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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35 votes
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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 ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 709
28 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,788
25 votes
4 answers
4k 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), $\ce{...
Dale's user avatar
  • 2,664
24 votes
1 answer
6k 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 ...
ManishEarth's user avatar
  • 15.2k
23 votes
1 answer
9k 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 ...
Another.Chemist's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
14k views

Why does meltwater taste different? [duplicate]

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 ...
ManishEarth's user avatar
  • 15.2k
22 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
Polynomial's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
5k views

How would I measure the Carbon Dioxide content in Coca Cola over a period of time?

I'm sorry if this is a broad question, but I am trying to plan a simple experiment. I am wondering is there a somewhat simple way of continuously measuring $\ce{CO2}$. I already know the initial ...
Vijay Reddy's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Scrump's user avatar
  • 402
18 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Sarah Szabo's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
3k 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/...
gingerbreadboy's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
4k views

How can you build a model of tetrahedral coordination from objects found at home?

Our college is switching to teaching online mid-semester in hopes of slowing the spread of Covid-19. All the molecular model kits are still on campus. How could you build a model of tetrahedral ...
Karsten's user avatar
  • 40.2k
16 votes
2 answers
49k 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 ...
JinSnow's user avatar
  • 439
15 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
hawkeye's user avatar
  • 833
14 votes
6 answers
53k 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 ...
user51166's user avatar
  • 457
14 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 904
14 votes
4 answers
35k 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 ...
Friend of Kim's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
14k 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 ...
itsnotme's user avatar
  • 149
14 votes
2 answers
19k 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, ...
ChrisA's user avatar
  • 832
14 votes
2 answers
6k 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?
Mr. Developerdude's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
889 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 ...
Adrian Man's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Cleaning with vinegar and sodium bicarbonate

Mixing sodium bicarbonate with vinegar (and sometimes adding dishwasher detergent) is quite a common tip on the internet. But I have never understood the reason. I saw there was a question about using ...
fnurl's user avatar
  • 241
13 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
user1997744's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
user57230's user avatar
  • 131
12 votes
9 answers
2k 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 ...
Princess's user avatar
  • 731
12 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
L.B.'s user avatar
  • 653
12 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Etheryte's user avatar
  • 260
12 votes
2 answers
12k 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?
trmdttr's user avatar
  • 173
12 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
user4779's user avatar
  • 691
12 votes
4 answers
21k 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 ...
Gautam's user avatar
  • 121
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Looking for an old (1950s) "chemical experiments" book

Not sure if this is precisely on-topic, but I'll risk some reputation and give it a try. I got a chemistry set as a kid in the early 1970s, and the subject really captured my interest. I grabbed ...
jeffB's user avatar
  • 1,592
12 votes
2 answers
258 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 ...
Bernd Jendrissek's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
20k views

How do erasable pens work?

I understand the principle behind an eraseable pencil. Graphite is highly slippery, you rub it onto the paper, and an eraser can rub it off again. I've had friends at school with 'eraseable ink pens'...
hawkeye's user avatar
  • 833
11 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
sweber's user avatar
  • 263
11 votes
2 answers
192 views

Peak in beer freezing temperature plot

I left an open beer in the freezer while monitoring its temperature. The first minutes works as expected. But after the plateau, at about −8 °C, a peak appeared: I thought it was an artefact because ...
EyC's user avatar
  • 181
11 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
steveha's user avatar
  • 119
10 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is there an easy way to test for the amount of iron (Fe) in water?

I have a rusty metal rainwater tank, and I'd like to find the amount of iron in the water. (The water I've collected is perfectly clear.) How would chemists in the 1800's have gone about this? What ...
user1491819's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
433 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 ...
sadljkfhalskdjfh's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
602 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 ...
Annette Gorneault's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why does my sand dissolve in citric acid?

I soaked and washed white Darice decorative sand in distilled water. I added food-grade citric acid to different distilled water, then I sprinkled in a few grains of the sand. The sand bubbled and ...
Jason Martin's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
aarbee's user avatar
  • 501
9 votes
7 answers
31k views

What is the simplest way to create a precipitation reaction at home?

What is the easiest way to create a precipitation reaction at home, preferably with easily retrievable chemicals? I need this because I'm making a video for my film education.
felix's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
Saurabh Raje's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
6k 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 ...
user209347's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
Omer's user avatar
  • 93
9 votes
1 answer
299 views

What acid did I accidentally create, and how?

So, I wasn't trying to do a chemistry experiment this evening; it was entirely unintentional! I was mixing up a batch of fertilizer for my plants (no nitrates involved, so I wasn't worried about ...
KarenRei's user avatar
  • 361
8 votes
3 answers
787 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 ...
Ichsan's user avatar
  • 97
8 votes
3 answers
832 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 ...
Curt F.'s user avatar
  • 21.9k
8 votes
5 answers
46k 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 ...
hortstu's user avatar
  • 259

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