What happens when you put Ivory soap in the microwave? Let's find out with this quick and easy one minute science experiment!
If you're looking for a really quick and easy science experiment to do with the kids, this is a great one to try. It's quick, simple, and great fun for the whole family.
And all you need is a microwave and a bar of Ivory soap - easy peasy!
This science experiment is:
- Easy to do in just one minute!
- Great fun for pre-school and elementary aged kids.
- A fun rainy day activity.
Microwaving Ivory Soap - Step by Step
Step 1: Unwrap a bar of Ivory soap, and place it on a microwave safe dish. I suggest using a big plate to keep mess to a minimum.
Step 2: Put it in the microwave, and microwave on high for one minute. Watch through the window to see the show! You'll see the soap start expanding into a big, fluffy cloud.
Step 3: Remove the plate from the microwave. (Careful - it may be hot!) Spend some time examining the soap foam and making your observations. What does it feel like? Why do you think it transformed in this way?
What did we learn?
Ivory Soap contains lots of air pockets, making it light and fluffy. This is also why Ivory soap floats if you drop it into water.
When the soap is heated in the microwave, water vapor escapes from the air pockets, making it fluff up! Pretty cool, huh?
Expand the Experiment!
Try microwaving other brands of soap as well. Do you get the same result? Different brands will contain different amounts of air pockets. Some will fluff up when heated and some will not. If they don't fluff up, what does happen to them?
Try dropping various brands of soap into a tub of water. Which ones sink and which ones float? What does that tell you about the amount if air inside? Which ones do you expect to fluff up when microwaved? Test your hypothesis!
Weigh the soap before microwaving and again afterwards. Does the weight change?
More STEM Activities for Kids
If you loved this quick science experiment, check out these other fun activities for kids:
- Bar of Ivory Soap
- Microwave Safe Plate
- Unwrap a bar of Ivory soap, and place it on a large, microwave safe plate.
- Microwave on high for one minute. Watch through the window to see the soap transform into a fluffy cloud.
- Remove the plate from the microwave carefully and make your observations. Touch and feel the soap!
Use a large plate to minimize the mess in your microwave!