After watching this YouTube video of Steve Spangler popping film canisters on the Ellen show, I knew I wanted to give it a go. I had been intending to pick up some canisters on my next shopping trip, but yesterday spotted a little effervescent tablet container in the cupboard. I didn’t want to waste the tablets, and didn’t have any alka seltzer, so decided to try some baking soda and vinegar instead.
How to make a Baking Soda Popper
What you need
- A container with a lid
- Baking Soda
- Kitchen Roll
Baking Soda Popper Imstructions
I added about a cm of vinegar to the bottom of the canister, dropped in a little baking soda, put on the lid and stepped back. The top flew off almost immediately.
To try and slow the reaction down I wrapped the baking soda in a small piece of kitchen towel, which gave me enough time to put the canister down and grab a camera.
Remember to stand back straight away as these fly with a bang!
Baking Soda Popper Challenge
Can you try turning the canister upside down and popping the canister rather than the lid?
Why does a baking soda popper work?
Baking Soda is alkaline and reacts with acids like vinegar, releasing carbon dioxide ( a gas ) and water. The carbon dioxide gas builds up behind the lid of the canister. The gas has nowhere to go and is constantly being released by the reaction between vinegar and baking soda. More and more bits of gas squeeze into the tube, jostling with each other. The pressure builds and builds and suddenly the lid of the canister can’t take it any more and explodes off the main body.
The timing is fairly random so taking a good picture can be frustratingly hard. Can you take a photo of the lid popping off? I’d love to see it if you can.
* Be very careful with this activity the top of the canister shoots off at speed. Make sure all little and big people are well out of the way.
Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by Emma Vanstone