I remember having read in a book, Ask Me Anything (Dorling Kindersley), that a combination of copious amounts of table salt and vinegar is explosive.

Now this was a really long while back, and I can't even find my copy of the book anymore. But I'm quite sure there was a mention of salt+vinegar being explosive.

Simply knowing the composition of table salt and vinegar doesn't seem to help in any way. I really don't see any reason for some sodium, chlorine, acetate and hydrogen ions floating around in a bowl to simply react in some godforsaken way and explode. Heck, all salt+vinegar seems like is a good Pringles flavor. I did take into consideration possible impurities in table salt, like other sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium salts, but even then, I don't see why the explosion would occur at all. I though of iodized salt too, but still, an explosion seems a little far-fetched.

Now the book did mention 'large' quantities of salt and vinegar, maybe there could be something to that?

Is the book correct? If so, what concentration of salt and vinegar have to be used?

I did conduct an internet search, but nothing really turned up.

[ I suspect, the book might've meant baking soda instead of table-salt. Baking soda combined with vinegar in a closed plastic bottle could pass for an 'explosion'. ]

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you put both into a closed aluminium flask, you might evolve some hydrogen, and you could ignite the mixture with desidual air in the bottle (it won't ignite by itself below 500 °C). But calling the mixture itself explosive is ridiculous nonsense. And also the baking soda won't explode. A closed vessel might rupture violently, but there can be no explosion. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Nov 3 '16 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ If you reallllly wanted an explosion, molten salt would probably do the job. Although, I doubt whether you had any acetic acid would make a difference. $\endgroup$
    – ChemBird
    Jan 3 '17 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I suppose if your "copious quantities" were large enough -- say, several times the mass of the Sun -- they would collapse under self-gravitation to form a supernova. But the same could be said of either salt or vinegar by itself. Or any other form of matter. $\endgroup$
    – jeffB
    Jun 10 '19 at 15:20

Of Course NaCl is the Salt of strong acid and strong base . It is very stable . Even if you take any amount of NaCl with Vinegar it will not do any explosion .

It may be the baking soda (NaHCO3 ) and Vinegar , As this reaction is a neutralization reaction (Exothermic) and accompanied by the formation of CO2 , If enough concentration is taken it can burst a plastic bottle on applying some pressure .


  • $\begingroup$ why I got two down votes ? Is their any mistakes ? $\endgroup$ May 3 '17 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ Aditya, your answer seems completely correct to me. I can only guess that you got down votes because you discussed a potentially dangerous reaction without mentioning safety. This reaction is not extremely dangerous, but if the plastic bottle bursts whilst you are close to it, it can cause pretty bad cuts or eye injury. Another hazard may occur if the gas pressure is not quite enough to burst the bottle; if you don't have a safe way to render it safe, it may then burst later at a random time, when the temperature changes. (The safest method in this case is to shoot it with an air rifle.) $\endgroup$
    – Securiger
    Jan 3 '19 at 23:09

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