This post originally appeared on our homeschool blog, Benoit Academy.
Did you know that Ivory soap is one of the very few brands of soap that actually floats in the water?? This is due to a mistake an employee at Procter and Gamble made. He forgot to turn off the mixing machine on the batch of soap he was making when he went on his lunch break! It ended up whipping so much air into the soap that it made the bars float! Procter and Gamble actually started marketing Ivory soap as “The Soap That Floats!”
Ivory Soap Experiment
- Bar of Ivory Soap
- Bar(s) of any other brand of soap
- Large bowl of water
- Microwave-safe plate
- Microwave oven
1 – Fill the bowl with water and drop in the bars of soap. Note how the other bars sink while the Ivory soap floats!
2 – Take out the Ivory soap and break it in half to check for air pockets. Air has to be in it to make it float, right!? You’ll notice that there aren’t large pockets of air though. So what’s the deal?
3 – Place the Ivory soap on the plate and cook in microwave for 2 minutes. We used the whole bar of soap but you may want to use 1/2 a bar at a time. Make sure everyone gets a good view while it’s in there! This is one of the fun parts!
4 – Allow the soap to cool for a minute or so before touching it. What does it look like? How does it feel? It will look like a nice, puffy cloud yet feel a bit hard when you touch it.
5 – Have fun with the soap! You can still use the soap so it won’t go to waste but why not have some fun with it?! My kids had fun breaking it apart to see what it looked like on the inside. We all agreed that it looked like sliced bread with all of the holes in it. It was so soft on the inside. The kids started breaking it apart and made it “snow” on the plate. I wonder if you could use this new powder that we made in a homemade laundry soap recipe? Hmm…..
6 – Make sure to wash your hands after playing with the soap. You don’t want to accidently touch your eyes or your mouth (eww!) with them!
Have you tried the Ivory Soap Experiment before?