Hooked On Science – Exploding Sandwich Bag

Does your sandwich bag explode. Most likely not, but the one, Madigan, my science helper and I are going to create will explode. It will make a big mess, that’s what science is all about, having fun and making messes. Right Madigan? Give me five for science, here’s what you need. Pour some baking soda on a paper towel. Fold that up in a special science present. You are going to hold this for me Madigan. Then I am going to put some vinegar on the inside of my sandwich bag and you are going to drop that baking soda and napkin on the inside Madigan. We are going to zip it up, like that, sit it down, and watch the reaction happen. What kind of reaction is happening on the inside Madigan? Chemical reaction! Yes! That  chemical reaction is creating some new, it’s called carbon dioxide gas. It fills the sandwich bag up so much so, it eventually pops. Learn more at hookedonscience.org.


Exploding Sandwich Bag


  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Paper Towel
  • Sandwich Bag

STEP 1:  Tear a paper towel into four equal pieces. Using one of the pieces, pour two tablespoons of baking soda into the center of the paper towel square. Describe the baking soda by its observable properties.

STEP 2:  Fold the square into a smaller square, so the baking soda stays inside.
STEP 3:  Fill the sandwich bag one-fourth of the way with vinegar. Describe the vinegar by its observable properties.

STEP 4:  Drop the paper towel into the sandwich bag. Hold the sandwich bag over the trash can, close it, and observe. Did mixing the two substances result in a new substance?


When the paper towel square containing the baking soda is placed into the bag containing the vinegar, a chemical reaction happens, which creates carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide gas fills the bag, causing the bag to expand and eventually pop. Go to www.hookedonscience.org for more experiments that might get you and your family “Hooked on Science.”


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