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Lemon Volcano

Explore chemistry with an alternative volcano science activity with lemons and baking soda.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


  • Lemons Limes and grapefruits work too!
  • Baking Soda
  • Food Coloring
  • Dish Soap


  1. First, you need to place half of a lemon into a bowl or plate that will catch the mess when it erupts. You can juice the other half of the lemon to add to the erupting lemon volcano which you will read about below. Or you can set up two at a time! 

  2. Next, take your craft stick and poke holes in the various sections of the lemon. This will help the reaction along a bit in the beginning.

  3. Now, you can place drops of food coloring around the different sections on the top of the lemon. Alternating with different colors of food coloring will give a fun effect. However, you can also stick with just a couple of colors or even one-color! 

  4. Next, you can pour some Dawn dish soap all over the top of the lemon. What does dish soap do? Adding dish soap to a reaction like this will also produce a bit of foam and bubbles! It's not necessary but a fun element to add if you can.

  5. Now, you can go ahead and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the top of the lemon. Then you can go ahead and use a craft stick to press some of the baking soda down into the different sections of the lemon to get the eruption gong.

Recipe Notes

You can add some additional baking soda when the first round of erupting has taken place to continue the reaction.

This experiment produces a very slow eruption of color. If you would like things to move a bit faster or to be more dramatic, you can pour a little extra lemon juice on top of the lemon as well.

Your erupting lemon volcano will be a big hit, and I am pretty sure your kids are going to want to keep testing it out! That's what makes it great for playful science.