How to Mix Vinegar & Baking Soda in a Bottle Rocket

You can easily make a rocket out of a simple plastic water bottle.
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A popular science project is mixing baking soda and vinegar in a rocket or race car made out of a plastic water bottle. When the baking soda and vinegar react, it creates a carbon dioxide gas. The gas is what causes bubbles and foam when the two ingredients are mixed. This gas builds pressure within the bottle or other rocket structure. Once enough gas builds up, the bottle’s opening will release, propelling the rocket forward.

    Set one square of toilet paper on a table or flat surface. Pour 1 tsp. of baking soda into the center of the square. Fold up each side of the toilet paper square, forming a baking soda packet.

    Place the packet gently inside the bottle. Set the bottle on the ground, away from people and other structures.

    Pour 2 tbsp. of vinegar inside the bottle. Press the cork into the bottle opening, making sure it is closed tightly. Wrap the cork with duct tape after placing it in the bottle if it does not fit securely. Lay the bottle on top of the car or skate, and tape it to the car or skate using duct tape. Turn the rocket so that the cork is facing away from you.

    Step away from the bottle rocket, and watch it take off. The rocket will shoot quickly because of the chemical reaction.

    Things You'll Need

    • 1 square toilet paper
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 one-half liter plastic soda bottle
    • 2 tbsp. vinegar
    • 1 cork
    • Duct tape
    • Toy car or roller skate

    Tips

    • Because of the potential mess, do the project outside for easy clean-up.

      The rocket can also be made using an empty film canister.

    Warnings

    • Always wear safety glasses to avoid injury.

      Do not use the cap that comes on the bottle as the cork, because the experiment will not work properly.

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