You know what question Kate and I get a lot?  “How do you girls do it it all??”  Our schedules are full, just as many of yours are, and it comes with the constant struggle of balancing Mom-life with work-life.  And like most other Mothers out there, when it comes down to it and one has to take priority, the Mom gig wins- no contest.  If something has to fall through the cracks it’s not Mom thing; it’s usually the doing-laundry, cleaning-bathrooms, or showering-before-noon thing.  So to answer the question, how do we do it all?  Ha!  We don’t!  Those of you joining us at TOFW get to hear all about how we don’t do it all.  In fact, most times sometimes we barely keep it together!  The past few weeks have felt like that for me.  I’ve been traveling a lot, and working on some huge projects (we finished our book!), so when I got home the other day after spending the weekend in PA (SO much fun- thank you East Coasters for a great time!) the last thing I wanted to do was pull out my big camera and cook.  And then edit photos.  And then write a big recipe post for today.  What I did want to do?  Play with my kids.  Be goofy, be silly, be loud and crazy and do whatever they wanted to do.  I asked them what they wanted to do, and lucky for me (and you) they picked something that I thought would actually be fun to share with you!  So ironically, my intentions of turning off my blog brain back-fired, but it worked out in the end.  I got to play with my kids, and you get a fun kitchen craft.  Or something to entertain friends at the office when you’re tired of working.  Since I had no intentions of making a big ol’ photography project out of this fun little activity, I just snapped some quick photos on my Phone  and edited them right on my phone too, with the Thumba app.  Come next Monday I’ll have my brain fully functioning again and I’ll bust out my big camera have an amazing recipe for you!  Until then, let’s just play :)  This is sort of awesome.

We call these “Soap Clouds.”  Where are all of our chemical engineers?  I need to know why every awesome science project involving soap, hinges on the use of Ivory soap.  Thoughts?  Are there magical ingredients in there?  I’ve always wondered that.  I bet whoever came up with the original recipe never expected that so many science experiments would ensue with its use!  I think the same thing about Elmer’s glue.  Anyway, grab a bar of Ivory soap-yes, only Ivory!  It’s cheap, but don’t worry, you can even use it as soap when we’re done here so we’re not being wasteful.  So you don’t need to write us lengthy emails about being earth-hating-soap-haters.

Place a piece of waxed paper, parchment, plastic wrap, or paper towel in your microwave.  Just don’t use foil, or we’ll have issues on our hands that are much bigger than  your next burrito tasting slightly like a fresh mountain spring.  This really doesn’t make a mess, so don’t be scared.

Start your microwave for a couple of minutes on high power.  You don’t need to let it run that whole length of time, but you can just stop it when you need to.  Want to see what happens??  It’s a little hard to see through my microwave door, but check it out (and ignore me when I say you need to turn your microwave turntable off, that’s for if you’re trying to video this experience:))

Ten bonus points for anyone who can reference my children’s ramblings about “the great devourer.”

I don’t know how it does it- but it starts growing!  Sometimes the “clouds” are seriously HUGE, and other times they are sort of wimpy.  I’ve noticed generally, the fresher the soap (as in the more recent I have purchased it) the bigger the result.  We’ve done this a million times and my kids still get a kick out of it.

It looks like it should be foamy and wet, but it’s not.  You can actually pick up the whole big chunk.

If you smash it, it will break into pieces and you’ll end up with soap dust everywhere, so be careful with little hands who like to smash things :)

It’s the weirdest looking thing.  I love how it’s different every time.

Now.  You have a giant blob of dried soap fluff and your kids were entertained for a total of 3.5 minutes.  That’s a start!  Sometimes I let my kids just take the whole darn thing in the bath tub and have at it.  It’s one way to make sure they actually get cleaned in there.  Or sometimes I hold it up over them in the tub and let it “snow” by smashing it and letting it sprinkle down like little snow flakes.  Or, you can let them make their own little soaps.  First, put the fluff in a bowl and let them do what they’ve probably been trying to do already- smash it to smithereens. It just kind of falls apart, so it’s actually kind of fun.  And if it gets all over your counter, take my advice and sweep or vacuum it up first, then wipe it down.  Otherwise you’ll end up with a big soapy mess.

Then, either in a bowl with a spoon, or with an electric beater, or in a food processor, like I’m using, add warm water, just until it comes together.  Just like pie crust, folks!  This is why I love kitchen crafts.  To test it, grab some with your hands and hold it in your fist.  If it holds together in a ball, it’s ready.

Take the mold-able mixture and let kids press it into cookie cutters.  Make sure kids are old enough to know it’s not food, or they are likely to attempt to eat it!

These photos below are from a batch I made a while back, (and photographed with my regular camera) and I let my kids add just a couple of drops of food coloring to make colored soaps.  After the soaps are molded, but still wet, you can gently push them out of the molds.  Let them sit in a cool, dry place for a few days and soon you will have little soaps to wash (or play!) with.

Funny how my kids are always very interested in getting extra clean when it’s with soap they’ve made themselves.

Now go have some fun with your own kiddos today!  Or, just grab some soap and have fun in your office break room at lunch.  C’mon- you know you want to.

Reminder:  Once again, only use IVORY soap.  Lots of people asking this in the comments, or commenting they have a burned mess in their microwave because they didn’t read it earlier in the post!  Ivory!

 

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419comments

  1. 1
    Casey says:

    Oh Sara, my 5 year old son will LOVE this!!! Tomorrow is experiment day at school, I think I will carry on the day at home and do this!

  2. 2
    Alisa says:

    Love this! Thanks :)

  3. 3
    Kim says:

    “It floats” is an Ivory tagline, and that’s what makes it different. More air has been whipped into the soap, making it useful for all kinds of fun uses, and it also dissolves faster than other bars compelling consumers to buy more. Very clever, P&G. :)

    • 3.1
      Julie says:

      I’m from the area where P&G is…and ivory soap was a big accident :) The inventor of the soap accidentally left a batch in the mixer for too long which ended up putting too much air into the mixture. He at first thought it would be a big failure but the soap turned out looking normal. From what I’ve heard, P&G began receiving letters from folks saying how much they loved the NEW ivory soap!! Turns out that ivory soap now floats…so people who had to bathe in ponds and creek pools could accidentally drop their soap and it wouldn’t sink to the bottom and be lost. It would just float on top :) (Maybe I should look this up on snopes to be sure ;) but it’s what my dad always told me.)

      • Lee says:

        Hi Julie, after reading your comment about checking it out at Snopes, I did exactly that and found that it wasn’t an accident after all. I DO like the fabrication, though!
        http://www.snopes.com/business/origins/ivory.asp

      • Rebecca says:

        This is funny to me. When I was in the 1st or 2nd grade we went on a tour of the P&G factory (I grew up in Cincinnati) and I was told this story too. And Have believed it for all of these years! i am disappointed to know that it isn’t true. :( But I will have to try microwaving it!

      • Cat says:

        It probably doubled their profits too.

    • 3.2
      Annabella says:

      I agree they really thought it through.

    • 3.3
      Mitch says:

      You can harden all makes of soaps by taking them out of the wrapper weeks before use. They last much longer that way. The “older generation” used to put them open in their dresser drawers(before air conditioning)for a nice smell then into the tub for use when the scent disappeared.

      • Sami says:

        Awesome idea! I go through soap so quickly, I’m unwrapping mine asap.

      • Renae says:

        my therapist told me when i was having anxiety attacks to sleep with a bar of strong scented soap at night (i slept with irish spring) my bed and pillows smelled amazing, lol it was supposed to help my breathing, idk if this trick worked really, but i did it anyways for the smell xD not really on topic but whatever lol

  4. 4
    Kristin says:

    Fun idea! Ivory soap probably works for 2 reasons: 1) there are less ingredients in Ivory soap than most other soaps, and 2) Ivory is whipped with air, which in this case is probably why it works in the microwave so well. “Ivory soap, it floats!”

    • 4.1
      Amanda Bauman says:

      That’s kinda what I was thinking. Ivory doesn’t have all of the extra fragrances and dyes that could interfere with any chemical reactions :)

  5. 5
    Rachael says:

    Thanks for the reminder to go play!

  6. 6
    Ellie says:

    My kids will LOVE this! Teacher appreciation week is coming up (is that the same week for the whole country?) and with some kind of cute tag these would make a fun gift for one of the days. Any of the brilliant designer type folks out there want to create one and post a link? I can do one, but it won’t be nearly as cute. Thanks for a very fun idea!

    • 6.1
      candi says:

      maybe something like “Thank’s for keeping me afloat!” Or “You never let me sink”, and yes TEACHER APPRECIATION IS SAME week for everyone.

  7. 7
    Patti says:

    Now I’m wondering who in the world would have ever have thought to try this in the first place? When I think about putting stuff in the microwave, soap isn’t the first thing that comes to mind! My grandson will LOVE this!

    • 7.1
      Kelli says:

      Maybe they were trying to clean their microwave and didn’t know a bowl of water with a little vinegar works better! :) I agree – I would never put somethings in the microwave – soap would be one of those things…until now!

    • 7.2
      Jamie says:

      Some of my college guy friends used to put ALL KINDS of things in the microwave. It was probably someone like them! …and, does the food coloring stain once it’s in the soap? I’m guessing not or it would have been mentioned, I just thought I’d check before Smurfs emerged from my bath tub.

      • Jamie says:

        oops. Found my answer about the staining.

      • Melissa says:

        HAHA!! Good Point ^^ That was my thought exactly!

      • ElaAver says:

        The food colouring is not a good idea. They make soap colouring that will not stain skin, clothing, or anything else,but food colouring will stain anything! Any craft store should have the soap colouring.

    • 7.3
      Kathrine says:

      I ran across this site… I suppose there are some people out there who just “play”. http://margo.student.utwente.nl/el/microwave/

      • Carolyn says:

        You can definitely believe that I am going to play. Geez why not, I am only 65 yrs old!

        • Lynnie says:

          I’m 70 years old and I will play it with you.

          • Diane says:

            I’m 62, and I want to play too! I homeschool my granddaughter, and we’re always looking for kitchen experiments to do. Thanks! I have some Ivory in the closet, so we’re going to try this tomorrow.

  8. 8
    Kelli says:

    Love it! I’m with Ellie – these would make GREAT kid gifts! I sense my daughters next Christmas gift for everyone! Does the food coloring dye your skin when you use the soap later though?

  9. 9
    Liz says:

    This is cool and I know my son will be impressed. I also know that no matter how many times I remind him that it is soap, he will for sure try to eat it since it looks a lot like cotton candy, his new obsession. But, that should just happen once and then there will be a powerful opportunity to remind him why it’s always a good idea to listen to his mama. ;)

  10. 10
    Stacey says:

    I’m going to pick up some Ivory today! Looks so fun!

  11. 11
    Tracy Lawson says:

    Oh my gosh, this looks so fun! My granddaughter will love doing this. I’m putting Ivory soap on my shopping list this week!

    Thanks!!!!

    Tracy

  12. 12
    Angie E. says:

    Ninjago! I have 3 boys that love Ninjago.

    Looks fun, can’t wait to try it.

  13. 13
    Sara G says:

    Hahaha! Someone beat me to the punch. It’s comforting to know that other Mom’s let their kids watch Ninjago too!

  14. 14
    Maria says:

    Despite the title, I fully expected to read these were the remains of Rediwhip cans. *laugh*

    Fun project though – next shopping trip may include a bar of Ivory *grin*

  15. 15
    Emilee says:

    This looks awesome. I’m always afraid of making messes with my kids, but playing with soap seems less scary. I guess I’ll be adding Ivory soap to the shopping list.

  16. 16
    Steph says:

    Great Devourer from Ninjago! My boys (7 and 5) are obsessed right now. And I was so sure that the red ninjas sister was going to be the green ninja. So, yes, I watch it too :)

  17. 17

    And if you make homemade laundry soap, this is way easier than grating the soap. By the way, I hear this works with Fels Naptha soap as well. In fact, it may work with any SOAP (as opposed to detergent bars, which is what most of our store-bought “soap” really is.)

    • 17.1
      Deanna says:

      Very smart! I thought of making my own laundry soap but it was all that grating that got me. I may try it now.

      • Ann says:

        I felt the same way. I HATE grating! I cut my soap into chunks and put it in the food processor with the powdered ingredients and *VOILA!*. I’ll never buy laundry detergent again. It’s wonderful!

    • 17.2
      Joanne Jones says:

      My grand-daughters tried it with the cranberry dial soap. It made a pink cloud but it smelled and started to burn before it got very big. The perfumed soaps may not work!

    • 17.3
      Sandra Owens says:

      We just tried this tonight and I was thinking the same thing-no more food processor for laundry soap. Guess I can’t get rid of my micro :-).
      Sandra

    • 17.4
      Pamela says:

      We tried using a Dove bar and Lever 2000…def did not work. Only Ivory because it’s air whipped.

    • 17.5
      CordyLyn says:

      I was actually wondering about that for the ver purpose of laundry soap! Thanks, I will try it that way instead!

    • 17.6
      julie says:

      That was one of my first thoughts…the grating is what has kept me from making the one with the bar soap. I’ve been making the one with the borax washing soda and dawn. I have a couple of bars of ivory now I just need the grand kids

      • julie says:

        I was thinking ivory soap might be best in the laundry soap. I think the fels-naptha has a petroleum base or at lest it did when it first was made.

    • 17.7
      Ali says:

      What a GREAT TIP about the soap grating when making your own detergent, Darlene! You just saved me about 10 precious minutes! Thanks!

  18. 18
    Deirdre says:

    Not only do I love that I can add this to my summer boredom busters…but I love that even though you didn’t intend to you shared some of your behind the scenes…we get a glimpse into non-rock-star-blogger land…Thanks for being so awesome!

  19. 19
    nikki says:

    This looked like so much fun, I had to try it right away! Since I didn’t have Ivory soap, I tried the soap I had (Irish Spring). It worked…but now my ENTIRE house smells like a giant bar of soap!! So, next stop, the store…for unscented soap!!

    • 19.1
      ElaAver says:

      hmm… I also have Irish spring in my pantry! but yeah, the smell might be a bit much!

  20. 20
    Lacey says:

    “It’s the great devourer! The great devourer is getting unleashed!” haha That snake thing from LEGO? I feel like maybe my little brother plays that or something….ha

  21. 21
    Amie says:

    http://chemistry.about.com/od/demonstrationsexperiments/a/soaptrick.htm this has some good chemistry talk (sorry, I am an EE not a CE) and would be a good science project! Thanks girls, can’t wait to make a mess…errr, learn stuff.

  22. 22
    Janda says:

    I’m with Darlene from North GA…I normally grate Fels Nappa for making homemade laundry soap (Soooooo much cheaper than store bought!) and I HATE the grating part. I’ve heard you can also use Ivory. I may just try this for my next batch!

    • 22.1
      Jennifer says:

      I use my food processor to grate Fels Naptha for homemade laundry soap. It is so much faster and easier.

    • 22.2
      tina says:

      I always use ivory for laundry soap. it works great. i used this microwave trick last week when i made laundry soap. it was great fun for the kids and the mom.

    • 22.3
      Karlata Sparling says:

      I make home made laundry soap and the grating of FelsNapha only takes me 2 minutes. Just need a sharp grater with sizable holes.

  23. 23

    Hey, girls! I stumbled across your website and I LOVE IT! I have three recipes printed to try tonight. Thanks!

  24. 24

    that is so cool. I have to do this when my nephews are around!

  25. 25

    at Christmas time my mom would whip ivory flacks detergent with her hand mixer it get all fluffy she would than smooth it on top of the Christmas tree branches and it looked just like fresh snow and the room smelt so nice.

    • 25.1
      Diane says:

      So your mom did this too? Read comment 37 :-)

    • 25.2
      Crystal says:

      My mom did that with us too. I’ve done it a couple times with my family but we’ve now had to switch to using a fake tree. I miss doing that.

      • Bonnie Steffey says:

        Forty-five years ago my husband used to do the same thing for our Christmas tree. Sadly, he’s gone now and I have a “fake” tree, but our trees were always beautiful with the “snow” on the branches.

  26. 26
    Melissa says:

    Haha, Ninjago! I recognized the reference immediately too – I also have two boys that are pretty obsessed w/ that show. ;)

    Thanks for sharing your video! I’ve seen this idea before, but not with a video. It’s amazing how it appears to be doing nothing for a few seconds, and then it suddenly “explodes” into clouds. FUN!

  27. 27
    Alisha says:

    wow!! I never would have thought Soap did that! My 4 year old will love doing this.

  28. 28

    I went to the SNAP conference in Utah this weekend and saw a lot of really cool things. This is the one my kids will pick I can promise that. I can’t wait to do this. I love the shaped soaps too. Won’t my neighbors be impressed that I “make” my own soap.

  29. 29
    Jessica says:

    Don’t use Imperial Leather soap! (England) it just stinks and doesnt fluff :(

  30. 30
    Janene says:

    Ninjago Rise of the Snakes. My son loves that show too! Looks like fun.

  31. 31
    Cindy says:

    that’s pretty awesome..i’ll be doing it soon with my kiddos!

  32. 32
    Jinii says:

    Just make sure it is a new bar or relatively new bar of Ivory soap. We did this at my parents house with a bar of soap we found. Age is undertimined but old…and it burned out their microwave.

    • 32.1
      Heather says:

      My son and I tried this with a very old bar of Ivory too. We also had it on a paper towel and it caught the towel on fire when it started to expand!

  33. 33
    Kim says:

    My step-son is going to freak out!!! Can’t wait for his next visit! p.s. totally great idea for use in airplane or hot air balloon party decor!

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

  34. 34
    Marcy says:

    This is the first time I wished I had a microwave :)

  35. 35
    Amber says:

    Ninjago. I got a five minute history on him. We will have to try this. Thanks :) personally, I buy Lever 2000 so we can see if that works.

  36. 36
    rachel says:

    do you think this would work in the oven at all? we got rid of our microwave

    • 36.1
      Heather says:

      Not likely. The microwave works because of the way it heats. The rays are specifically aimed at exciting water molecules. Ivory soap is whipped with air and traps moisture better, so when the rays excite the water molecules they start moving and turning into water vapor and burst out of the soap. The oven would just make it hot is my guess, but you could always turn it into a science experiment and make your kids “test’ it and then research why it does/doesn’t work. :)

  37. 37
    Diane says:

    Ahhhh, this brings back memories— my mom used to grate the Ivory soap then whip it until it was fluffy and put it on the tips of our Christmas tree ( guess this was before spray snow). I was in 1st grade, saw the white fluff in a mixing bowl and put a BIG scoop in my mouth thinking it was whipped cream! oh my goodness- soap tastes BAD! I’m still not particularly fond of whipped cream or Cool Whip to this day 50 years later.

  38. 38
    Jess says:

    You can also take the soap cloud and make french milled style soap out of it by adding olive or coconut oil instead of water to re-emulsify, maybe some essential oils to scent it too, then just proceed in the same manner. It may take a bit longer to set up (couple days? I’ve only tried it with grated soap) but it makes a really luxurious soap.

  39. 39
    Lauren says:

    I’ve been meaning to try the ivory soap thing with my son for a while, but I never knew there was something you could do with it afterwards (besides just using it as soap). When I saw this I literally went straight to the cupboard for a bar of soap and called my son (2.5 years) into the kitchen. He loved it. I did a quarter of the bar in the microwave to start, and he kept saying “more?” and after the first time he was telling me what to do, lol (“more”, “crush”, “water”, “mix”, “pink”… his color of choice, lol). Now we’ve got some soaps made up that we’ll use in a few days.

    … hubby’s not impressed, considering we’re supposed to be cleaning and packing because we’re moving in a week… but we just laid a towel out on the counter to work on. Afterwards, I shook it over the garbage and threw it in the wash.

  40. 40
    Cindi says:

    I love it! Can’t wait to try it with my kids! I’m wondering though… Does the food coloring stain them when they wash with the newly made soaps?

    • 40.1
      sara says:

      You’re literally using a drop or two of food coloring, mixed with soap, which then only trace amounts of mix with water. I’ve never had anything stain. I know a lot of crafters make tub crayons with large amounts of food coloring and those work as well so you shouldn’t have a problem.

  41. 41
    Rebecca V. says:

    I couldn’t find my Ivory soap so I used Lever 2000. Yep, not a good idea. It puffed a little until it started smoking and smelling burnt (it was only in there for about 45 seconds). But my son LOVED it. The only problem is now he wants to put more things in the microwave. =o

  42. 42
    Shannon says:

    For those of you wondering about the food coloring staining when using the new soap….It shouldn’t. I make bathtub paints for my son using baby shampoo and food coloring and it has never stained him or the bathtub.
    I can’t wait to try this with my little guy, he’s VERY I to science experiments right now. :)

  43. 43
    Jamie says:

    Ha, ha. I was just going to write on here that we tried Irish Spring and it made my house smell HORRIBLE. I see in the previous comments that I wasn’t the only one with this problem. Make sure to try this with a mild smelling soap.

  44. 44
    Amanda Strong says:

    WOW!Ivory is the only sop he likes. Now if the store is out of the non skin drying one I can do this and with a bit of water and olvive oil I can fix it.

  45. 45
    Ashley C says:

    I had a boss once that lived for these science experiments. Another one she did was make arcs in the microwave with an old CD. You cut the top off a styro cup for a base and set the cd in the cup so it stands vertically (makes a “right angle or inverted “T” shape from the side). Turn the microwave on and watch the arcs. The silver side of the cd is what does it. When it comes out of the microwave the CD will be spiderwebbed…Yup, she whipped this out at the company christmas party so we could all be geeks too.

  46. 46
    Amanda says:

    My children will love this thanks a bunch!

  47. 47
    Julie F. says:

    Thanks for posting!

    I’m going out at lunch today to buy some Ivory soap so my 5 year old daughter and I can do this over the weekend. I can’t wait!

  48. 48
    Marielle says:

    Who won the Bosch mixer?

  49. 49
    Alicia says:

    We used soap clouds for 4-H Fun with Science day camp to teach kids about molecules (which they can’t see). The air molecules in Ivory soap expand when it is heated, causing the soap to expand.
    We usually use some other kind of soaps to compare floatability, density, and reaction to heat (microwave). The other soaps just melt and ooze all over the place.
    I heard that the air bubbles were an accident with the soap mixing machine at the factory. Maybe that is an urban legend. :0)

  50. 50
    Heidi says:

    Awesome idea! My kids go off track on Friday, and this’ll be on the list to do while they’re home.

  51. 51
    tangshan says:

    question: does it only work with ivory brand soap, or can I try with other brands too? this looks like a lot of fun, I’ll try it asap :).

    • 51.1
      Lindie says:

      Yes, I tried ti with diel soap, but it didn’t puff out much. My son still thought it was cool though

  52. 52
    Beth says:

    My first thought about this was that it would make a fantastic science experiment on the difference between physical and chemical changes! Plus, the kids could each take their own little bar of soap with them. So excited to try this in my classroom!

  53. 53
    Ellie says:

    Hi! Just tried this today and the kids loved it! Just a note that our “cloud” had hot spots out of the microwave. So I had to take it from them and let it cool down a few minutes.

  54. 54
    Lauren says:

    this is soo cool but does it have to be Ivory soup?

  55. 55
    Atina Wolever says:

    DO NOT USE DIAL SOAP!!! It started the puff up but began to melt & burn. The smell wasn’t bad but now my son keeps asking about soap clouds :-)

  56. 56
    Barb Laberer says:

    This is awesome. Can’t wait to try it with my grandchildren!

  57. 57
    Brandy says:

    I found this on pinterest several months ago and my kids loved it so much that we’ve done it a couple of times and every time they have friends over they ask if they can show it to them too!

  58. 58
    Ashley says:

    Fun craft idea but it doesn’t work with other soap, FYI. I did it with Dial soap and just got a bubbly mess… still cool but not near as cool as the clouds. And my home smells like a lot of soap… not that that is terrible either… )

  59. 59
    Jacqueline says:

    This is so great; I so appreciate all of your wonderful ideas! My husband leaves soon for Singapore and will be gone for two weeks (including Mother’s Day). I have been racking my brain for fun things to do with my kids while he’s gone. Then I log on to your website and there it is! That will make for a great afternoon with them, and hopefully stave off some of the we-miss-daddy-blues. Thanks for another awesome idea!

  60. 60
    Elizabeth says:

    My daughter’s birthday is on Monday and we were trying to think of something fun to do…..well, thank you for this! We are going to have so much fun!!!! I can hardly wait!

  61. 61
    Janeen says:

    I found this info today. How does it work?
    Ivory soap is one of the few brands of bar soap that floats in water. But when you break the bar of soap into several pieces, there are no large pockets of air inside. If it floats in water and has no pockets of air, it must mean that the soap itself is less dense than water. Ivory soap floats because it has air pumped into it during the manufacturing process.

    The air-filled soap was actually discovered by accident in 1890 by an employee at Procter and Gamble. While mixing up a batch of soap, the employee forgot to turn off his mixing machine before taking his lunch break. This caused so much air to be whipped into the soap that the bars floated in water. The response by the public was so favorable that Procter and Gamble continued to whip air into the soap and capitalized on the mistake by marketing their new creation as “The Soap that Floats!”

    Why does the soap expand in the microwave?

    This is actually very similar to what happens when popcorn pops or when you try to microwave a marshmallow. Those air bubbles in the soap (or the popcorn kernels or the marshmallow) contain water. Water is also caught up in the matrix of the soap itself. The expanding effect is caused when the water is heated by the microwave. The water vaporizes, forming bubbles, and the heat causes trapped air to expand. Likewise, the heat causes the soap itself to soften and become pliable.

    This effect is actually a demonstration of Charles’ Law. Charles’ Law states that as the temperature of a gas increases, so does its volume. When the soap is heated, the molecules of air in the soap move quickly, causing them to move far away from each other. This causes the soap to puff up and expand to an enormous size. Other brands of soap without whipped air tend to heat up and melt in the microwave.

  62. 62
    Nachette Smith says:

    what fun! and I was wondering , when putting it together again, if you could add a little of your favorite oil scent, if that would work. (I must try)

  63. 63
    miss keri says:

    I can’t wait to try this with my grandkids when they have their grandma day with me this summer!! Awesome Idea..Thanks for sharing!! I know my preschool classes would love it too but I am not THAT brave!

  64. 64
    Amy says:

    Can you use other brands of soap?

  65. 65
    Lisa says:

    Lego Ninjago ! Moms with three boys know lots of random trivia! ( :
    Awesome fun! Thanks for sharing!

  66. 66
    Jill says:

    “The Great Devourer” is a Giant snake on Lego Ninjago. No worries it was destroyed in the season finally.

  67. 67
    Brittany says:

    “Holy weird coolness!” says my six year old. We are definitely going to try it this weekend!

  68. 68
    Lynn says:

    Coolest idea ever!!! I’m a preschool teacher, and we only have 3 weeks left, but I’m going to make this work into my lesson plan somewhere. It’s an awesome activity on so many levels…and ends with their most favorite thing of all…taking something home with them!!! Thanks a mil for sharing!

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    Doesn’t it smell when you microwave soap? I microwaved soap one time for another project (plain old Ivory) and the smell was nauseating and lasted for days.

  70. 70
    Deanna says:

    I’ve read nearly all of the comments before asking this: do you use a separate food processor for soap than you use for food? Or does it clean up enough that it doesn’t effect the taste of your food?

  71. 71
    Mellissa says:

    Just a quick note for the points. The Great Devourer is from Lego Ninjago, lol. My boys love that show. (And I can`t help but I love it too!)

  72. 72
    Tara says:

    Great devourer! NINJAGO! I am totally doing soap clouds with my son tomorrow, I was looking for some fun stuff to do at home tomorrow thanks!!

  73. 73
    Shari says:

    My Grandmother did the christmas tree snow in the 50″s with ivory
    It was the greatest…

  74. 74
    Sarah says:

    So excited to have discovered your blog!! I’m going with Ninjago for that great devourer quote…? This is definitely something we’ll try in my 3 children household (ages 1 1/2-5) in which I am the sole nanny. We love easy, quick, & awesome projects!! :)

  75. 75
    sheila says:

    You can do something similar with a putty made with icing sugar and eggwhite. Roll it into balls then line the microwave tray with baking parchment and arrange marble sized balls in a circle. nuke on around 800 for around 10 seconds, you will need to tweak it a bit depending on your microwave. If you want coloured puffs, add a little food colouring to the putty.

  76. 76
    kATE says:

    If you use food coloring to make new soaps wont it turn them the colros you use?

  77. 77
    Kate says:

    If you use food coloring to color the new soaps and the kids use them to wash with wont it dye the kids colors as well?

  78. 78
    Vida says:

    Could you be so kind and write down the ingredients of ivory soap, because here in Slovenia we don’t have such brands, but perhaps we have something similar. Thank you. I really want to try this.

    • 78.1
      sara says:

      Hi Vida,

      I’m sorry I don’t have the package to look at the ingredients. It’s just a particular brand of soap so I don’t know if that would be much help. You could always order it online though!

    • 78.2
      Tina says:

      Vida, maybe you could buy several different bars of soap. Test them to see if one floats. If it does, you might have Slovenia’s version of Ivory!

    • 78.3
      Heather says:

      Vida, the ingredients are: Sodium Tallowate and/or Sodium Palmate, Water, Sodium Cocoate and/or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Coconut Acid (may contain), Palm Kernel Acid (may contain), Tallow Acid (may contain), Palm Acid (may contain), Tetrasodium EDTA

      Taken from this link. (The P&G website doesn’t sell Ivory bar soap!) http://www.drugstore.com/ivory-bar-soap-personal-size-original/qxp46672?catid=184086

  79. 79

    Okay, I’m definitely going to need to do this with my students! Fun science experiments are the best! Thanks to Janeen (commenter 61) for the explanation of how it works.

  80. 80
    KC says:

    I teach a Pre-K class and will be hosting Summer Enrichment soon, this will be a definite project, thanks for the inspiration!

  81. 81
    Momuv3princesses says:

    We are studying clouds and just did this whole experiment right down to making it into our own shapes! I wish I had a video camera for their reaction while watching the microwave! VERY cute!!!

  82. 82
    Denise says:

    brilliant….. i want to know the back story…. who first thought… hmmmm lets put soap in the micrwave lol

  83. 83
    Carolyn says:

    These soap clouds are really cool. I can’t wait to do this with my third grade class. After we press them into cookie cutters, they’ll make great Father’s day gifts!

  84. 84
    Susan says:

    my girls loved this! thanks :) they actually kept stirring with the left over until it made a gooey slop, it kept them busy for 20 minutes!!

  85. 85
    ann vangorder says:

    Totally radical dude I still cant believe its not butter!

  86. 86
    Sharon says:

    When I was attending Weight Watchers, my friend1 told me to come by her house. She had a birthday present for me to take to my meeting. When I got there, she had made me a cake with a figure in a bikini bathing suit! My first thought was that I could not take that to my meeting!! She started laughing and told me she had made it with Ivory snowflakes and had dyed them! I took it to my meeting!

  87. 87
    Rita B says:

    I will have FUN with this at the Senior Activity Center as we like to do lotsof fun and unsual things…thanks!

  88. 88
    Holly B says:

    This looks awesome! Can’t wait to see my grand-kids faces when we do this! Thanks for the video, I think I would be afraid to try it if I hadn’t first seen it done.

  89. 89
    Danielle says:

    I am SO doing this TODAY!!! Only like week 2 of summer break and the kiddo is already going bonkers lol! As I only have my one beautiful son as of yet, I’m loving being able to look up these awesome things to do with him! Glad I found you guys, so totally looking forward to SOAP CLOUDS!!! :D

  90. 90
    staci nuesmeyer says:

    Lol so your little one like ninjogo (spelling?) So is my little boy

  91. 91
    Debbe says:

    My ENTIRE family ove love loved this!!!!

  92. 92
    Julie says:

    You can also use koolaid instead of food coloring– and they smell great!! (the soaps and the kids!) didnt know about the microwave thing! definity going to do that with the kids I nanny! :) thanks for the idea!

  93. 93
    Patty says:

    This would totally make grating ivory soap for my laundry detergent SOOOOO much easier!!!! Thanks I really will try this~!

  94. 94
    Julie Ostler says:

    Ok, I asked my husband the Chemical Engineer about the soap. He said “the magnesium is reactive and the different sodiums are corrosive.” The different elements make them good for so many different science experiments. We can’t wait to try this experiment.

  95. 95
    Terresa Hamblin says:

    This is so cool! My kids are going to love it. Thanks for sharing your kitchen crafts.

    Oh and “the great devourer” is from the cartoon Lego Ninjago. My son watches this too.

  96. 96

    I wanted to let you know that I shared your site on an examiner.com article. I even enjoyed playing with the fluffy soap!!! Like other poster’s, I would have never thought to put a bar of soap in the microwave!
    Thank you!

  97. 97
    Carrie K. says:

    Can’t wait to try this with my boys! We have ALWAYS used Ivory! Thanks for such a wonderful activity!

  98. 98
    Priscila says:

    Hi! I just did this with my kids and it was a total disaster, they really want to do it so I wanted to know where I messed up. I put a regular bar of soap in the microwave over a paper towel and I had to take it out at 40 seconds because it started to smell like it was burning, so when I opened the microwave all the soap was brown and flat (burned)….is it supposed to be a special kind of soap, or different paper?
    Thank you

  99. 99
    Steffani says:

    This is a totally exciting project for me. We have a vacation rental business here in Guadeloupe. I wanted to make my own soap bars with specific colors and scents to leave for our clients. Now I can have fun making them in the microwave as well. Can’t believe I’m still learning new things everyday. Thank god for the internet! BTW, we do not have Ivory here in “France” but we do have an all natural soap called Savon de Marsaille. It works great and puffs up nice and white in the microwave. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  100. 100
    patti says:

    Looking forward to trying this! Maybe we can mold it into a giant snake and Cal it the great devoured with Lego ninjas battling it…….gotta love ninjago!

  101. 101
    Stix says:

    Has anyone in the UK managed to do this successfully? If so, which soap have you used? I see Imperial Leather won’t work, but Dove? Cussons Cream?
    My kids would love to do this!

  102. 102
    Lorraine says:

    I heard that Ivory is so light and floats because they whip it, less soap, more money, cost cut .
    Not sure how this would work with a reg/high density soap?

  103. 103
    Carrie says:

    This is awesome! My daughters (8 and 4) and I did this today and we all had a blast. We pressed our colored soaps into candy molds, they had SO much fun! :-) Can’t wait until they’re ready.

  104. 104
    Tigerwillys says:

    I would dearly love to know how to insert a “Pin It” button into my blog. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  105. 105
    jehan says:

    The great devourer = NinjaGo. My kids are obsessed :)

  106. 106
    Beth Z. Russell says:

    I’m suprised that no one has thought of soap on a rope for father’s day. Press it between two molds. Great for Dad and for the kids.

  107. 107
    Michelle says:

    Wish I’d read all the comments first :-( I bought Dove soap while out today without three kids in tow, so when I reread and saw it was Ivory, I didn’t realize it truly mattered. I was so excited to do this with my kids and it ended up burning and smoking up the entire house. :( I now see in the comments WHY Ivory is what HAS to be used. Is there a way to put that at the very top of the information for dingbats like me??? :-)

  108. 108
    Tansy Dolls says:

    Man, I love it when science and crafts come together! Thanks for the post!

  109. 109
    Lisa Woodcock says:

    Sara, my 7 year old and 5 year old and 2 year old had a BLAST doing this, and they are making the molded heart soaps as birthday presents for people. It was soooo fun!!! Thank you for letting us in on this cool activity!

  110. 110

    Ninjago… my sons love that show. In other news, I’m trying this today. Looks fun!

  111. 111
    glenda says:

    Love this idea and they can make there own soap very cool thanks

  112. 112
    Gretchen L. says:

    Omg I am 22 with no children and I can’t wait to do this!!!!

  113. 113
    leah b. says:

    i just wanted to know if this will ruin your microwave??
    thank you

  114. 114
    Rana says:

    We did LOVED this! The kids thought it was AWESOME! Just wondering WHO thought to put a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave to begin with! :)

  115. 115
    sam says:

    Wow do not use dove soap

  116. 116
    Patricia says:

    Just did this with my 8 year old son. It was awesome. Going to do it again later. Thanks

  117. 117
    slim paley says:

    One is NEVER too old to make a big mooshie mess in the microwave! Can’t wait.

  118. 118
    PJ says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m already drowning in housework, in kid messes, in never-ending chores and you’re talking about making “a big soapy mess” and using up half my baking utensils (which i’d have to wash by hand since we don’t have a dishwasher) & stuffing them with soap??? Come on!!! It must be a personality thing because while you & your readers regard this as a “fun day”, it would make me cry and collapse in a heap on the floor.

    • 118.1
      Kelly says:

      Kids, mess, laundry, cooking, chores. Gotcha. Getting out the food processor, cookie cutters and whatnot and then cleaning it all up is not my idea of “fun”. BUT, throwing a bar of soap in the microwave and watching it turn into a cloud with the kids is something I think sounds cool. So, I’m going to do this and send them outside with it and let them have at it while I clean the house! :)

    • 118.2
      Tina says:

      Unless each day can be looked back upon by an individual as one in which he has had some fun, some joy, some real satisfaction, that day is a loss.
      ~ Anon~

      YOU need to laugh and smile too!

      • Nana B says:

        AMEN!!! Laugh and enjoy the kids. Put the dishes, utensils in water, let them soak…. rinse them off… how big a job can that be? As a grandmother to 7, I know they grow up too quickly and I’ll miss the fun times, the laughter, and the hugs we’ve shared. This is what life is about. Don’t miss out on it! Thank God you have kids to share these fun times with.

    • 118.3
      Joy says:

      Take time to have fun while they are little. You will be surprised how fast the time flies. I will be doing this with my three college age kids tonight. We will see if any of them can guess what is going to happen to the soap in the microwave.

  119. 119
    jennie says:

    Oh man I knew I did something wrong lol. I left them in the cookie cutter shapes and tried to let them dry but it took forever. So I re-read how to do them and I didn’t read the part where you take them out of the cookie cutters then let them dry lol. Next time I will know. Thank you so much. My kids love doing this and it’s super easy!!

  120. 120
    jennie says:

    To “PJ” it lets kids be kids!! And have them wash the utensils after they are done. It comes off super easy. Trust me when I read it can get everywhere I was not to excited. But after doing it they had so much fun, yeah it gets every where but it’s so much fun. I have an 8, 7 and 4 year old.

    I tried it on safeguard big mistake it just burns the soap yuck!

  121. 121
    Kristin says:

    The quote is from Ninjgo (not that I can spell it).

    This project looks amazing and would make great gifts too….fun things to do at parties too!

    many hugs fellow “in the trenches Momma”!

  122. 122
    Missy says:

    I’m babysitting two pre-schoolers for the next two weeks. We willake our own bar soaps tomorrow! Btw…Fels Naptha can be softened in the microwave, cut into cubes, then run through the food processor to make your own detergent. I grated it once…no more. I make detergent with Fels Naptha and Ivory. Love them!

  123. 123
    Dziu says:

    Do you know if you can do this with Dove Soap too or only Ivory Soap?

    Thanks!

  124. 124
    Tisha says:

    I wonder if you saturated/soaked/colored the IVORY soap first with food coloring then microwaved it…would the cloud have a color tint to it. Hmmmmmmm….

  125. 125
    Julie says:

    My kids will love this! …and I get 10 points for knowing way too much about the great devourer.

  126. 126
    Marjorie says:

    I had a small piece of Jergens soap to break off the bar. I put the small piece in the microwave and it actually worked. I’ll have to remember to purchase Ivory soap the next time I need bar soap.

    ~ Marjorie ~

  127. 127
    Jen says:

    I can tell you how it works, it’s the same concept as popcorn. The reason that Ivory is the only soap that floats is because there is air inside of it. When you put the soap in the mic, the air expands and *poof*! Only unlike popcorn you can actually see it in action. What a fun idea. My kids will love this!

  128. 128
    Carolyn says:

    The Great Devourer – Ninjago!!! I have to hear about it all day long myself!! lol

  129. 129

    I use Dove soap and I know how strong the smell is. How long before you food stopped smelling or tasting like soap? I think this would be fun to try but am afraid it would leave a smell in my microwave.

  130. 130
    Cathy says:

    I did this today with my 3 grandsons ages 12, 7 & 5. They all LOVED it! Next we will make little soaps for gifts for their Mommies. Thanks for the quick, easy, super fun craft. I liked it as much as they did. I made them come over so I would have a good excuse to play.

  131. 131
    Mattie Lewis says:

    I read that Ivory soap floats because a worker left a mixing machine running while away at lunch. Extra mixing added air that caused the bars to float. Customers who got that batch were delighted, and future batches had air whipped into the soap. That probably has something to do with what happens to it in the microwave.

  132. 132
    Joey says:

    Just tried this- So cool! Going to do it again!

  133. 133
    Cathy says:

    Apparently my Ivory soap is too old?!?! Mine broke apart but didn’t increase in size and then it burned. I promise it’s plain old Ivory soap! Scouts honor… weird.

    • 133.1
      becca says:

      I came on here to comment that my Ivory soap was old too! And did the same thing. boo.

  134. 134
    willena says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! This was the most fun ever. My 5 daughters and the babysitter had a blast. Watching the microwave was an incredible sight the kiddos could not take their eyes off the magic.We will do this again and again. Thank you.

  135. 135
    Josie says:

    If you put food coloring, does the color run when they use the soap??

  136. 136
    Linda Ellingson says:

    This is “Camp Grandma,” week. Can’t wait to try this. Boy, will I be a hit! Thank You! 9 year olds can be hard to please at times. The other times they are absolutely wonderful.

  137. 137
    Catherine P says:

    Now I have to go to the store. Even my teenagers are wanting to do this at home :)

  138. 138
    Bonnie says:

    We tried this, and it did not work for us. We placed wax paper in the middle of the microwave, and put the bar of Ivory soap on it, put 3 minutes on the clock and pressed start. after about 1 minute, it bubbled a bit but then split into pieces, at 2m45s it started smoking. Maybe it is because we had popped popcorn the night before, and I didn’t bother wiping it down, because I figured the wax paper would provide a barrier. I suppose we might try it again another time, but so far no good.

    • 138.1
      Adriana says:

      The other commenters indicated at the beginning of thread that it had to be a New Ivory Soap bar. old dried up bars don’t have enough air left to bubble.

    • 138.2
      Carol says:

      The exact same thing happened to us. We used parchment paper which caught on fire after 2 minutes 45 seconds. Be careful.

  139. 139
    Lynn h says:

    Thank you for a maaaarvelous soap idea. My husband is going to Haiti on a mission trip and I was looking for an interesting this to do with soap for the orphanages he will visit. Along with sending boxes and boxes of clothes, I will be sending these fun soaps. Thanks again.

  140. 140
    Kat says:

    Clever, Clever, Clever! Tomorrow I’ll be spending some time with my daughter-in-law’s five year old sister (20 year age difference going on there) and I will be able to surprise, amaze and delight not only her, but my daughter-in-law and her mother!!! Thank you!!!! Now, I’m off to the store to buy some Ivory.

  141. 141
    Julie says:

    I am so going to have to try this with my kids. Every time I perform a random “magic act” they absolutely love it.

  142. 142
    Elaine C. says:

    Love this idea and I also want to use it for kids to make cloud formations. They could shape the clouds in the different types and even add some color where needed–it looks like fun and can’t wait to try it next year.

  143. 143
    Stix says:

    For those in the UK who can’t get Ivory soap-
    I tried this today with Morrisons savers soap (3 bars for 35p!) and although it didn’t fluff quite as much as the Ivory ones, it did work. It did start to steam a little bit, but no smoke or burning. My house smells soapy right now – it’s quite pleasant!
    I’ve also bought their own brand Pure soap to try too, but really happy with this savers version.

  144. 144
    Cindy says:

    Can’t wait to try this with my grandson. Hope he’s old enough to enjoy at 3 1/2yrs! If not, his mom and I will have a blast!

  145. 145
    mike says:

    “99.44%” Remember?

  146. 146
    Jesse says:

    I’m 25 years old and I can tell you this is an old VBS craft project for me. We would mild the soap buy instead of adding color we (with help from the craft leader) add a few drops of scented oil. I am glad I found your post cause I totally forgot about this craft until just now. Can’t wait to do this (well part of it) with my 20 month old son. Thank you do much. :)

  147. 147
    Cheryl says:

    First off, Ninjago! :) It’s late here, but I am going to do this in a few minutes. It’ll keep the kids happy before they go off to bed.

  148. 148
    Ruth Ann says:

    My Grandkids had a great time with the Ivory. I would recommend cutting the bar in half or quarters so it doesn’t rub all over the inside of the microwave.

  149. 149
    Barb says:

    Just tried this with a not quite new bar of Ivory. Don’t know why, but there was sparking in my microwave and the wax paper started to burn. We may try it with a new bar of soap……

  150. 150
    Pojoteach says:

    Can’t wait to try this with my grandkids!

  151. 151
    Dana says:

    How do you get the soaps out of the molds? Ours keep falling apart. Do we need to let them dry more or did we use too much water?

  152. 152
    Katherine says:

    Ninjago…I know you have already had this answered, but do I get points for knowing it immediately? lol. I am definately trying this with the kids. They will LOVE making little soap forms. Bonus that I can also use it for laundry soap! I will say, though, I have a hand crank cheese grater (Pamp Chef) that I use for grating the Fels Naptha soap, and it’s pretty easy that way. Another trick I learned to get the lumps out of the concentrate is to use an immersion blender. Fabulous!

  153. 153
    Jacqui says:

    Someone may have said this already, if so I apologize, but you can buy soap dye in lots of colors for cheap at Michaels. Food coloring is risky because of the stain potential should the kids drop the soap on a nice white towel, bathmat, or in the tile grout. Soap dye is washable and works great! Find it in the candle/soap making section.

  154. 154
    Rhonda Dittfurth says:

    Came across your blog on Pinterest, LOVED IT! I am always looking for new and different ways to show kids how Science and Engineering can be fun! I copied your link on our Engineering Outreach page and wanted to share the post with you. http://www.facebook.com/rhonda.b.dittfurth#!/pages/Engineering-OutreachCamp-Wtamu/184851071555914

  155. 155

    I love the video! It makes me feel like I’m not being pinterest punked. :) Can’t wait to try. Going out for some IVORY (!!!!) soap right now. Ellen

  156. 156
    Beth says:

    Tried this with a bunch of two year olds. Except they each had a bowl and a spoon a d I put a few drops of water in each bowl enough to make it thick. Added a few drops of food coloring and the kids had body wash to take home and take a bath in that evening. I LOVE this…

  157. 157
    Mandy says:

    I’ve done this before with church kids and they love it. As for the question of “Why Ivory?”… it has air pockets in it that allow expansion when heated in the microwave (similar to how a piece of popcorn pops). It’s also the reason Ivory floats while other soaps sink. :o)

  158. 158
    melissa says:

    this is cool for teaching about the weather. you can make clouds to hang in the class. anyhow, is it cool to the touch the second you take it out of the microwave or do I need to let it cool before taking it out?

  159. 159
    Jillian says:

    Seriously awesome! Thank you so much! I burst out laughing at the Ninjago reference. The hilariousness of kids:)

  160. 160
    jackie says:

    love the great devourer reference. planning ninjago birthday parties for both the boys as we speak :)

  161. 161
    nita baker says:

    WARNING: it almost burned my house house down. i only had it in there for 1 min 40 sec and it bursted into flames. scary

  162. 162

    This is an awesome idea! At first I was like hmm this looks like a disaster waiting to happen and then I read the whole article. Looks like FUN! Imagine you can make little soap gifts for people! :) Thanks for sharing!!!

  163. 163
    Jo says:

    For New Zealanders, this worked for me with a leftover bar of Palmolive that had been recently used, so not too dried out.

    • 163.1
      Robin says:

      Cool! I didn’t expect to see a comment from another Kiwi. I’ll try it with Palmolive. I was considering making a trip to the American store (in Auckland) to see if they had any Ivory in stock. Thanks for the tip!

    • 163.2
      Trace says:

      Thanks! Was scrolling thru wondering if there might be hints for kiwis on what works for us but expected not to find anything. You’ve made my day :)

  164. 164
    Denise Baddeley says:

    This is so neat. You could use this as an activity for science! Awesome!

  165. 165
    Heather says:

    I’m thinking if you are worried about food coloring staining you could use washable watercolor for coloring it…I may have to experiment…lol

  166. 166
    TheGoodFairy says:

    This sounded so amazing that I sent it off to all my nieces with kids. First report from Lauren, who said tbey did it twice today, and then made piggy soaps. Can’t wait to get some Ivory, and let my little girl try it. She’ll love it. She’s almost 19. ;-) Thanks for the fabulous trick.
    Oh, the secret to Ivory soap floating (which is what makes it unique, and probably what makes this possible, is that is it overly whipped. The person who made that first special batch whipped it too much, and aerated it. Have you tried other soaps? Now I’m askeered to try that!

  167. 167
    Pam Chewning says:

    I love this. As a Grandmother I love to have projects, keeps them busy and out of trouble. One question. Does the food coloring come off on your skin when you use the soap? I quess what I’m asking is will it stain? Thanks

  168. 168
    Lisa says:

    Thank you for this amazing post. I found this on pinterest and decided to do it with my kids. Our little soaps didn’t turn out as well as yours did, though. Here are some pictures: http://www.teachingsmartypants.com/2012/08/14/best-of-pinterest-colorful-flowers-exploding-soap-rainbow-milk-and-domino-parking/

  169. 169
    Cheryl Austin says:

    I think the Ivory soap does this because of how it is made– it’s whipped longer to add air. Remember the old ads. It floats. I always got a kick out of how it was originally made. It was an accident! lol! Worker fell asleep and whipped it WAY too long… lots of air in the mix.

  170. 170
    Janelle says:

    Awesome idea!!! And we watched the great devourer today lol!!!

  171. 171

    That is so cool. Going to have to try it. BTW isn’t that a reference to Lego Ninjago? My kids love that show. lol

  172. 172
    Dewah Smith says:

    I can’t wait to try this with my 6 yr old! Ivory is going on this weeks grocery list.
    I’m so glad to see I’m not the only Mom who watches NINJAGO with her son! I have to say I wanted to cry this week when Lloyd grew up in a flash! I did however have to explain to my 6 yr old what a hemeroid was when Lloyd was called “Lloyd the Hemeroid Garmadon” That name must have directed at moms since some mom’s probably feel that way somedays about their little darlings : )

  173. 173
    Lee says:

    I see little “stocking stuffer” type gifts in the near future. Cute idea!

  174. 174
    Erin says:

    This is neat! We used to do this as children at Christmas. Blend it with water until it is sticky, and then use the mixture to “paint” the limbs of a real tree. It dries hard and looks like real snow on the branches! This is so fun!

  175. 175
    Melissa Boyce says:

    Your kids are saying, I see something happening, I see something happening, it’s growing, it’s growing. It’s the great devourer too cute and cool craft

  176. 176
    Tammy says:

    the great devourer. Obviously your child watches Lego Ninjago. :-) Love the idea will be trying it tomorrow. thank you

  177. 177
    Charlotte says:

    I used this experiment when I was a high school teacher. To find the science behind it you can go to http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/soap-souffle. Thanks for teaching me that I can do other things with the soap after the experiment. I feel bad now because I always threw the soap away. I teach elementary school and I probably will do this experiment with them sometime this year. It would make cute Mother’s day or Christmas gifts.

  178. 178
    Alyssa says:

    So cool! I’m going to try this with my 3 year old soon! Also, I laughed out loud at the Ninjago reference! We are big fans in this house! Thanks for the idea…can’t wait to do it !

  179. 179
    Anngela says:

    I found out tonight that a fresh bar of Ivory. I had a bar that was about 3 years old in the linen closet. I tried it in the microwave. It split apart and looked neat but didn’t turn to fluff. I’m definitely going to try again!

  180. 180

    I figure that experiments tend to use Ivory as it’s a plain, basic soap with not many added ingredients. It’s also readily available and easy to recognise. As far as I’m aware Elmer’s glue is just plain PVA so it’s being recommended for the same reasons as Ivory. In the UK we have neither brand so if I have a go at making soap clouds I’ll try a very plain, basic soap.

  181. 181
    Katrina says:

    First I must say that your son is awesome! He is talking about a scene in Lego ninjago where the great Devourer is unleased and he busts out from underground! So cute! And second this is amazing I keep seeing the same things over and over for kid activities and this is something i have never seen and by far the most fun! I mean who cares if they make a mess it is soap!! I am so in love with this I thank you so much for sharing it.

  182. 182
    Johnetta Dawson says:

    This is really neat. I will have to try it with my kids.

  183. 183
    Becky says:

    I will have to try this. I am surprised that people today would not have a microwave. I dont think there is a day goes by that we don’t use ours. I will use the old one we have in our shop. Does it smell like soap after you do this? Neat idea for a rainy day.

  184. 184
    Linda Knelsen says:

    When my son was younger he so enjoyed doing this project simply useing marshmallows and eating them once cooled, they are actually fun to eat that way. Our church does the Christmas Boxes to send overseas to the children in poor countries and because Ivory Soap Bars are so gifted enough that they float, I always send them in the gift boxes for the children who receive them simply because we do not know there cleansing accomodations so if there washing in a river or stream they can’t loose there soaps. We have always also sent the plastic storage containers for the children to store there soap bars in. Such fun bar of soap and for so many helpful and fun reasons…enjoy.

  185. 185
    frances says:

    sure looks fun i will have to give it a try this adult has an inner child
    locked inside her thanks for the cute idea. Frances Bowman

  186. 186
    Cheri says:

    This is SO cool! I am going to try it out sometime!

  187. 187
    Vanessa W. says:

    I’m a couponer & Ivory soap is always on sale @ Target for $1.18 for a 3/pk (of course I use my q’s to get it extra cheap) but even if u don’t have coupons its still a cheap soap to experiment. I just tried it & its too cool. I kept microwaving with the little pieces & they still grew extremely large. Great project for kids of all ages!

  188. 188
    becca says:

    I pinned this tutorial for cub scouts, and decided to try it out ahead of time. I used an old bar of Ivory that the cubs had previously used to practice widdling… and it puffed up a little, then burnt. So, in case you were wondering, Im guessing you should open a fresh bar. Will have to pick up some fresh soap and try again.

    • 188.1
      Valerie says:

      Mine did the same thing, and it was fresh out of the package…hum, wonder why it didn’t work?

  189. 189
    Kari Bailey says:

    This was awesome. Definately going to try it!! Oh, and for the bonus points…both of mine LOVE Ninjago too. I can’t wait for them to make the same reference!!

  190. 190
    andrea.thom2@gmail.com says:

    Hi there all you overseas people…. please could someone in the UK or Australia comment on the soap that they used… we do not have your kind of soap in south Africa. Dove, Palmolice, Lux, ????????

  191. 191
    Valerie says:

    Hi! I tried this with Ivory soap and all mine did was puff up in the center and then start turning brown and smelling burnt. I used Ivory Pure, does that make a difference? My boys were so bummed it didn’t work, please help!

  192. 192
    Chantel says:

    Oh Ninjago….so many great lines in those shows. All of my kids love that show. Anyways, great idea. I will have to do this soon. Looks like I will be going off to the store to buy me some Ivory soap!!!

  193. 193
    connie says:

    This was a super fun experiment BUT it did make a mess in my microwave!! Maybe my microwave was smaller than yours, BUT once again, we all had a blast. When my grandkids got thru with their project, each one got in the tub and took a bath with their own soap. We will defintitely do this again. By the way, you were right about little hands liking to crush the soap. My middle one acted like it was SNOW and I really had a mess to clean up . It was still worth every second of cleaning up!!!! FUN FUN FUN

  194. 194
    courtney says:

    is the great devourer from the Never Ending Story?

  195. 195
    Presley says:

    Lever 2000 soap works, too!! It might not get the full size of Ivory, but it still puffs out!!

  196. 196
    elizabeth says:

    A fun science experiment and a Ninjago reference, my son was SOLD!!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  197. 197
    Glenna says:

    did this with my grandkids. by the time I did three bars, i have lots of it still stuck to the sides of my microwave. any ideas on how to get it all off?? by the way, they enjoyed playing in it.

  198. 198
    Geraldine says:

    When visiting the Soap Factory in Hawaii the tour guide told us that what we call ‘soap’ is actually not soap. I checked and indeed most all bar ‘soaps’ actually say ‘beauty bar’ or something similar. They are made from petroleum byproducts and are chemically different from soap. Ivory soap is based on animal fat and is not a petroleum byproduct.

    I could not find any documentation for this but it seems reasonable to me.

    Thanks for sharing such a fun thing to do with IVORY soap! It’s good to teach kids basic sculpture as well. Carves up nicely. 8^)

  199. 199
    Tina says:

    To heck with the kids….mine are 27 and 31…and no grandkids yet, but I wanna play all by myself with this! :)

  200. 200

    Loved this idea. Found you on Pinterest and am now a follower.

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