How to Power a Bathtub Boat with Baking Soda and Vinegar

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My boys and I have been doing some fun science experiments with baking soda and vinegar. Last week we blew up a balloon with baking soda and vinegar. This is a similar experiment except the baking soda and vinegar reaction fuels a boat for the bathtub instead. This was a really fun experiment. Make sure to check out the YouTube video below and let my boys know what you thought of their project.

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  • Water bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towel
  • Drinking straw
  • Funnel

First you need to make a hole in the bottom of the water bottle. We used a drill to create a small hole to place the drinking straw in. You could also use a sharp knife or scissors to create the hole.


Cut a length of drinking straw approximately 2 inches long and insert it in the hole in the bottom of the bottle, with the majority of the straw sticking out of the bottom of the bottle.


Secure the straw in place. We used super glue but you could also use masking tape.

Next place about a tablespoonful of baking soda in the center of a small piece of paper towel. Roll up the paper towel so that it will fit in the bottle and set it aside.

Use the funnel to fill the water bottle about half full with white vinegar. Place a finger over the end of the straw so that the vinegar does not pour out the bottom.

Carry the bottle of vinegar and the rolled up paper towel to the bathroom. Have a couple of inches of water in the bathtub ahead of time so that you don’t have to put the bottle down.

Next place the rolled up paper towel inside the bottle and quickly put the lid back on the bottle and place it in the bathtub. Watch your bathtub boat go!

Copyright 2014, Christian-Parent.com. This article may not be reprinted.

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