Instructions for Making your Volcano Erupt!
Parental supervision is strongly recommended! We also suggest performing your eruption on a baking sheet or outside (as erupting volcanoes can sometimes get messy).
Step 1: Mix 1 teaspoon of Citric Acid with 1 teaspoon of Sodium Bi-Carbonate and place this mixture in the top of the Volcano.
Step 2: Add a few drops of Lava Coloring
Step 3: Pour water into the top of the Volcano and watch as the Volcano bubbles.
How it works?
The bubbling lava is the result of a chemical reaction between the Citric Acid and Sodium Bi-Carbonate that you mixed together. In this reaction, carbon dioxide gas is created, which builds up pressure in the lava chamber until it bubbles out of the top of the volcano. This is a good representation of what happens inside of real volcanoes when they erupt!
Tips for Bigger Eruptions
Tip #1 – Try adding a few drops of detergent to the Citric Acid and Sodium Bi-Carbonate before you add the water to see if you can get larger eruptions.
Tip #2 – Try the same experiment using baking soda and Vinegar from your kitchen. You may find that you’ll have better results with those ingredients (also try the detergent tip with this method).
Tip #3 – The reaction between the Citric Acid and Sodium Bi-Carbonate is what causes the eruption...so more powder should mean larger eruptions. Try adding more powder to your next eruption.
One Last Wacky Science Idea
Using Citric Acid and Sodium Bi-Carbonate, or baking soda and vinegar are not the only 2 ways to get a bubbling reaction. You can also try putting a mentos in the top of the volcano and pouring some Coca-cola on top. Coke and mentos also create a very strong bubbling reaction. Please note: That this method may make a sticky mess. ;-)
Have fun experimenting!