Friday, September 23, 2011

Colorful Ivory Soap Sculpture

Have you ever tried the Ivory Soap Trick?  It is super easy and a Great Science Lesson!  We just happened to have some Ivory Soap around and I happened to come across this idea from the weekly post 10 Ways To Make Today More Magical from A Magical Childhood.  I've seen this idea many times,  but it was a great reminder to try it!  The instructions and Science behind it are found here , if you want more detail.  We did the trick a few times (It is addicting!),  but also put an Artsy twist on it!  Here is our Colorful Ivory Soap Sculpture.  Keep reading to find out how we  did this trick and how we made it  more fun!

Before the trick,  I did a little reading about the science behind this amazing experiment here and decided to incorporate a little bit of learning about what floats and what sinks and why?  We tested a bar of Dial Soap and Ivory Soap and noticed which one sank and which one floated.  I had Cassie try to guess why?
Then I explained that the Ivory soap has air in it which causes it to float and Dial soap has very little or no air.

To do the trick,  first put a unwrapped bar of Ivory soap on a paper plate or piece of paper towel.

Place the soap in your microwave for about 90 seconds and it will puff out and grow into this amazing looking foam sculpture!!!!  I didn't let C watch the whole time because of the microwaves harmful rays!  Interesting Information: My Father, who worked with radiation,  has told me the most dangerous place to stand is the side of the microwave because that is where the harmful rays leak out!  He said the front has a protective shield on it  so I just thought I would pass that along since I am mentioning the dangers of microwaves.

Now you can see how the soap puffed out!  C absolutely LOVED this!  We've done it three times and she keeps asking about doing it again! I explained to C that the reason it puffs out is because there is air inside  the soap that makes it expand when heated.....she seemed to understand!   To make our Ivory Soap Puffed Sculpture more beautiful,  I let C put drops of Liquid watercolor (you could use food coloring) on it to paint it! Be careful! because the soap is hot right out of the oven and especially in the center of the soap!

The sculpture is not at all permanent and flakes apart so it is definitely an "in the moment" activity!  C loved touching the sculpture and wanted to save pieces of it!!!

Here is a finished "Colorful Ivory Soap Sculpture" again!  Beautiful! (or Not?)  What do you think?  We put the finished sculpture back in the microwave to see what would happen and there was not much difference.  I appreciated that C wanted to keep experimenting!

I know we will be doing this "Trick" again and again!!!  C keeps eyeing our Ivory soap in the bathroom closet and I'm sure it will happen soon!  If you are wondering if you should try is totally worth it!!!  Have FUN!

What have you been Experimenting with lately?

This post has been shared with: It's Playtime


  1. What? That is crazy. So fun. I have to try this soon. I also have to share with my friends on facebook! This is awesome.

  2. Um did you mean 90 seconds instead of 90 minutes? You have some cute ideas!


  3. I'm thinking the next step could be playing in the ub with it! :)

  4. I have never seen this and I'm heading to the store to buy a bar of Ivory soap! Thank you. I think i'll share this on my blog!! It's so wild and wonderful!
    ~ MaryAnn Kohl
    art book author

  5. So cool! We are so doing this! As long as we don't colour it, we can melt it down afterwards and use it in our homemade laundry detergent. (I'm guessing it will still be meltable after all the expanding and morphing...)

  6. This is tons of fun and there's so much to oooohh and aaahhhh about for the curious eyes. We are definitely trying this. Will Tweet about it now...

  7. Never read about it. Don't know if there is any Ivory Soap in my country.. :-(

    Hey, don't forget to vote C.'s photo!

  8. Wow, I've never seen this. Looks like a lot of fun! I'll pin it :)

  9. I so love the idea that you painted it! How cool! Great way to extend the activity and really explore it.

  10. Every time I go to your blog I think, "I will do it!" and then real life and lack of time kicks in. I wanted to do ivory soap in the microwave for quite a while now - yours look extra beautiful.

  11. Awesome idea I really want to try this, thanks for sharing!