Exploding Soda with Mentos

Summer Science Boredom Buster

By Jessica Newcomer and Michelle Schwab, Macaroni KID Publisher of Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Newnan July 21, 2023

Looking for a fun, yet educational, science project? We have one for you! This simple science experiment will show your children an exploding example of chemical reactions - right in your backyard! Plus, it is quick and easy with little prep or cleanup involved. 

All you need is:
  • Googles to protect your eyes
  • Mentos Mints - Any color or flavor. Both mint and fruit flavors work.
  • Diet Soda - Any brand or flavor will work. We recommend diet because it is sugar-free so it will not create a sticky mess.

What you do:

  1. Leave your soda bottle out in the sun while you are setting up because warm soda tends to explode more. 
  2. Find a nice outdoor grassy location. (We recommend doing this activity outside as it will be messy!) Make sure the spot you find is flat so the bottle doesn't tip over.
  3. Remove the cap from the soda and get ready.  
  4. Quickly drop a few Mentos into the soda bottle and watch it explode!  The more Mentos you get into the soda bottle before it starts exploding, the higher the soda plume will be.

How it works:
The bubbles in soda are filled with a gas called carbon dioxide.  Soda companies put carbon dioxide into soda to make it fizzy. Whenever you place something, such as a straw, into soda, the bubbles attach themselves to the straw and completely cover it.  If you were to place the straw under a strong microscope, you would see that the straw has tiny dents and bumps.  The carbon dioxide bubbles form on these spots, which rise to the surface. A mentos has a lot of tiny craters all over it.  As soon as the mentos hits the soda, bubbles quickly cling to the many craters and rise to the surface.  However, mentos are heavy and sink to the bottom of the soda container so that the carbon dioxide gas quickly pushes the soda up and out of the bottle.  Adding the Mentos creates a quick rush of carbon dioxide, just like when you shake a can of soda and open it with liquid spraying everywhere.

This is the perfect example of why you never mix chemicals, because they could have an exploding reaction! 

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