Ketchup Volcano!

Posted by: on Feb 25, 2014 | No Comments

Ketchup Volcano!

( A longer-lasting volcano with ‘Natural Orange-Red Nontoxic Lava’ !)

The acetic acid in ketchup reacts with baking soda to produce an extra-special type of lava for a chemical volcano. This non-toxic volcano recipe is sure to please!


You will need:

Small container (we used an empty travel-size bottle.)

Volcano (You can mould it from clay or use a cardboard form.)


Baking soda

Liquid dishwashing soap (optional)

Water (optional)



Make the Volcano by moulding clay over and around the bottle or by using part cardboard / part clay shaped as a Volcano – be creative!

Make the Volcano Erupt

This is really easy! Swirl together a squirt of dishwashing detergent (if you want foamy orange lava). Add ketchup, and enough water to achieve the desired thickness and squirt into the bottle (now disguised as a volcano). When you are ready to start the eruption, add baking soda.

Alternatively, you could mix together the baking soda, detergent, and water. Add the ketchup when you’re ready for the eruption.

The ‘lava’ erupts slowly and steadily, rather than forcefully, so this is a nice volcano to make if you want a longer-lasting eruption.


What’s Happening?

The ketchup contains vinegar, which is dilute acetic acid. The acetic acid reacts with the baking soda to produce carbon dioxide gas. The gas bubbles expand and rise through the liquid, bubbling out of the ketchup.

Have Fun!

Thanks to: Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., Guide