


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