This classic baking soda volcano science experiment is a fun way to learn about the baking soda and vinegar reaction. Add an additional educational twist by making a color mixing experiment with it!
RELATED: Baking Soda & Vinegar Experiment
Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano
Kids love doing this easy science experiment. Not only is it a fun activity but it’s a great learning exercise too. They can also learn about color mixing if you mix some of the colors together!
To save a step, you can just add your favorite food coloring into the cups and do it that way too!
What happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda?
You see the bubbling and foaming but what is causing this reaction? The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid and what you are seeing is an acid/base reaction. Initially, the reaction makes carbonic acid which is unstable and breaks down into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water which is what creates all of the fizzing and bubbles as the gas leaves the water.
Watch the Video Tutorial
Supplies Needed to Make a Baking Soda Vinegar Volcano
- Baking Soda – we like this large 5 lb bag for activities since it’s more economical
- Small Cup
- Concentrated Food Coloring – red, yellow, blue – or you can choose any color you’d like. We like to use this liquid food coloring gel since it’s concentrated and makes the colors really vibrant
- Dish Soap – any kind should work
- A Popsicle Stick or Spoon
- A Tray – we like these plastic white serving trays for messy experiments or sensory play
How to Make a Baking Soda Volcano
1. Add 1/4 cup of baking soda to a bowl.
Make 1 bowl for each color you want to do.
2. Add a drop of food coloring into a tablespoon of water.
We made red, yellow and blue primary colors so we could mix them together to make secondary colors.
3. Add the food colored water to your baking soda and mix.
4. Add a spoonful of two colors into a cup for the experiment.
We did red and yellow, blue and yellow, and red and blue to mix primary colors to make secondary colors.
If you don’t want to do color mixing, you can use whatever color you’d like by following the same steps!
Note: Purple will come out more of a dark red color when mixing.
5. Add a drop of dish soap on top.
6. Add half vinegar and half water into a squeeze bottle.
You can use full vinegar also but we like to mix with some water so we don’t have to use as much.
If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, you can use a pouring cup instead.
7. Squeeze a little bit of the vinegar and water mixture into the cup (not enough for it to start exploding out).
Then use a popsicle stick or spoon to mix the two colors together. You should now start to see the new color forming – green, orange or purple.
8. Keep adding the water and vinegar mixture into the cup to make the whole mixture foam and erupt out of the cup like a volcano.
Kids can continue to squeeze more of the vinegar and water mixture until it no longer erupts. Add more baking soda in and continue the experiment!
You can also repeat the experiment by trying all of the color mixing options.
To make it look more like a volcano, you can use red or orange coloring and bury the cup in some sand outside.
More Science Experiments
Try this fun and easy Grow a Rainbow Experiment. You only need washable markers and paper towel!
For another fun experiment, make some oobleck!
Try a rainbow rain cloud in the jar experiment!