Hooked On Science: The Exploding Sandwich Bag

The Exploding Sandwich Bag

Has your sandwich bag ever exploded?  Science guy, Jason Lindsey, says it can — if you replace the sandwich with a few ingredients from the kitchen.


PLEASE follow these safety precautions when doing any science experiment.
• ALWAYS have an adult present.
• ALWAYS wear the correct safety gear while doing any experiment.
• NEVER eat or drink anything while doing any experiment.
• REMEMBER experiments may require marbles, small balls, balloons, and other small parts. Those objects could become a CHOKING HAZARD. Adults are to perform those experiments using these objects. Any child can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Keep uninflated or broken balloons away from children.


  1. Sandwich bag
  2. Vinegar
  3. Baking soda
  4. Paper towel

“It’s an experiment you’re going to want to try. I call it the exploding sandwich bag.” 


STEP 1: Tear a paper towel into four equal pieces. Using one of the pieces, pour two tablespoons of baking soda into the center of the paper towel square. Describe the baking soda by its observable properties.
STEP 2: Fold the square into a smaller square, so the baking soda stays inside.
STEP 3: Fill the sandwich bag ¼ of the way with vinegar. Describe the vinegar by its observable properties.
STEP 4: Drop the paper towel into the sandwich bag. Hold the sandwich bag over the trash can, close it, and observe. D


“The chemical reaction gives me something new called a gas and there’s the exploding sandwich bag.”

When the paper towel square, containing the baking soda, is placed into the bag, containing the vinegar, a chemical reaction happens, which creates carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide gas fills the bag, causing the bag to expand and eventually pop.


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