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Amazing Science Tricks with Common Household Items


Using common objects around the house, you can demonstrate cool scientific laws. Here’s how:

Keeping Water Separate

keepingwatersep1.jpgFill two identical glasses with water. Add two tablespoons of salt to the water in one glass and stir well. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the other glass.

Cover the glass containing the colored water with a sheet of paper, turn it upside down and place it on top of the glass containing salt water. (Be sure to do this trick over a saucer or bowl.)

Gently pull the paper out from between the glasses. The colored water and the salt water will remain separate.


keepingwatersep2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Salt water is heavier than colored water, so the two stay separate as long as the boundary between them isn’t disturbed. Try turning the two glasses over, though. The heavier salt water will now be on top, so it will flow down and mix with the colored water.

A Can That Can “Walk”

walkingcanjb2.jpgPlace an empty aluminum can on its side on the floor. Blow up a balloon and tie a knot in the end. Rub a tissue back and forth on the balloon.

When you put the balloon near the can, the can will start rolling toward the balloon.

How Does It Work?

When you rub the balloon with a tissue, the balloon gets a negative electric charge of several thousand volts. When you put the balloon near the can, electrostatic induction affects the molecules in the metal. The outside of the can gets a positive charge, so it is drawn toward the balloon and starts rolling in that direction.

A Candle That Sucks Water

candlethatsuckswater1.jpgPlace a candle upright in the middle of a saucer. Fill the saucer with water. Light the candle. Place a glass over the candle. When the flame goes out, the water in the saucer will get sucked into the glass.


candlethatsuckswater2.jpgHow Does It Work?

When the candle is burning inside the glass, the heat makes the air expand, so some of the air escapes outside the glass. The candle goes out after it uses up all the oxygen, so the air inside the glass cools. As it cools, the pressure inside the glass drops. Some of the carbon dioxide formed by the flame dissolves in the water as well, decreasing the pressure even more. The water outside the glass on the saucer is forced into the glass by the higher aire pressure outside.

A Flying Trash Bag

flyingtrashbag1jb2.jpgHold the mouth of a black trash bag in one hand. Use a hair dryer to blow hot air into the bag.

Seal the mouth of the bag with tape. Tie a long piece of string around the tape so you can hold it. Take the bag out into the sun. The bag will rise slowly into the air. (It’s best to do this trick in an open area on a windless day.)


flyingtrashbagjb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Since the bag is black, it absorbs heat from the sun. That heat makes the air inside the bag expand and become lighter. When the bag and the air inside are lighter than the surrounding air, the bag starts to rise.

Bending Light Through Water

bendinglight1jb2.jpgPunch a hole in a clear plastic bottle two inches from the bottom. Put your finger over the hole, fill the bottle with water and cap it to keep it from draining out.

Darken the room and cover part of a flashlight with your fingers to make the beam narrower. When you take the cap off the bottle, the water will flow out in an arc. Shine the flashlight at the stream from the side of the bottle opposite the hole. The light will bend with the arc and create a bright glow where the water hits the sink.


bendinglight2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

When the light in the stream strikes the boundary between the water and air, much of the light is reflected back into the stream. The light continues this internal reflection all along the arc formed by the falling water. The same principle is used to transmit light signals through flexible optical fibers.

Reading Through an Envelope

readingthruenv1jb2.jpgWith a black felt-tip pen, write a three-letter word in large letters on a white piece of paper. Place the paper in a brown envelope, and insert that envelope into a white envelope. The writing on the paper should now be impossible to read.

Get a piece of dark construction paper or tear out a page from a magazine that is printed on both sides. Roll up the paper into a four-inch-long tube. When you hold the tube against the envelope, you’ll be able to read the writing inside.


readingthruenv2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Usually you can’t read the writing inside an envelope because of the light reflected off the envelope’s white surface. But the tube blocks that reflected light, so you see only the light coming through the envelope.

Egg Into Bottle

eggthrubottle1jb2.jpgFind a glass bottle that has a mouth slightly smaller in diameter than an egg. Pour some hot water into the bottle (be careful!), shake it vigorously and empty the water.

Peel a soft-boiled egg and place it on the mouth of the bottle. Leave it there for a while and it will get sucked inside.


eggthrubottle2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

The vapor from the hot water drives the air out of the bottle. Once the egg seals the top of the bottle, the air can’t get back in. As the water vapor cools, it turns back into water, causing the pressure inside the bottle to drop. The higher pressure of the outside air pushes the egg into the bottle.

Toothpick Torpedo

toothpicktorpedo1jb2.jpgDab a little shampoo on the blunt end of a wooden toothpick.

Drop the toothpick in a pan of water. The toothpick will start moving in the direction of the sharp end.


toothpicktorpedo2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Shampoo contains agents that reduce the surface tension of liquids. As the shampoo on the end of the toothpick dissolves, it reduces the water’s surface tension around it, thus releasing the water’s hold on that end of the toothpick. The water around the other end of the toothpick still has surface tension, so it pulls the toothpick in that direction.

To learn more amazing science tricks, check out the book “Amazing Science Tricks” by Michio Goto

50 Comments on Amazing Science Tricks with Common Household Items

  1. so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. wow!!cool,i tried your tricks and it all worked!!!:-]

  3. thats amazing you should do more

  4. nice tricks………………!

  5. gir man cool 771 // November 1, 2007 at 6:03 pm // Reply

    need more!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :} :]

  6. I love the candle and water one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! can you do any more


  7. too good!!!!!

  8. If only I was allowed to do it!!!

  9. I want to see a trick that it amazing and really easy to do that will amaze my friends

  10. nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Hosni scientist // September 22, 2007 at 4:43 pm // Reply

    wow…. it is so fantastic

  12. butterfly gal?? // September 19, 2007 at 6:36 am // Reply


    i like your tricks

    its cool

  13. really great and so helpful to educate kids and adult too

    Greeting from Egypt

  14. other tricks

  15. i like ur tricks

  16. vlutzzz...-cutie // September 10, 2007 at 11:23 pm // Reply

    I really like your tricks!!!!!!

    Can you do another amazing tricks?????!!!!

    I like a trick that is harder but unexpensive tricks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. suberb yo

  18. Lightning Mcqueen // August 16, 2007 at 5:07 pm // Reply


  19. Hey JJ! In my science book it says to don’t sprinkle pepper BUT put shampoo on your finger. And you use paper as a torpedo

  20. I know how to do the toothpick torpedo except that you put pepper into the water and shampoo on the end of your finger. And say “now you see all these scouts at camp”, then stick your finger in the middle of the bowl and say ” this is what happens when a skunk comes into the camp

  21. Lightning Mcqueen // August 3, 2007 at 7:11 pm // Reply


  22. shortyandyouknowit // July 30, 2007 at 6:21 pm // Reply

    These science projects were AWESOME!!!!!!!

  23. i tried the water seperater and it fun after wards i sprayed it on my sis!!!!!!=)

  24. sience man // July 6, 2007 at 1:26 pm // Reply

    ilove the baloon trick


  26. Coolio!!!!

  27. ssssssssssssssssssssweet

  28. science is fun and interesting…….i really love science………….

  29. sciencefreak // June 16, 2007 at 3:06 am // Reply

    science is really nice.. those tricks are really interesting.. luv it

  30. these science expierements are so cool.

  31. You can put a needle thgough a balloon by not overinflating the balloon putting a piece of tape on the balloon then inserting the needle through the area were the tape is.

  32. Science is very cool, and i figuerd out how to make a rock shooter with a firecracker. I also know how to make a potato shooter. Its all phisyics.

  33. hi i poster 17

  34. Nope 😐

  35. monkey. yes im a girl. // June 6, 2007 at 11:07 am // Reply

    science is very cool, but do you know how to put a needle through a baloon without popping it?

  36. Einstein2000 // June 3, 2007 at 10:40 pm // Reply


  37. it cool

  38. MasterZapper // June 3, 2007 at 7:27 pm // Reply

    Science is fun,cool,and amazing!It`s fun to LEARN science too!

  39. its my life

  40. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ // June 3, 2007 at 2:37 pm // Reply


  41. speedster // June 2, 2007 at 5:08 pm // Reply


  42. speedster // June 2, 2007 at 5:07 pm // Reply

    23g+63a+9u=science is super cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. marine war mashine // June 2, 2007 at 2:54 pm // Reply

    seen it

  44. good work, this will be helpfull our small kids to get a good interesting about science

  45. sounds Cool, I’m gonna try it.

  46. Deathknight // May 31, 2007 at 12:51 am // Reply

    Go sceince! 🙂

  47. lolzorz that was awesomezors

  48. tj stonner // May 30, 2007 at 6:50 pm // Reply

    n2+u3=science is cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Neat

  50. i love since.

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