English (United Kingdom)Deutschελληνικά

Power of foam

One of the most popular experiment.


- baking soda,

- vinegar,

- washing liquid.


To the glass with vinegar and dishwashing liquid pour soda. Now violent reaction begins.

Solution is foaming now.


It is deceptively simple: what appears to be one reaction is actually two, happening in quick succession. This reaction is an example of a multi-step reaction.

CH3COOH + NaHCO3 -> H2O + NaOCOCH3 + CO2

It's a double replacement reaction. The acetic acid reacts with sodium bicarbonate (a compound that's in baking soda) to form carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is unstable and it immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water (it's a decomposition reaction). The bubbles you see from the reaction come from the carbon dioxide escaping the solution that is left. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so, it flows almost like water when it overflows the container. What's left is a dilute solution of sodium acetate in water.