10 inventive baking soda life hacks

When it comes to using baking soda in fun yet easy ways, it’s time to think outside the volcano.

Most people are familiar with the explosive reaction that occurs when baking soda meets vinegar — and have probably added a couple drops of red food coloring to the mix to inject some realism into their volcano science experiments. For those who are curious, About.com explains that the bubbling effect is produced through two steps. First, a double displacement reaction between the acetic acid in vinegar and the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) makes sodium acetate and carbonic acid. Second, the unstable carbonic acid undergoes a decomposition reaction and produces carbon dioxide gas. That carbon dioxide gas congregates at the surface, then overflows.

To demonstrate the versatility of baking soda, YouTube user HouseholdHacker has a few tricks up his sleeves — 10, in fact. In addition to showing a few practical applications for the product, such as making a natural air freshener, removing stains from Tupperware containers and calming acid reflux, he demonstrates a few ways to make the most devious pranksters squeal with pleasure.

For example, by funneling baking soda into an ordinary bottle of ketchup, he sets a trap for an unsuspecting friend who simply wants to flavor his fries. As you may know, ketchup contains vinegar, which allows the aforementioned reaction to occur inside the bottle — once the cap is screwed on tightly and the bottle is given a gentle shake. When the lid is removed, the ketchup is forcefully propelled from the container. Of course, the HouseholdHacker does not condone playing pranks on your friends and urges you to exercise extreme caution, should you hypothetically conduct these experiments.

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