This fun chemistry experiment for kids is all about smell! What better way to test out our sense of smell than with a citrus acid experiment. We gathered up some of our favorite citrus fruits to experiment with baking soda chemical reaction. Which fruit makes the biggest chemical reaction; oranges or lemons? There’s only one way to find out! Set up a simple citrus acid and baking soda experiment. Tasty and a great twist on a classic science experiment!

ORANGES AND LEMONS EXPERIMENT

Citrus Chemical Reactions Baking Soda Science STEAM

CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENTS FOR KIDS

Our citrus acid science experiments are a fun variation on our baking soda and vinegar reaction. We love fizzing experiments and have been exploring chemistry for kindergarten and preschool for almost 8 years. Make sure to check out our 10 Unique Baking Soda Science Activities perfect for summer learning.

Typically a baking soda chemical reaction involves vinegar, and that is what we generally use. However, certain fruits high in vitamin C or Ascorbic acid will produce a similar fizzy, bubbly reaction when combined with baking soda. Our citrus acid experiments also have a much better smell than the traditional vinegar ones!

WHAT IS THE REACTION OF BAKING SODA AND ORANGE JUICE?

When the acid from citrus fruit like oranges and lemons combines with baking soda, a gas is formed. This gas is carbon dioxide which can be seen and felt through the fizzing and bubbling of the two ingredients. Vinegar is quite acidic and produces a great chemical reaction but it isn’t the only liquid that works for this type of chemistry experiment. That’s why we decided to experiment with citric acid chemical reactions.Citrus fruits for baking soda chemical reaction testing

CITRUS ACID EXPERIMENT

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Baking soda
  • Assorted citrus fruit; oranges, lemons, lime, grapefruit.
  • Muffin tin or small containers.
  • Optional; dropper or pipette

HOW TO SET UP YOUR CITRUS ACID SCIENCE EXPERIMENT

STEP 1. Cut up your citrus fruit into manageable pieces for smelling and squeezing. This is also a great opportunity to point out different parts of the fruit and examine the seeds. Simple science lessons are everywhere and can happen without kids even knowing it!

Make sure to use your sense of smell with your citrus fruits before you begin experimenting! Will the scents change when mixed with baking soda? Which fruit  do you think will have the biggest reaction?

Smelling citrus fruits before testing with baking soda chemical reactions

STEP 2. Squeeze all your fruits into small containers to start your citrus chemical reactions experiment. You can label each if desired and create a chart to record your observations.

This experiment is definitely one that can be extended for an older child or used for different aged kids. The colors of the orange juice and lemon juice etc. were good enough for us to remember which was which. We are still in a playful learning stage and charts aren’t necessary.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY: Watermelon Volcano!

Squeezing citrus fruits for baking soda science activity

STEP 3. Add approximately 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda to a mini muffin tin. Alternatively you can use cups or small bowls for this part.

With four citrus fruit juices and 12 sections in the tin, we decided to give each fruit three sections. Sneaky math!

Baking Soda Science Muffin Tin

STEP 4.  Add orange juice and baking soda together and watch what happens.  Repeat with other the fruit juices.

We tested each one to see which would have the biggest chemical reaction. Check out the orange juice below.

Citrus Reactions baking Soda and Orange Juice

Below you can see both the reactions with grapefruit juice and then with lime and lemon juices.  Clearly the lemon juice was the winner here. We also made sure to see if the gas produced by the chemical reaction still smelled like the different fruits we used.

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Citrus Fruit Orange Lime Lemon Baking soda Science

OUR ORANGES AND LEMONS EXPERIMENT RESULTS

He decided he could still smell the fruits after the chemical reaction when initially he had decided he wouldn’t be able to. This was a terrific learning experience to make a guess {hypothesis} and then test it to find out the results. He did enjoy the lemon scent and the lemon reaction the best. Though he did not care for the way the lemon tasted and ate most of our orange.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Scented Lemon Rice Sensory Play

Citrus Chemical Reactions Smelling Lemon Reaction

He wanted a big bowl of baking soda and experimented with squeezing all the fruit we still had into it.

Smelling Grapefruit Chemical Reaction

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CITRIC ACID AND BAKING SODA EXPERIMENT

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