Lemon Chemistry: An Acid-Base Experiment

Kari Wilcher runs a great blog. She was looking to teach her pre-school children about the Scientific Method while trying out some kitchen chemistry at the same time. Her plan was to show a dramatic acid-base reaction using lemons, baking soda, and a little dish soap. She writes:

“I firmly believe that children are never too young to be exposed to the scientific method and should follow it. I have found that the scientific method is very easy for them to understand, and follow, when presented to them in a simple way. I like to use a rebus (picture) to help my non-readers understand the directions. I also use these “big” words: data, hypothesis, prediction, and observation. We, including Momma, wear goggles (from the dollar store) and a lab coat (a.k.a. dad’s white button up shirt) because we are real scientists doing real science experiments…and it just makes us cool.”

You will need:

  • Fresh Lemons
  • A knife
  • A small measuring cup & measuring spoon
  • Baking Soda
  • Liquid dish soap
  • A clear cup for the reaction

What to do:

  1. Roll the lemons on the counter like dough. This releases the juice inside the lemon.
  2. Cut the lemon in half (adults only, please) and carefully squeeze out the juice into a small measuring cup. Note how much juice was created from each lemon and put the juice aside.
  3. Into the empty glass place 1 Tablespoon of baking soda.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to the baking soda. Stir these up a bit.
  5. Pour the lemon juice into the cup and stir. Now watch the lemon suds erupt!

How does it work?
This is a classic example of an acid-base reaction. This is often done with vinegar and baking soda, but we liked Kari’s “lemon twist.” The baking soda (a base) and the lemon juice (an acid) combine to release Carbon Dioxide gas. The liquid soap turns the bubbles into a foam that often erupts right out of the glass.

Try it out and let us know how it goes!

You can check out Kari’s full blog post of this experiment including the worksheets she created HERE.

Comments

20 Responses to “Lemon Chemistry: An Acid-Base Experiment”
  1. ekahue says:

    Looks like a great idea Bob. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Levitra Super Active says:

    Good work and excellent post! Cheers.

  3. babygirl says:

    I like ur suprising expriments there awesome dood so please text back bob THANK you very much Bob oh yeah can u give me some more science ideas i can do for the science fair.THANK U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. ALISA LARA says:

    I just like the approach you took with this subject. It isn’t every day that you find a subject so concise and informative.

  5. Keziah says:

    This the best experiment i know and i’m doing it for school the lemon acid-base experiment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Ellie says:

    AWSOME your experamints are so cool Bob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. babygirl says:

    u r so science BOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 FAN

  8. sue/master says:

    this is so wounderful and cool

  9. justinbieberrulezzz says:

    In science class at my school we gotta do a science demo so I’m thinkin’ of doing this one……. Im in grade 6

  10. tazzo woman says:

    hey bob really cool experiments can u send more to all your science loving friends

    love your science loving freind
    tazzo woman

  11. 1quirkymom says:

    We mixed a few drops of food coloring into the lemon juice before adding it to the baking soda and soap to create a colorful bubble eruption. Also, we did the experiment in medium-sized prescription bottles, causing a very quick eruption. We are making plastic cone collars for the bottles so they look like volcanos. We will be using this experiment at my son’s “Sweet and Sour Science” birthday party on Saturday. Very cool!

  12. kinght5 says:

    We mixed a few drops of food coloring into the lemon juice before adding it to the baking soda and soap to create a colorful bubble eruption. Also, we did the experiment in medium-sized prescription bottles, causing a very quick eruption. We are making plastic cone collars for the bottles so they look like volcanos. We will be using this experiment at my son’s “Sweet and Sour Science” birthday party on Saturday. Very cool!!!!!

  13. nandrolona says:

    hey http://www.sciencebob.com y gracias a su información Definitivamente he recogido nada nuevo desde aquí. Lo hice por el otro lado la experiencia de varios aspectos técnicos del uso de este sitio web, ya que experimenté para recargar las instancias de los múltiples emplazamientos anterior a que podría conseguir que se cargue correctamente. Yo estaba pensando en si su proveedor de alojamiento web está bien?

  14. Alexia022222 says:

    i think it looks cool i am going to try it for my science fair project

  15. Science says:

    What is the formula for this equation

  16. rockyblue says:

    that is a really good experement iam gonna try it for my project.thanks bob i love you

  17. preetygirlsrock says:

    yes yes yes.thanks bob ive been looking for an experiment to do and i just found one.thanks

  18. susan says:

    iit is reallly useful for my chemistry project its simple and easy!!

  19. blank says:

    what is the balanced chemical equation

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