skip graphical navigation
PBS KidsZOOM Home Back to Activity
Science Rocks!

Lemon Juice Rockets


your results

Sent in by:
Cherrell of SC

Three, two, one, blast-off! (Fannee Doolee says, "When you're done here, check out the Kitchen Chemistry online game for more scientific kitchen kOOkineSS!")

Materials Needed

  • An empty, 16 ounce, plastic soda or water bottle
  • A cork that tightly fits the soda bottle. If you can't find a cork that fits, you might want to wrap it in tape.
  • paper towels
  • toilet paper
  • lemon juice
  • baking soda
  • water
  • other acids, like cola, or vinegar
  • scissors
  • funnel
  • safety glasses



  1. Check with a grown-up before you begin.
  2. You will want to do this outside.
  3. First, tear the paper towels into strips and attach them to the cork with tape. This makes the cork look more like a rocket.
  4. Then, cut a small square out of toilet paper, put about a teaspoon of baking soda in the middle of the square, and fold in the sides to make a little packet.

  1. Put the funnel into the opening of the bottle.
  2. Pour a half inch of lemon juice into the bottle, and then add water until it is a little less than half-way full.
  3. Put on your safety glasses. Drop the baking soda packet into the soda bottle, close the bottle with the cork, shake the bottle, and stand back for lift off.

  1. Here's the reason the cork shoots up. Cherrell says that as the water and lemon juice soak through the toilet paper, the baking soda reacts to produce carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a gas. As more gas forms, pressure builds up inside the bottle and sends the cork flying.

Lemon juice is an acid, and baking soda is a base. When they are mixed together they produce carbon dioxide. Try launching your rocket by mixing other acids with the baking soda. Make a prediction, and then test it out. Be sure to send us your discoveries so that we can share them with the world!

Some of your Results

Joe, age 14 of Santa Cruz, CA wrote:
The cola and the orange juice didn't work, but when we tried vinegar the results were positive! And when we quadrupled the recipe the rocket went quadrupled the height!!

Seth, age 8 of Knowle wrote:
I mixed vinegar and baking soda. When I put the baking soda in the bottle it started getting harder so I shook it up and it started to make fizz and the cork flew off.

Mubashir, age 11 of San Francisco, Argentina wrote:
it went up a 106. 9 feet high

Josue, age 9 of CA wrote:
it exploded even the bottle exploaded thats cool

Jonathon, age 10 of Las Vegas, NV wrote:
the cork flew up really high and there was a bubbly yellow puddle because it was a tiny space and the cork splashed the liquid at me.

Mary, age 13 wrote:
the cork flew up and the bakin soda pour down da sides of the bottle

Alexis, age 10 of Warsaw, IN wrote:
when I did it the rockets did not blast off. I was surprised because their rockets there supose to blast off. but they did foam out of the bottle. and the foam was yellow. my friends and I liked the expierement. thank you for teaching me the expierement.

Sydney, age 10 of Pembroke, MA wrote:
dear zoom, me my mom, my brother, and my sister tried to do this but we used vinegar instead of lemon juice. we put salt in a piece of paper then we put it in the bottle with the vinegar and put a cork on the top then we shook the bottle then put it down and it made the cork shoot in to the air and it worked. I hope you come up with some more ideas.

Eliza, age 7 of Atlanta, GA wrote:
It exploded, the cork went way up in the air and foam went every where! It scared my cat too. It was cool!

Zoom fan, age 15 of OH wrote:
Me and my sister did this and it was so much fun.. Our materials were lemon juice, white vinegar, and red wine vinegar.. I couldn't find a corj so we use tao.. It was so much fun but it blew up in our hands a couple times when we tryed to put the tape on.. I fuond out a new technique... Use string and tape it to your cap or corj and tie the backing soda on it... or baking powder...This is so much fun I think

Mileena, age 13 of Troy, Greece wrote:
Me and Brad did it in my lawn. We found out that the liquids reacted fast with the baking soda. So it was hard to put on the cork.

Broian, age 13 of Appleton, WI wrote:
i put it at an angle. its really cool.

Sydney, age 5 of MD wrote:
it flew 100 feet high.

Aden, age 9 of Framingham, MA wrote:
The presur built up before I could put the botel up right and the cork shot across the my road! I would definetly try it again. I had lots of fun.

Tal and Meg, age 11 wrote:
It ddn't go as high as we hoped, but, it was still very very cool. We had to improvise with a few things.. Like the funnel and the lemon juice. We would defenetly reccoden this!

Kiara, age 12 of West Palm Beach, FL wrote:
it was so totally awesome. I loves it.

Jeremy, age 9 of Vancouver, BC wrote:
It exploded all over the science room at school. I placed in my science contest and got a good grade on it.

Ally, age 12 of Winston-Salem, NC wrote:
It was so cool! I used it during a contest at school to see who could make the best rocket and I won!

Miya, age 10 of Snow Hill wrote:
it exsploed. it was awsome.

Narimh and Enjen of Yorba Linda, CA wrote:
welll, lemon juice didnt really work it was bad. but vinager totally works like it went 30 feet in the air.

Brea, age 10 of Cleveland, OH wrote:
We did every instruction and guess what. It did exploded.

Siraya, age 12 of Idaho Falls, ID wrote:
me and my mom did it at night and it was awesome. The first time we tried it didn't work, but it was sweet.

Josie, age 14 of Franklin, ME wrote:
I did it with vinegar and it went really high, but i don't know how too find the exact height of how high it went? can anyone tell me?

Caroline, age 13 of New York wrote:
it work and I am going to try it in my science projec. thank for your help. I hope I won.

Brittanya, age 10 of Cleveland, OH wrote:
it popped off. it was hilarious and amazing.

Najib, age 12 of New York, NY wrote:
vineager went the farthest but cola didnt even go.

Nickolas, age 11 of Philadelphia, PA wrote:
I mixed just lemon juice and baking soda. it went 21.08 ft, just vinegar & baking soda it went 16.09 ft and then I mixed them all together and it went 29.11 ft.

Lucy, age 10 of Tonganoxie, KS wrote:
it blue up like a rocket!

Kristina, age 11 of Yonkers, NY wrote:
I did the lemon juice experiment it was so cool!!!

not yet implemented