Cork Races

Use the reaction between ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda and vinegar to create a racing game!


  • Several lengths of clear plastic tubing
    (1 inch inner diameter, each approximately 3 feet in length)
  • Painted cork balls
    (3/4 inch diameter or small enough to pass easily through tubing)
  • Vinegar
  • Hand dishwashing liquid
  • ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda
  • Measuring spoons and cup
  • Small container with spout
  • Tape


Step 1: Tape up one end of each tube to be the bottom.
Step 2: Stand tubes upright on a flat surface (baking sheet or tray) and pour one tablespoon of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda into the bottom.
Step 3: Drop a cork into each tube.
Step 4: Make a mixture of 1/2 cup of vinegar and dishwashing liquid in the spouted container.
Step 5: Pour the mix carefully down the inside of the tube and watch the cork ride the suds to the top. Keep face away from top of tube to avoid being splashed. Supervise use with young children.


The baking soda reacts with the vinegar in the mixture and produces a gas: carbon dioxide (CO2). As the gas is released it bubbles through the dishwashing liquid, creating the suds that push the cork to the top.


* Experiment with different mixes of vinegar, ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda and dishwashing liquid and have races to find the mix that makes the fastest cork.
* Mark the tubes 2/3 of the way to the top. Experiment with mixes and quantities to get the cork to stop closest to the mark.
* Try ping-pong balls instead of cork ball and use wider-diameter tubing. Remember the importance of adult supervision, especially with young children.