Make a Baking Soda and Vinegar Rocket

With the explosive power of baking soda and vinegar, you can launch your very own rocket! Making one doesn't require much, but you can make it more exciting by crafting a rocket and a launcher to go with the fuel. It'll be fun and exciting and you can impress your friends with your pyro flare!


Rocket Body

  1. Attach a cone to the bottom of a small plastic bottle. The cone will become the tip of the rocket and will help the bottle travel faster. To make one, roll a piece of paper (preferably thick paper or thin cardboard) into a cone, cut the bottom so that it’s even, and tape it to the bottom of the bottle.
    • For extra strength, wrap the cone in electrical tape or duct tape.
  2. Attach fins to the rocket. Cut 3 or 4 triangles out of thin cardboard, bend “tabs” into the sides so that they can easily be taped to the side of the bottle, and attach them around the neck of the bottle (which will be pointing down and is where the fuel will blast from).

Rocket Launcher

  1. Find a tube that fits around the neck of the bottle. A toilet paper or paper towel tube will work in a pinch but probably can’t be used more than once because the cardboard will get soggy when the rocket launches. A more durable option is to use a piece of PVC pipe.
  2. Cut the tube to size. Since it will sit underneath the bottle to hold it up, it should be long enough to keep the mouth of the bottle off the ground but not so long that the rocket doesn’t sit stably inside it.
    • Get an adult to help you cut the PVC pipe if necessary.
  3. Attach the tube to a base. Gluing it to a wide piece of wood will work well.
  4. Place the launcher in a good location. Ideally, place it on a hill (for extra height), on a slight slope (so that the rocket will launch at an angle), and pointing with the wind.

Rocket Fuel

  1. Fill the bottle about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way with vinegar. Any kind/type will work, but white vinegar will make the least mess.
  2. Put baking soda in a time-release container. This will allow you to add the baking soda to the vinegar without having it explode immediately. You will need several large spoonfuls of baking soda to make the rocket powerful. The easiest way to do this is to put baking soda on a square of cling wrap, fold the corners up, and twist the wrap several times to hold the powder. When you put this in the vinegar later, it will unravel slowly.
  3. Prepare a balloon to cover the mouth of the rocket. When the time comes, you’ll need to cover the mouth of the rocket to hold the fuel inside. Of course, you don’t want to cover it so well that nothing comes out. The best way to do this is with a balloon:
    • Cut a piece of balloon that fits over the mouth and neck of the bottle. Make sure it’s big enough to cover the whole neck, but don’t use the whole balloon; save the extra for other launches.
    • With a marker, draw a dot in the center of the piece of balloon.
    • Poke a tiny hole in the center of the dot with a pin. The dot will let you know where the hole is later.
    • Set the balloon aside (along with a rubber band). You’ll need quick access to these when you launch, so don’t lose them.
  4. Carefully put the baking-soda container inside the bottle. Try not to agitate the bottle, which will make the cling wrap unravel faster.
  5. Center the balloon over the mouth of the rocket and secure it around the neck with the rubber band. The dot help you make sure the hole is centered. The hole may drip a bit, but when the rocket launches, it will allow the fuel to shoot out.
  6. Place the rocket on the launcher or stand it up on its fins. Placing fins on your rocket that sit lower than the mouth will allow you to use the fins as a stand. (See Rocket Body below for tips.) If you don’t want to add fins to your rocket, see Rocket Launcher below for design instructions.
    • To make a faster, easier rocket launcher, shove a straight stick / thin piece of wood into the ground (a bamboo skewer might work, tape a narrow tube (a rolled up piece of paper or even a drinking straw might work) to the side of the rocket, and simply slip the tube over the stick to hold the rocket up. Make sure the stick sits firmly in the ground. Insert it at a 45-degree angle if you want the rocket to go farther.
  7. Wait for the rocket to launch. If you’ve made the baking-soda container properly, it should take at least a few seconds for the baking soda to release into and react with the vinegar.


  • Test different amounts of baking soda and vinegar to see what proportions work best.
  • Putting fins on the bottom of your rocket will help keep the center of gravity low and make it spin better. Putting a point on the top will decrease air resistance. See How to Build a Bottle Rocket for more design tips.
  • Don't get a bottle that is too big or it won't work. The smaller and lighter the bottle, the better.
  • Use less baking soda and vinegar to make it go higher.
  • Use a vitamin-water bottle (or similar bottle made of thick plastic); since it can take more pressure, it may also go higher.
  • Make sure you stand back before the rocket explodes.
  • If you are a child, get an adult to help you or do it under parental guidance. This is for the safety for you and others around you.


  • Don’t launch the rocket near cars, houses, or other valuables to avoid breaking anything.
  • Never point the rocket towards yourself or anyone else because you can hurt them with this.
  • Stand at least {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} away. It may also be a good idea to wear safety goggles too (just in case).
  • You can do the same thing here but with pop and Mentos. Experiment and have competitions with your friends!
  • If the saran wrap does not come undone carefully approach the bottle from the opposite side of the area that the bottle is facing.
  • If you're holding the rocket, make sure to hold your hand out with the rocket away from your body.

Things You'll Need

Rocket Fuel

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • Saran wrap
  • Balloon
  • Marker /Sharpie
  • Small sharp object
  • Rubber band /Hair tie

Rocket Body

  • 1 Plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Thick paper or thin cardboard
  • Electrical tape or duct tape
  • Paint (Optional)

Rocket Launcher

  • PVC pipe or cardboard tube
  • Cutting utensil (saw would be most useful)
  • Glue
  • Wooden base

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