When you drop Mentos into a bottle of soda, it causes a physical reaction. Once they fall into the soda, they will break the bonds between the carbon dioxide and water which is the combination that makes soda fizzy. When the bonds are broken, the carbon dioxide gas will be released up and out of the bottle. When you close the lid after adding Mentos to a bottle of soda, you trap the gas which creates pressure. And when the bottle falls hard against the ground, the cap flies off and the pressure releases, launching the bottle up into the air.
If you’re interested in making a Mentos bottle rocket, we are happy to guide you. But make sure to use caution when performing the experiment because it may lead to injury or damage to property. You need to launch the bottle in a wide open area with plenty of space in all direction. Also, do not attempt to launch in the direction of another person because it can totally hurt.
Here are the steps on how you can make your own Mentos bottle rocket.
- 1 2-liter bottle of soda: Any type of soda will work as long as it contains aspartame. Also, warm soda can cause better explosions. You also need to avoid using cold or refrigerated soda. For best results, purchase room-temperature soda and let it sit outside in the sun for a few hours before using it.
- 1 package of Mentos: The original mint Mentos will give you a longer explosion based on experiments. It is also a great choice because the gum found in the mint coating can reduce surface tension. It can also quicken the carbon dioxide’s escape from the bottle, releasing a more intense explosion.
- 1 roll of masking tape
- Protective goggles: It is important to wear protective goggles when doing this experiment because it will protect your eyes from the soda-Mentos concoction. Aside from that, it will also serve as protection from any debris that may fly out from the bottle once it explodes.
The Mentos Cartridge
1. Bring all the materials needed to wherever you want to build your Mentos bottle rocket.
2. Get the masking tape and cut 2 4-inch strips of it. Then, place the strips with their sticky sides facing up on a flat surface. Prevent them from sticking together.
3. Get 5 to 7 Mentos from the pack. The more Mentos you use, the greater the explosion will be. But don’t use too much because when the Mentos dip too far into the soda, the explosion may start immediately even before you can place the lid of the bottle.
4. Lay each Mentos on to one of the 4-inch strips of tape just like how they looked like in their original packaging.
5. Then place the other 4-inch strip of tape on top of the Mentos but leave the sides exposed.
6. Cut a 3-inch strip of masking tape and roll it around your finger with the sticky side out. This piece will be used to attach the Mentos to the bottle cap. Ensure that it is small enough to fit inside the cap.
7. Take the 3-inched rolled sticky tape you created and attach it on the top of the taped roll of Mentos. That will create a loaded Mentos cartridge which will be placed inside the soda bottle.
8. Fasten the cartridge into the bottom of the soda cap but be careful not to press too hard so that the pieces of Mentos will not fall out of the cartridge.
Load and Launch the Bottle Rocket
After creating the Mentos cartridge, it’s time to load and launch the bottle rocket.
Here are the steps:
1. Twist the loaded cap on to the soda bottle. It should be securely on the bottle but not closed too tightly for it to come off easily. Make sure that the Mentos will not touch the soda yet as you twist the cap on.
2. After placing the cap on, shake the bottle. This way, the Mentos will fall into the soda. Keep shaking for at least a few seconds.
3. Then launch the bottle! You can try launching it in three ways:
- Throw the bottle high up into the air and let it fall on the ground.
- Throw the bottle at a side angle. When it hits the ground, its cap will be knocked off.
- Throw the bottle at more of a 90-degree angle with the cap first on to the ground.
If it will not work the first time, you can always try it again until you launch the bottle successfully. You can also have more fun with it by trying different amounts of Mentos or by combining mint and fruit-flavored Mentos to yield different explosions. Once you get the hang of it, you can attempt to create a bigger Mentos bottle rocket or organize a contest for you and your friends.