Ivory Soap Experiment

Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
Did you know that Ivory soap floats?
It's the only soap-bar brand that does, but why?  Find out with the exploding soap experiment for kids!
Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
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In order to demonstrate why the soap floats we will have to cook it.  I know this might sound silly, but it will all make sense in the end.  Are you ready to make soap explode?

Ivory Soap Clouds

Materials
  • 1 bar of Ivory soap (no substitutions)
  • A microwave-safe plate
  • A microwave
Method
  • Begin by unwrapping and examining a bar of Ivory soap.
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  • You can test the soap to see if it floats if you would like.  Can your kids guess how/why it floats?
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  • Rosie and Jewel guessed that the soap floats because it is hollow inside.  Not a bad guess!
  • Have kids predict what might happen to the soap if cooked in the microwave.
  • My girls looked at me a little strangely at first, hesitantly predicting that the soap would melt or catch on fire.
  • Once predictions are made the experiment can begin!

The Ivory Soap Experiment

  • Place 1 bar of Ivory soap onto a microwave-safe plate, and then place it into the microwave.
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  • Microwave the soap on high heat for 1-2 minutes, observing closely.
  • Within 15-20 seconds you will notice the soap beginning to expand, and after just a minute the entire plate will be covered in a beautiful, soapy explosion!
Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
You can heat your soap for up to 2 minutes.  It can't be overcooked in that time, but it will stop expanding at a certain point before the microwave stops.

Soap Explosion Exploration

Once your soap is fully expanded carefully remove it from the microwave and allow kids to examine it up close.

Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
Once the soap is cool enough kids can examine and explore the soapy clouds with their hands.
Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose

The Science Behind the Fun
Why Does the Soap Expand?
  • The answer is simple- air pockets!
  • Tiny pockets of air are actually whipped INTO the soap as it is made.  You can't see them, but they are there!
  • These air pockets contain water molecules.
  • When those molecules are heated by the microwave it causes the pockets of air to expand.
  • As those pockets of air expand the soap becomes fluffy and grows in size. 
Why Does Ivory Soap Float?
  • The pockets of air in the soap cause it to be less dense than water, which makes it float!
For an even more detailed scientific explanation of how this experiment works visit Steve Spangler Science.

Extend the Fun
  • Place your soap clouds into a sensory bin with water, and kids will surely have a blast!
Did you know that you can make soap explode?  This science experiment for kids turns a bar of Ivory soap into fluffy clouds! #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
  • Use your soap clouds to make ghost mud.
  • Try putting other items in the microwave.  Do they expand?
Ideas of safe items to try:
  • Marshmallows
  • Popcorn
  • Carrots
  • Apples
Which items expand and which do not?  Why?

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Turn soap into fluffy clouds with the exploding soap experiment for kids! One bar of Ivory soap and a microwave is all you need for this project!   #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
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Turn soap into fluffy clouds with the exploding soap experiment for kids! One bar of Ivory soap and a microwave is all you need for this project!   #soapclouds #ivorysoapexperiment #explodingsoapexperiment #ivorysoapinthemicrowave #soapexperimentforkids #soapcloudsexperiment #ivorysoap #scienceexperimentskids #growingajeweledrose
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