The Bar Of Ivory Soap In Microwave: A Surprising Experiment

A bar of ivory soap + 2 minutes in the microwave=home made snow mound


If you’re looking for a fun and easy science experiment to try at home, look no further than the bar of Ivory soap in your bathroom. By microwaving the soap, you can witness a surprising chemical reaction that creates a fluffy, cloud-like substance. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind this phenomenon and give you step-by-step instructions on how to try it yourself.

The Science Behind It

So, why does microwaving a bar of Ivory soap cause it to expand into a fluffy cloud? The answer lies in the soap’s unique chemical composition. Ivory soap is made primarily of two ingredients: sodium tallowate and sodium cocoate. When exposed to heat, these ingredients break down and release trapped air and water vapor, causing the soap to expand.

The Experiment

Now that you understand the science behind it, let’s get started on the experiment. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A bar of Ivory soap
  • A microwave-safe plate or bowl
  • A microwave

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to try the experiment for yourself:

  1. Unwrap the bar of Ivory soap and place it on a microwave-safe plate or bowl.
  2. Put the plate or bowl with the soap in the microwave.
  3. Set the microwave for 2 minutes and turn it on.
  4. Watch the soap closely as it expands into a fluffy cloud. This should only take a few seconds.
  5. Once the soap has stopped expanding, turn off the microwave and carefully remove the plate or bowl.
  6. Allow the soap to cool for a few minutes before touching it.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips to make the experiment go smoothly:

  • Use a microwave-safe plate or bowl to prevent any damage to your microwave.
  • Make sure the soap is centered on the plate or bowl to prevent it from spilling over.
  • Be careful not to touch the soap immediately after removing it from the microwave, as it will be hot.
  • Experiment with different brands of soap to see if they have a similar reaction.


The bar of Ivory soap in microwave experiment is a fun and easy way to teach kids about chemistry and the properties of matter. By following a few simple steps, you can witness a surprising chemical reaction that creates a fluffy, cloud-like substance. So, next time you’re in need of a science experiment, head to your bathroom and grab a bar of Ivory soap.