Questions tagged [home-experiment]

For questions about a small-scale experiment which can be undertaken with reagents readily available around the house, while observing standard laboratory safety principles and practices. Do not confuse this tag with [everyday-chemistry] or [food-chemistry].

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30
votes
3answers
79k views

Chemistry behind Gale's coffee maker in Breaking Bad

Is there a scientific basis for the coffee making equipment which Gale Boetticher describes in Breaking Bad? He talks about maintaining the right conditions for bringing out the coffee flavor without ...
25
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2answers
6k views

Why does bleach feel slippery?

My high-school chemistry teacher taught us the mantra "bases are slippery-soapy-slimy!" This question and this answer in Quora say this is due to saponification - conversion of lipids from the top ...
24
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4answers
3k views

How may copper acetate ligands be manipulated to change colors?

I have a solution of copper acetate and I would like to play around with the ligands to get different colors. Background: The copper acetate was made through mixing vinegar (5% acetic acid), NaCl, ...
23
votes
1answer
5k views

How does oobleck work?

Oobleck is basically a mixture of cornstarch and water. It has the interesting property of going hard when pressure is applied. For example, it feels like a liquid when you swirl your fingers through ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I safely handle a concentrated (fuming) nitric acid spill?

I will shortly be using $90~\%$ or higher concentration nitric acid in a home environment for the purpose of decapping ICs. I understand the corrosive dangers of nitric acid, and most of the important ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does meltwater taste different?

I've noticed that water obtained from melting ice cubes (by keeping them in the open) tastes different from water cooled to the same temperature. Furthermore, the taste goes away if you keep it in ...
21
votes
1answer
6k views

What is behind of the attraction between a burned matchstick with a magnet?

I do not know how to understand the reasons of why a burned matchstick is attracted by a magnet (most probably) of Neodymium. Here are some screenshots of a video in which this natural phenomenon is ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Counterintuitive Reaction of Aluminium On Steel Balls

There is a certain video which I just watched about 2 large cast iron balls. If the balls are struck together, no reaction happens, but if one is covered in aluminium foil and then struck, a large ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I eat the lemons after I have used them as a battery?

After completing the lemon battery experiment, can I eat the lemons when I'm done? More broadly, what will happen to the lemons? What are the chemical reactions, what chemicals might be present/...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do raisins bob up and down in carbonated water?

Yesterday I preformed a fun little experiment where I poured a glass of seltzer water into a glass, then dropped a few raisins into it. I observed that the raisins would float at the top of the glass ...
14
votes
6answers
49k views

Handling and storing sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol

I'm an electrical engineering and I hope you can give me some advice as I'm not much into chemistry. I'm trying to start making my PCB (Printed Circuit Board) at home but I'd like to have some advice ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Are children's sparklers based on a magnesium reaction?

We were letting our kids play with sparklers on New Year's Eve, and my friend's son asked his Dad: What would happen if we threw the sparkler into the water? Would it keep burning under water. My ...
14
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5answers
2k views

Is there a simple field test for heavy water?

Thought experiment Given two glasses of water, how would one detect which glass contains heavy water, and which contains potable water without using complicated laboratory equipment? Something like ...
14
votes
4answers
26k views

How explosive is hydrogen gas?

I want to electrolyze water to get oxygen and hydrogen. I want to mix them in a regular balloon and ignite it. How much hydrogen would you need in a 2:1 ratio with air for it to be dangerous? Is this ...
14
votes
2answers
24k views

Does bleach (without rinsing) leave residues and can vinegar, baking soda neutralize them?

It's very difficult to get accurate information concerning household bleach residues. Imagine, for instance, that you pour pure (or diluted) bleach onto fabric or synthetic foam and let it dry without ...
14
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2answers
5k views

Can I make my own graphene at home in my kitchen?

Graphene is cool. Can I make some? What do I need? Is it at all feasible to make it in quantity?
14
votes
1answer
507 views

How to make Poinsettia pigment into ink?

Like many families, this winter we had bought a red poinsettia plant to decorate our kitchen, and now that it's losing its leaves, I had the genius idea to extract the red pigment. The activity proved ...
13
votes
2answers
12k views

Where's my experimental error coming from?

I’m teaching chemistry to a home-ed 15 year old. Occasionally we do some practical work, since I believe very strongly that physical science learning should have some real lab work to bring it alive, ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Why doesn't liquid propane in a closed coke bottle burst?

I was watching this YouTube video in which the original experiment was to make a small rocket out of liquid propane and Coke. When that failed, the person doing the experiment decided to try pouring ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does shampoo lather much more the second time it is applied?

When I shampoo my dirty hair, the first time it does not lather very much. The second time it lathers a lot. Why is this?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Where do the bubbles in a glass of water come from?

This weekend I accidentally left a glass of water on my kitchen table for a few days while I was out of town. Unsurprisingly, bubbles formed on the walls. As I understand from the last time I ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Improving Elephant Toothpaste experiment

we are trying to perform the Elephant Toothpaste experiment involving the reaction of yeast and Hydrogen Peroxide for the students at school. However, the results have been very underwhelming, likely ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

In which country is it allowed to practice non-clandestine amateur chemistry? [closed]

I travel a bit so am flexible where I live, and have taken a recent interest in chemistry to try to gain an understanding of physical reality. I find learning from textbooks to be good, but want to ...
12
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3answers
9k views

How does the “kreosan” Coca-Cola rocket work?

A YouTube channel called "kreosan" (made by Russian-speaking people who I believe live in Ukraine) posted a video showing rockets made from bottles of Coca-Cola. Here's what I've figured out from the ...
12
votes
2answers
191 views

How to plate zinc evenly on a threaded bar

I need to set a number of threaded bars into cement, to hold a new gatepost. When I cut the bar into shorter pieces, the metal near the cut became red hot, presumably hot enough to evaporate some or ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

How do I excel in Chemistry? [closed]

I wanted to ask an online group of experts/community about how I could improve in chemistry. I study in 10th grade currently and don't get very good grades. Most of the time its a B or C. I have to ...
11
votes
4answers
17k views

Experiment to show that air contains about 20% oxygen

I remember that in my primary classed I had an experiment in science to show air contains 20% oxygen. The experiment involved taking a trough of water, lighting a candle in the middle of the trough ...
11
votes
1answer
965 views

Cold-sensitive magic pen

Yesterday, I bought some "magic" rollerball pens (those with water-based ink), available in red, blue and black. They look and write like a normal pen, but have an eraser at the upper end, just like ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Synthesis of hydrazine with bleach and ammonia

I am trying to make rocket fuel using hydrazine, hydrogen peroxide and home products. I want to put an action figure in orbit. Is there any way to synthesize hydrazine with bleach and ammonia, using $...
10
votes
1answer
302 views

Gases produced by pyrolysis of cellulose

I heated cotton in a sealed container (with a small hole) over a natural gas flame. Some gases and smoke were produced. What would they probably be? I can come up with some guesses based on the ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What does nutella add to the Coke+Mentos reaction?

Inspired by this question on SFF.SE. The Diet Coke + Mentos experiment has been a popular one for a while now, and I've read a little bit about the science behind it. I recently discovered this ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

Why does increasing number of salt bridges increase voltage of electrochemical battery?

In an experiment, I set up a cell with lead nitrate (w/ lead electrode) and zinc sulfate (w/ zinc electrode), with a salt bridge containing potassium nitrate. I observed that by increasing the number ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to make pyramid-shaped NaCl salt crystals

I'm attempting to make sea salt pyramids like the one below. I understand this needs to be evaporated at a reasonable speed to stop the crystals forming a cube, as the when formed quickly, the edges ...
10
votes
1answer
427 views

Seashell and grape juice

My daughter is working on a 5th grade science fair experiment. She soaked white seashells in various drinkable liquids to test the effects of those liquids on teeth (teeth are represented by ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there a means to measure pH without indicators?

I have created a solution that should contain hydroxide ions. Therefore, the pH > 7, but is there any way to roughly estimate the pH in absence of any indicator? Maybe using current, or checking ...
8
votes
3answers
730 views

Identify KNO3 and KH2PO4 at home

I am not expert in chemistry. I need to find a way to identify a $\ce{KNO3}$ and $\ce{KH2PO4}$ powder at home. I suspect the seller gave me the wrong powder. What is a simple way to test between these ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the purpose of froth in washing clothes?

I stay at a rented place and there is no washing machine. I, now, wash clothes in a bucket. When I add detergent, sometimes there is froth, sometimes there is not. I wonder if this had any impact on ...
8
votes
3answers
467 views

A unique demo for singlet oxygen?

I have long known that mixing bleach and peroxide produces oxygen gas: $$\ce{NaOCl + H2O2 -> O2 + H2O + NaCl}$$ However I only recently learned that the specific form of oxygen produced by the ...
8
votes
4answers
31k views

How can I separate the vinegar from a 5% white vinegar to make a more concentrated solution.

I was under the impression that if I put a semi full bottle of vinegar in the freezer the water would freeze but the vinegar would not until a lower temp. Therefore I could remove the bottle after ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Chemical reaction in homemade deodorant

Which ingredients in my homemade deodorant recipe are causing it to froth and overflow its container? Is there something I can add to stop this reaction? Ingredients: Magnesium oil (made from ...
8
votes
2answers
967 views

How to tell between carbon powder or graphite powder?

I have a black powder that I cannot reliably tell just by looking or touching whether it is graphite powder or charcoal powder. Are there any simple tests that I can perform to tell whether it is one ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Experiment to prove that water has air

In elementary school, there was an experiment to show that water has dissolved air, which involved boiling some water and observing the drops at the surface of the container, and this proved that ...
8
votes
1answer
935 views

Sodium permanganate from manganese dioxide and sodium hypochlorite

This page states that sodium permanganate can be formed by the reaction of manganese dioxide with sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide: $$\ce{2 MnO2 + 3 NaClO + 2 NaOH -> 2 NaMnO4 + 3 NaCl + ...
8
votes
2answers
600 views

Producing ketones from secondary alcohols using hydrogen peroxide

Usually, to produce ketones from secondary alcohols (e.g. propanone from 2-propanol), people use a solution of potassium or sodium dichromate with a small amount of sulfuric acid. Can other oxidizers ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Green color substance forming during electrolysis

A green-colored substance formed during electrolysis, wherein the electrolyte was magnesium sulfate and minerals in tap water. I did not have any leads to stick into the water, so I just put a 9 ...
8
votes
1answer
375 views

Pepper escaping soap on water

Following a book of science experiments for children with my daughter, we did the following: put some water in a shallow dish; put some ground pepper floating on the water surface; touch the water ...
8
votes
1answer
386 views

Scary jelly forming on zinc anodes

I'm continuing with my electrolysis experiments. Over a long time, I seek a perfect electrodes. It seems, that when you pick the right anode and cathode, it might be a lot cheaper than universal super-...
8
votes
1answer
606 views

Easy-to-do experiments that clearly show outstanding properties of graphene

By chance, we received some monolayer graphene sheets (20 cm x 20 cm) and mixed coper-graphene wires for free at our university. I would like to prepare some very-easy-to-do experiments for the ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Identity of a green substance formed during electrolysis reaction?

I did a short experiment in which I connected a $1.5\:\mathrm{V}$ battery with 2 paper clips into a bowl of water to which I added salt. After a while, I saw a yellowish-greenish cloud inside the ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Possible methods for copper (II) reduction to copper (I)

How can I make $\ce{Cu2O}$ from copper? I am seeing if electrolysis is a good route (in the context of kitchen style chemistry) to cuprous oxide, instead of the traditional heating copper and ...