Imploding a Plastic Bottle





Introduction: Imploding a Plastic Bottle

Thanks to the two can crushing implosion instructables here, I've decided to post my own version. The best bottles to use are those with a thick or heavy wall. Two liter soft drink bottles are the worst kind, as are milk bottles. Gatorade or orange juice bottles work great.

A YouTube video (without sound) shows the process:

Step 1: Select a Bottle, Add Water

I prefer clear bottles, so you can see the water boiling, but it's not required.

Add a couple ounces of water to the bottle and place it in the microwave oven, without the cap! Put the cap nearby so you can get to it quickly.

Set the oven to full power, timer for three or four minutes.

Step 2: Grab It and Cap It

When the water in the bottle can be seen boiling, or when the glass fogs over from all the steam, open the door and put the top on quickly. Use gloves, as the steam will burn you badly. If you have a turntable, time the door opening so the bottle top is at the door.

Step 3: Air Pressure Does the Rest

The bottle will begin to collapse almost immediately. You can speed things up by running cool water over the bottle. Plunging the bottle in a big bowl of ice and water will really speed things up.



    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    any plastic bottle would will work as long as you can make a firm air-tight seal with the cap. At first the steam pressure will try to force the cap off, but a few moments of cooling and it will try to pull it tighter.

    No metal in a microwave!

    On a sort of related note, you can also implode a bottle like this: Put an uncapped bottle in front of a heating vent for about 5 minutes while you assemble the rest. Take two bottles of vodka (or other high alchohol) out of the freezer and pour them into a bucket. Cap the warm bottle and plunge it into the subfreezing votka and watch.

    3 replies

    I don't drink any alcoholic beverages, but I'd be willing to bet that anyone with two bottles of vodka would not be willing to pour them in a bucket! (grin) Perhaps some other similar compound of less value?

    What about Methalated Sprits??

    That would be good enough. You could also use rubbing alcohol and then reuse it as fuel.

    Have you seen the trick of putting dry ice & water in a pop bottle ,now that is crazy sounds like a shot gun going of ! ( I watched a lot of them on you tube when I get bored ) but there are people who put toilet bowl cleaner and tin foil or something similar I am not sure why they do it but it is amaze what people will do when they have no idea how dangerous thing can get !!!!

    Cool. You might want to keep the bottle on a turn table so it does not super heat.

    4 replies

    It might be difficult to see in the video, but the bottle is on a turntable in our microwave. Because the microwaves are heating the water, and water evenly distributes the heat, I don't think it's all that critical. I do understand that pure water will superheat when in a microwave oven, which is extremely dangerous.

    Yeah. Try this. Take some tap water. Put it in a glass. Heat it up in the microwave and as you do this you are making it pure. It will super heat! Drop something in it a tooth pick and it will boil all at once. It is really cool!

    Should I be wearing protective gear? (big grin) I saw a video of someone doing this steam/collapse on a 55 gallon drum and he was wearing a full face lexan shield, which might have been a bit over the edge. Will I be rewarded with a steam explosion? I appreciate the words of caution and will add a comment to that effect in the YouTube posting.

    Yeah, definitely. It will makes a big steam hot bubbles. Crazy! If I were you I would were a full face shield. Maybe a hasmat suit. JK :)

    Hahahahaha, awesome! I'm gonna try this, I always have these bottles. But usually we recycle them... oh well, I'll try it anyways. Nice job!

    1 reply

    We recycle them too, but when collapsed, they take up less space in the recycle bin too!