Make your own lava lamp

Watch your lava lamp dance away!

2 min readJun 9, 2020


You will need:

· Vegetable or sunflower oil

· Vinegar

· Food colouring

· Bicarbonate of soda

· Jam jar, glass or bottle

· Teaspoon

· Small cup or beaker


· Add 3–4 spoons of bicarbonate of soda into your jam jar, glass or bottle. Enough to cover the bottom of the container — about ½ cm should do it!

· Pour the oil into your container — fill about two thirds of the container. DO NOT MIX!

· In your small cup or beaker add some vinegar, then mix in a few drops of food colouring.

· Slowly add drops of your vinegar/food colouring mixture into the oil/bicarbonate of soda container.

Finally, watch your lava lamp dance away!

The Science behind it!

This experiment works because of two different scientific reasons.

  1. The oil and vinegar do not have the same density (how heavy something is compared to its size). The vinegar has a higher density than this type of oil, so it therefore sinks to the bottom of the container.
  2. When the vinegar (which is acidic), touches the bicarbonate of soda at the bottom of the container, a chemical reaction takes place and something new is formed. You will see the mixture foam or bubble, creating carbon dioxide gas which rises up in little bubbles up to the top of your container.

Why not try a mixture of different coloured food colouring in your lava lamp and share your photos/videos with us.



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