aluminum foil and bathroom cleaner, can the mixture be explosive

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Offline i am bored

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true
« Last Edit: 09/08/2007 02:03:23 by Nic_525 »
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Offline i am bored

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i would try this myself but i don't want to destroy my yard theres no place where i can do an experiment in an controlled environment
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paul.fr

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I have never tried this, but will have a stab at what the answer could be.
I am guessing that the cleaner involved contains a fair percentage of hydrochloric acid, and it is this that causes the explosion.

I also think you will get more of a loud bang than an explosion, i bet $10 there is a video on youtube...

but don't take my word for it, others will, i'm sure have a better answer for you.

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Offline eric l

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I checked the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for aluminium (e.g. http://www.falconbridge.com/documents/msds/Norandal_Salisbury_Al_Foil.pdf.)  Nothing alarming. 
Aluminium does react exothermically with halogens.  I would suspect hypochlorite (bleach) rather than hydrochloric acid.
"Wonder is no wonder" (Simon Stevin 1548-1620)

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Offline Bored chemist

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Aluminium is unusual in the it reacts with both acids (commonly used as limescale removers) and with strong alkalies (used as drain cleaners) to produce hydrogen.
Obviously the merit of having an explosion throwing corrosive liquids around the place is limited.
BTW, here's the inevitable youtube video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06X8AMveYbY
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Sci4life

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get draino or caustic soda (NaOH) and mix it with aluminum balls and water in a bottle, put on the lid shake it and stand back.

The alkaline reacts vigourusly with the aluminum to relase hydrogen and once in a bottle the pressure will blow it up - havent tried putting it near a fire thou....



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Offline i am bored

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you sound like you have experience in homemade bombs
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Offline Sci4life

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I like to refer to it as homemade pyrotechnics :) but yes a bomb everynow and then is fun - who doesnt like destruction :D

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Offline i am bored

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i like this guy
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Offline RD

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true

Mixing bathroom cleaners can result in the production of chlorine gas

Quote
The first killing agent employed by the German military was chlorine. German chemical companies BASF, Hoechst and Bayer (which formed the IG Farben conglomerate in 1925) had been producing chlorine as a by-product of their dye manufacturing.[4] In cooperation with Fritz Haber of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin, they began developing methods of discharging chlorine gas against enemy trenches.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_gas_in_World_War_I


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Offline i am bored

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true

Mixing bathroom cleaners can result in the production of chlorine gas

Quote
The first killing agent employed by the German military was chlorine. German chemical companies BASF, Hoechst and Bayer (which formed the IG Farben conglomerate in 1925) had been producing chlorine as a by-product of their dye manufacturing.[4] In cooperation with Fritz Haber of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin, they began developing methods of discharging chlorine gas against enemy trenches.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_gas_in_World_War_I


i wasnt talking about mixing the chimicals thats dangerous. i was just naming chemicals that it might work with
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Offline Carolyn

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i would try this myself but i don't want to destroy my yard theres no place where i can do an experiment in an controlled environment

Thank you Nic...your mother greatly appreciates this!



Especially since you've already caught the house on fire once!!!
Carolyn

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Offline i am bored

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 [;D]muhahahahaha! [;D]not my fault you gave birth to a pyro lol
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Offline telesound

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I blew myself and my bedroom up making hydrogen from aluminium foil and caustic soda in a chemistry set glass conical flask gas production apparatus.
It was producing hydrogen much better than zinc and HCl going through a water trap.
I decided to light the end of the exit tube and next thing I knew was that my ears were ringing and the room was covered in bits of glass and caustic soda.
Amazingly, non of it went in my eyes. (in those days, we did not use safety glasses)

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Offline i am bored

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woah
I blew myself and my bedroom up making hydrogen from aluminium foil and caustic soda in a chemistry set glass conical flask gas production apparatus.
It was producing hydrogen much better than zinc and HCl going through a water trap.
I decided to light the end of the exit tube and next thing I knew was that my ears were ringing and the room was covered in bits of glass and caustic soda.
Amazingly, non of it went in my eyes. (in those days, we did not use safety glasses)
if the pen is mightier than the sword then imagine how powerfull the printer is

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Offline telesound

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Hi Nic, yes, aluminium foil and sodium hydroxide solution is extremely good at producing hydrogen .
I suppose you have to light the hydrogen for it to be truly explosive but in a sealed glass container it probably would have enough pressure to shatter the container.
Calcium carbide and water is probably a better route if you want a pressure explosion or spontaneous ignition and explosion of the acetylene produced.
I remember seeing instructions for making a small depth charge with it.
Sodium metal and water is even better. Throw some down the sink drain in the chem lab and watch all the waste water blow out of all the other sinks.
Have you ever made ammonium tri-iodide? Thats good fun.
I made chlorine from bleach and something else once(? potassium permangenate?), nearly killed me when I took a good deep breath of it. Real nasty stuff.
Happy days !


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Offline Carolyn

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Uhm.....


NIC - PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!!!!!
Carolyn

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Offline i am bored

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oh darn
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Offline telesound

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Oops sorry Nic.
Anyway, have you ever tried making Nitroglycerine? Quite easy really.

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Offline i am bored

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no how do you do it
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Offline lightarrow

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Oops sorry Nic.
Anyway, have you ever tried making Nitroglycerine? Quite easy really.
No, not easy at all. Only expert chemists can do it. Please, try not to write this kind of stupid things.

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Offline i am bored

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o well
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Offline telesound

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Sorry Nic, better not tell you anymore 'cos its upsetting people.
Anyway, there are loads of "how to" sites if you really want to know.
Chemistry used to be fun but its too serious now.

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another_someone

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascanio_Sobrero
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Ascanio Sobrero (October 12, 1812 – May 26, 1888), was the Italian chemist, born in Casale Monferrato, who discovered nitroglycerin in 1847 while working under Théophile-Jules Pelouze at the University of Torino, who had worked with the explosive material guncotton.

He studied medicine in Turino and Paris and than chemistry at the University of Gießen with Justus Liebig, being awarded with the phd in 1832. In 1845 he became professor at the University of Torino

He initially called his discovery "pyroglycerin", and warned vigorously against its use in his private letters and in a journal article, stating that it was extremely dangerous and impossible to handle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Oskar_Nobel
Quote
As said from a documentary about Alfred Nobel, aired on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel, the explosion was caused by Alfred's nitro-glycerine.

Making it is one thing, staying alive is another.
« Last Edit: 28/08/2007 00:18:22 by another_someone »

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Offline Carolyn

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Thanks Alberto & George!

Sorry Nic, better not tell you anymore 'cos its upsetting people.
Anyway, there are loads of "how to" sites if you really want to know.
Chemistry used to be fun but its too serious now.

I hope that chemistry is still fun for you and for Nic...but it should also be taken seriously.

I hope you stick around here and continue to contribute, however you should be careful with the information you post. 

Encouraging anyone, and in this instance, a 14 year old kid to go to a "how to" site to make something explosive that could injure or even kill, and possibly destroy their home is NOT a responsible or wise thing to do.
Carolyn

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Offline telesound

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Like I said, Chemistry used to be fun.
Our Grammar school Chemistry teacher inspired us to enjoy science by doing wacky stuff and even he blew the school lab up several times.
The real thing teaches you to be careful better than any book.
I still have all my fingers and eyes because of that.
Never lose your curiosity Nic  but lets be careful out there.

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another_someone

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Like I said, Chemistry used to be fun.
Our Grammar school Chemistry teacher inspired us to enjoy science by doing wacky stuff and even he blew the school lab up several times.
The real thing teaches you to be careful better than any book.
I still have all my fingers and eyes because of that.
Never lose your curiosity Nic  but lets be careful out there.

I agree, but the important thing is that you had someone there to give you advice about safety rather than just leaving you to do it all on your own, and find out the hard way.

In any event, I'm not sure it is now that easy for a layman to get hold of the concentrated acids you need to make nitrate based explosives (too many people would like to make explosives for purposes more malign than merely curiosity - like blowing up underground trains).

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Offline telesound

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Apart from our slightly bonkers Chemistry teacher, I had no advice about safety from anyone.
My dad worked at a place where he knew people who worked in the R and D labs and they freely gave him him materials and equipment to encourage his young son in Chemistry .
I had the best chemistry set in the country!
I am not saying that young people should pursue a "Jackass" approach to being blown up to see what it feels like.
I learnt by my mistakes and developed a special sense of when what I was doing was dangerous which I could not have achieved by books.
It has stood me in good stead in laboratory jobs and in my own present business of electronic design. Electricity hurts and components can explode.
I don't want young people to get hurt but I am also not a fan of the nanny state where kids are frightened of and protected from everything.
The best teacher is experience, pain and personal achievement.
Most great discoveries were by someone saying "I wonder what would happen if......" ,  not lets just repeat what is in the book.
Just a quick note about safety, one of my more nerdy,less cool hobbies was stamp collecting and the standard technique for seeing watermarks was immersing the stamp in benzene.
Benzene fumes have now been found to be extremely carcinogenic so actually stamp collecting has turned out to be pretty dangerous and I might die of cancer in later life!
Blowing myself up with my chemistry set looks pretty safe compared to that.
As for getting hold of nitrate based materials, farms are a good and easy source. Never seemed to be much of a problem for the IRA.
Various industrial processes use strong acids so thats no problem either..
Anyway, if I were a techno-terrorist I would go the nerve gas or biological route.
Plague, anthrax or ebola make explosions look amateur.
And with virtually all our fighting forces committed abroad,(some say the government should be committed instead)  we are defenceless.
 Sorry, getting a bit cynical in my old age.

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Offline lightarrow

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Apart from our slightly bonkers Chemistry teacher, I had no advice about safety from anyone.
My dad worked at a place where he knew people who worked in the R and D labs and they freely gave him him materials and equipment to encourage his young son in Chemistry .
I had the best chemistry set in the country!
I am not saying that young people should pursue a "Jackass" approach to being blown up to see what it feels like.
I learnt by my mistakes and developed a special sense of when what I was doing was dangerous which I could not have achieved by books.
It has stood me in good stead in laboratory jobs and in my own present business of electronic design. Electricity hurts and components can explode.
I don't want young people to get hurt but I am also not a fan of the nanny state where kids are frightened of and protected from everything.
The best teacher is experience, pain and personal achievement.
Most great discoveries were by someone saying "I wonder what would happen if......" ,  not lets just repeat what is in the book.
Just a quick note about safety, one of my more nerdy,less cool hobbies was stamp collecting and the standard technique for seeing watermarks was immersing the stamp in benzene.
Benzene fumes have now been found to be extremely carcinogenic so actually stamp collecting has turned out to be pretty dangerous and I might die of cancer in later life!
Blowing myself up with my chemistry set looks pretty safe compared to that.
As for getting hold of nitrate based materials, farms are a good and easy source. Never seemed to be much of a problem for the IRA.
Various industrial processes use strong acids so thats no problem either..
Anyway, if I were a techno-terrorist I would go the nerve gas or biological route.
Plague, anthrax or ebola make explosions look amateur.
And with virtually all our fighting forces committed abroad,(some say the government should be committed instead)  we are defenceless.
 Sorry, getting a bit cynical in my old age.
To get concentrated acids is a thing, to get concentrated acids with enough purity is another. Purity, Exact control of temperature in every moment, purification of the products from acids immediately after the reaction and many other things are required; substances like that can go off For no reason at all. What kind of experiment can you do in such conditions?

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another_someone

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I do agree that experience is the best teacher, but it has to be done in a step by step way, where you have some degree of unknown and a great deal of already known to guide you by.

I too do not like the nanny state, and I don't say that I am pleased about all the things one cannot obtain any longer (even getting simple nitrates, or concentrated hydrogen peroxide, can lead you into trouble); but at the same time, I do think when people start messing with this kind of stuff (not the simple nitrates, but concentrated acids), they should find a mentor that can provide some guidance (even if you did not think much of your school teacher, I'm sure your father did give you some guidance, at least until he was happy to think you could be left on your own to try things).

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Offline rosalind dna

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Ever heard of Elbow grease, I have and no chemicals needed.

LOL LOL LOL
Rosalind Franklin was my first cousin and one my life's main regrets is that I never met this brilliant and beautiful lady.
She discovered the Single DNA Helix in 1953, then it was taken by Wilkins without her knowledge or agreeement.

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lyner

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The people who these 'nanny' rules protect are not 'us'. 'We' are responsible enough not to blow ourselves up or ruin our lungs. It's the 'others' who need protection.
?

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Offline shockwavemikey65

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true
I know foil and draino will explode!

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Offline lightarrow

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true
I know foil and draino will explode!

But the same if you, e.g., mix vinegar and marble powder (calcium carbonate) or lemon juice and baking soda, ecc. ecc. and close the container. Do you really have to think to such strange things as Al and draino?

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Offline Lab Rat

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get draino or caustic soda (NaOH) and mix it with aluminum balls and water in a bottle, put on the lid shake it and stand back.
I have always been one for controlled combustion reactions and explosions for demonstrations/experiments, but...

I, personally, would strongly discourage taking the time to stand there and shake a bottle that will explode in a short amount of time.  Instead, this time should be used to get as far from the bottle as possible to avoid severe or permanent damage to the eyes, especially, and the rest of your body caused by flying droplets of corrosive chemicals and pieces of plastic that have now been turned into projectiles.

I have read on the Internet where a lady somewhere lost an eye (I think) and had severe damage done to her face because she was not far enough away from a dry ice bomb when it exploded.  May have been same story, can't remember, but a person was severely injured when they shook a dry ice bomb and it blew up while they were still holding it.  (Sure dry ice bombs aren't the same as what is discussed here, but this could be considered even more dangerous because you have the added danger of flying corrosive chemicals besides the force of the blast.)

So basically, I suggest not to try this unless you know what you are doing and/or have a very large area, away from people, structures, etc., to utilize to do this experiment.  Please excuse me if this article seems a bit overprotective and long-just don't want someone who doesn't know what they are getting into being injured by this experiment.
« Last Edit: 28/11/2012 21:20:35 by Lab Rat »

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Offline SorryDnoodle

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While all of these suggestions are fine, perhaps except nitroglycerin, which you probably should't try out in your kitchen, due to it exploding just by looking at it the wrong way I will suggest Flash powders

Flash powders are the following: Dry, stable, and leave very low amounts of residual "Stuffery" behind to clean up, blowing up a bottle filled with Sodium hydroxide is probably a pretty bad idea, as it is very toxic and will kill you if ingested, or blind you if you get it in your eye.

The only downside is that the ingredients you need aren't really found at your local mall, well some of it may be depending on where you live.

Potassium Nitrate, Sulfur and Magnesium powder, mix that together at pretty much any ratio and you've got your self a pretty explosion, I did this a little while back and uploaded it to video anyone interested in watching.

I didn't record any ratios because I was simply experimenting on my own, but it was 92 grams if my memory serves.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy2RYmn7CYE

Happy cheming, but seriously, be careful and use long ignition cords, this stuff will kill you or maim you badly if done wrong, this cannot be said enough time.
I crapped my pants when I found out this little bomb by mistake the first time.