Summer Fun: Microwaved Ivory Soap

by Wendy Copley on July 20, 2011

What happens when you microwave Ivory soap? SCIENCE happens!

 

When I came across the idea to microwave Ivory soap on The Cyber School Mom Diary’s fantastically comprehensive Supermegatotally Thrilladelic Not Bummer Summer list,  I was instantly intrigued.

“What happens when you microwave Ivory soap?” I asked.

“Try it and see!” Chrissi told me. “It doesn’t damage anything and it’s cool.”

Cut a bar of Ivory soap in half and put it in the microwave for a fun science project. The kids would love this.

I immediately added it to our summer fun list and once Wyatt saw it he was dying to see what happened.

Soap! A microwave! What could be better?

It definitely did not disappoint. PLUS: there’s science!

Cut a bar of Ivory soap in half and put it in the microwave for a fun science project. The kids would love this.

We started off with a hunk of plain old Ivory soap. We cut a bar of soap in half, but you could cut it into quarters and still get a dramatic effect. You may recall that Ivory soap floats in water. The reason for that is that unlike other soap, it has a a bunch of air whipped into it. This is important because when you microwave it, all those tiny air bubbles expand and make your soap look like this:

Microwaved Ivory Soap

How cool is that? It took 90 seconds of microwaving to get the soap to this stage the first time and 30 seconds the second time. After it balloons up, the soap feels simultaneously crunchy and squishy to the touch. It isn’t particularly hot when it comes out, but please use common sense when handling it — steam burns are not fun.

I’d also like to take a moment to note that I’m mortified by how dirty my microwave is in this picture. On the plus side, it is sparkling and shiny now that I’ve cleaned a bunch of fluffy soap out of it.

Soap before the microwave

Anyhoo, the kids were thrilled by this project and have been begging me to do it again since the first exciting result. We’ve placed the fluffy soap next to our bathroom sink and we break little chunks off to use when we wash our hands.

Have you ever microwaved Ivory soap? What else is fun (and safe!) to microwave?

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