I had seen this experiment on Pinterest and was intrigued right away. A few weeks later, Rylan got sick and I just happened to have a couple bars of Ivory soap on hand and thought it would be a fun thing to do to break up the day. I have to admit, I think I enjoyed it more than the kids, but then again, I’ve always loved science!
- Large microwavable bowl or plate
- bar of ivory soap
1. Place a bar of ivory soap in a large microwaveable bowl, container, or plate and put in the microwave for two minutes and watch it expand!
Cleanup is much easier if you have the soap in a bowl or on a plate. I learned my lesson the hard way. You could also cut the bar into pieces and do each piece at a time so the soap explosion isn’t as large. Be careful when first handling the soap after it has been heated, it is a bit hot but quickly cools. The soap isn’t sticky at all, but actually completely dry and really crumbly. Also, if there are any solid pieces of soap left, you can microwave it for longer to get full expansion out of the soap bar.
2. Place soap cloud in bowls or containers and let the kids have fun!
Like I said it crumbles easily and makes a mess, but it’s at least clean fun and all you need is a wet washrag to clean it all up! The kids can even take the soap cloud to the bathtub and play with it in there! I let the kids crumble it all up and then I saved it for making homemade laundry detergent which I’ll be posting about later!
3. You can teach your kids the science behind the experiment by visiting Steve Spangler Science. The Cliff notes is that in the manufacturing process, tiny air pockets are formed in the soap and then when the soap is heated in the microwave, the moisture in those air pockets changes to a gas and expands. Fascinating stuff!