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Ivory soap explosion

I will be the first to admit that this is one super cool, fun science experiment!

Here is what you will need:

  • Ivory soap (It MUST be the brand name IVORY soap.  Other brands will NOT work!  It must be a fresh bar too.
  • A microwave
Ivory soap explosion

1)  Take one bar of Ivory soap and cut into half then in half again. Place one piece of the quartered soap in the microwave.

2)  Set microwave for 3minutes (even though you won’t need that much time) and push start.

Ivory soap explosion

3)  Sit back and watch!

Ivory soap explosion

After about 90seconds the soap will expand to about 6 times it original size!!! It won’t be too hot to touch either. Let it sit for about a minute or two and then remove it from the microwave and watch for their reaction.

Ivory soap explosion

I will admit that I wanted to see what would happen to a FULL bar of soap….learn from me…don’t do it…fight the urge! I had to stop it before it finished because my entire microwave was FILLED with Ivory soap!

The soap still works the same, so don’t toss it. I placed ours in my son’s bathroom and he loves to snap off a chunk each time he takes a shower.

Comments

  1. Oh my heck!!! This is the coolest thing I have seen ia a long time!!!! We’re so doign this! You are the best!!! I laughed out loud at your comment on doing an entire bar. I’m so glad you wrote that bcause I would have probably done a whole bar too =o) Seriously! So cool!!!

  2. Um… that is simply awesome!

  3. Posted abut this today! LOVED it!!!! Thank you so much!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What is ivory soap? Does it work with any bar of soap?

  5. Anonymous–Ivory is a brand name of soap. It is sold in the USA, not sure if it is available in other countries. This experiment does not work with other kinds of bar soap. There is a lot of air mixed in with Ivory soap and that’s what makes this experiment work with it and it only.

  6. NO way–my kids would love this :)

  7. Why does this happen with ivory and not other soaps? Is it because of the chemical composition or the air? I know its the only bar that floats so I am assuming it has something to do with that. I am going to have to look it up because while we think it looks cool…curious minds need answers lol

  8. I found you on Pinterest. Thanks so much for posting this. I can’t wait to try! I was curious and looked up why this works. It turns out that Ivory soap has air whipped into it during the manufacturing process, and as the trapped air expands when it’s heated in the microwave, it expands. Fun!

    http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000053

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s the air! Made in Cincinnati, Ohio (my hometown!) and one of the oldest bar soaps.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivory_(soap)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gotta try this with my three grandchildren..I know they each will want one! lol thanks for posting this..I love it!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ivory is a very mild soap. It is recommended for babies and people with sensitive skin.

  12. Anonymous says:

    ohhh wow i loved the comment… “what is ivory soap?” Lol i cant wait to try this with my boys! thank you!! Found through Pinterest

  13. Anonymous says:

    Amazing! Can’t wait to do this with my students!!!!

  14. This is awesome! Gonna try to use it for some type of object lessons for kids’ church.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Saw you pin…totally cool! I unfortunately am allergic to ivory soap (breaks me out in hives), but I may try it still….my 5 & 3 year olds will get a kick out of it! Too cool. Thanks for pinning on pintrest!

  16. Ohhh, my boys would LOVE this!! The look on your cutie’s face is adorable! My son has those same footie pjs… so cute. I’m your newest follower… hope you’ll stop by my blog and follow me too.
    Have a great weekend!
    xo,
    Laurie @ Gallamore West :)

  17. I came via pinterest, also. There are only adults living in my house, but I wanted to try it anyway. It was so much fun that my husband can hardly wait to use up the rest of the bar of soap so he can watch it again and again. Some kids never grow up! Thanks for posting. (mine was done in 30 seconds, so be ready to watch from the very beginning)

  18. Anonymous says:

    sounds cool. I am going to try with my grandson. Thanks

  19. Thank you for posting this, I did try it as soon as I read this…. works awesome! When you crumble it it is almost ash-like, so I thought this would be wonderful to use with the ivory laundry detergent recipe instead of grating the soap! Thanks again :)

  20. great site, popped over from Pinterest, so glad I found you :)

  21. We love “exploding” ivory soap in our house as well. We use our fluffy soap cloud to make bath tub paint. http://www.housingaforest.com/fluffy-bathtub-paint/

  22. Doreen Lombardo-Campisi says:

    Hmmmmm, sounds like I will have to give it a try. I have to wonder why anyone thought up putting soap in the microwave to begin with! LOL http://memoryofron.blogspot.com/2012/01/to-go-or-not-to-go.html

  23. Can’t wait to try w my kindergartner. Think he’ll love it! Thanks!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I make felted soaps… can’t wait to see if this will work – what interesting shapes it would make! ;)

  25. Saw this from Making Memories with Your Kids and wanted to come over here to pin it! Such a great idea – thanks for sharing!

  26. I found you on Pinterest! This experiment was AWESOME. Thanks so much for sharing. Both of my kids were in awe! I am so glad you warned to not put the entire bar in the microwave, because that was my first thought – how cool would it be to make a gigantic one? Yup, I would have had to clean my microwave from being covered in bar soap. Warming up food in a soapy smelling microwave does not sound appetizing at all! Thanks for the heads up!

  27. I found you on Pinterest! This experiment was AWESOME. Thanks so much for sharing. Both of my kids were in awe! I am so glad you warned to not put the entire bar in the microwave, because that was my first thought – how cool would it be to make a gigantic one? Yup, I would have had to clean my microwave from being covered in bar soap. Warming up food in a soapy smelling microwave does not sound appetizing at all! Thanks for the heads up!

  28. You have to use a soap that floats – it’s the air bubbles that expand in the micro. that cause this to happen. You can see a video at:
    http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/time-warp-soap-in-microwave.html
    They also do this on the Discovery show Head Rush with Kari Byron.

  29. What a great idea! We are so trying this with our kiddos!

  30. Awesome does not even describe this fun experiment! My kids are gonna love this! Thanks :)

  31. This is awesome! We are trying this a.s.a.p.

  32. I need to find a British soap that does the same thing!

  33. Found this on Pinterest & I am so glad I looked beyond the pin. This is amazing and I am going to do this with my pre-k classroom. To the employees lounge for some science fun!!! Thank you!

  34. I must be the only one this didn’t for. We followed your instructions exactly and it only puffed up a little. My Ivory soap was a couple of years old. Could this be why?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Just a little FYI: DO NOT try this on a really old bar of Ivory! I tried it & it started to smoke & look like motor oil. I had to take it out before it caught fire. I know the bar was several years old & it didn’t puff up at all. ALWAYS USE A FRESH, NEW BAR!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just tried it with a NON-IVORY soap.
      BIG MISTAKE! same result as you, tons of smoke, it melted into a black pool. Guess I’ll hit the store for some IVORY!

    • Oh no! Sorry guys! Yeah, it HAS to be Ivory soap. When they make Ivory soap air is whipped into it. When it is heated in the microwave, the air expands thus puffing up the soap. Other soaps don’t have air whipped into them.

  36. Anonymous says:

    A co-worker used to do this and mix with oatmeal for a scrub.

  37. Anonymous says:

    i tried this and it didnt work….how come?

  38. Ann "The Scrapbooking Housewife" says:

    My kids are going to LOVE this!! I will also try Tammy’s bathtub “paint”! Thanks!! :)

  39. Ann "The Scrapbooking Housewife" says:

    Just tried this and it all turned to powder in no time at all. :( Not sure what happened…the kids are having fun with it nonetheless, but the powder is all over the place, getting up our noses and making us sneeze! lol!

  40. My daughter is going to LOVE this. Thanks for posting. :0)

  41. Anonymous says:

    after you cut the soap i only put one piece or all four?

  42. Julie Hebert says:

    I didn’t read the comments first… and it doesn’t work with Dove Soap! It only melt. For the person asking herself if it was sold in other country…Ivory is sold in Canada too since… forever?! :)

  43. Cathryn's Closet says:

    Just did this with my kids! They loved it. What a cool thing!
    Thanks for sharing
    Courtney

  44. Anonymous says:

    We tried this today. YES with IVORY soap. The bar of soap I had was maybe 6 months old. It caught on fire after about 1 minute and didn’t work and made the house smell awful. Then I got out another bar of IVORY soap from a newer package and dipped it in water just to be sure. It puffed a teeny tiny bit and then smelled up the whole house and was disgusting. I guess the IVORY soap has to fresh from the factory fresh….good grief! I also had a friend go out and buy soap from the store and did it that day. It didn’t puff very much and smelled the house as well.

    • I have no clue why it didn’t work for you :( Yes, fresh soap does work much better than older soap so the new stuff should have worked. I wonder if your microwave is too strong?

  45. Anonymous says:

    Definitely fresh soap. My six year old nephew and I did this when he came over for the weekend, and my older bar just sat there and sniggered at us. The new though… he was absolutely delighted. We’ve gone through a lot of Ivory soap since then! Thanks for the great and simple idea; it’s priceless

  46. {Kathy} If you don’t think I am doing this today–first by myself just for fun–then letting my kid lets do this you are nuts! We are forever doing silly science around here.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hysterical!

  48. Too fun! We will definitely be doing this one!!

  49. Fantastic! I am now wondering whether I can get Ivory branded soap in the UK. Hmmm

  50. Ooh, this looks so fun!

  51. when you finish with the soap and it is all blown up and brittle you can grate it down with a grater and mix in one cup of Arm and hammer super washing soda and 1 cup of borax laundry booster and combine really well and use as laundry detergent that is mild. it will not suds up but the ingredients together will do a great job to get your clothes clean!!!

  52. wow…! that’s a cool experience. How do you know this trick..?

  53. That.is……A.W.E.S.O.M.E!! Must try this soon, oh very, very soon!

Trackbacks

  1. […] many cool science projects off hand besides the volcano so I had to get creative. I came across the ivory soap challenge. So we tried it and it was pretty awesome for smaller kids. All you do is take a fresh bar of ivory […]

  2. […] many cool science projects off hand besides the volcano so I had to get creative. I came across the ivory soap challenge. So we tried it and it was pretty awesome for smaller kids. All you do is take a fresh bar of ivory […]

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