Vinegar + Baking Soda Grenade


Introduction: Vinegar + Baking Soda Grenade

Hi, this is my first instructable, but hopefully a reasonable one. In this guide I will show you how to make a Grenade out of vinegar, baking soda, some foil, a steel nut, some tape, and finally a pair of film canisters.

Part of the criteria for my project was that my 'Grenade' had to be transportable, rather than the more traditional rockets which started the reaction by being inverted. I wanted mine to be able to be inverted, and even lightly shaken (not too hard though).

It is important to note that the person weilding a chainsaw-bayonet in my profile picture is not me!

Step 1: Step One - Acquiring the Materials

For this instructable you will need the following items:
Some vinegar (enough to half fill 1 canister, but more if you intend to repeat)
Some baking Soda, ie bicarbonate of soda (again, enough to half fill 1 canister)
Some ordinary kitchen aluminium foil - about 2 square inches per grenade
Some tape - you will need something strong enough to make a decent seal, I used something resembling insulation tape from my dad's workshop
Something heavy and uneven - I used a steel nut
A pair of standard film canisters - I got mine from a photography centre down the road

Step 2: Step 2 - Building the Grenade

Take the two canisters and make sure they are reasonably clean, especially the outside near the lid. Fill one to about halfway with vinegar, and drop the nut in. Take the other, and fill about a quarter of it with the baking soda.

Step 3: Step 3 - Creating the 'cap'

Now place the foil over the canister containing the baking soda, and trim so there is about a 1/4 of an inch all around the rim. Fold this edge over the rim of the canister.

Step 4: Step 4 - Sealing the Two Halves

Now, holding the foil on with your fingers, invert the baking soda capsule, and place it perfectly over the one containing vinegar. Once you are happy that they are lined up nicely, place the insulation tape (about enough to go around one and a quarter times) around the two halves. I find that you need to stretch the tape as you lay it on the canisters, but just make sure that it looks nice and smooth, not crinkled. This is the most crucial stage, as if you do not properly seal your canisters, you will not end up with a grenade, but a disappointing hissing sound.

Step 5: Using the Grenade

Finally you are ready to use your new grenade. Go somewhere that you will not upset your neighbours (like, for instance their front lawn. At 3 o'clock in the morning.) Then shake your grenade so that the seal is completely broken, not just ruptured. Then, once your are sure the reaction has started, throw it - quickly. I have had a few of these explode in my hand, and, contrary to popular belief, it isn't a pleasant experience. If you have built it correctly, the two halves should fly apart with a satisfying bang, rather scarily for someone nearby.

I hope that you have enjoyed making, and using, your grenade, and that you will make many more in the future.

<(-.-)> Cheezy Monkey

Please note: The video taken by my camera is not of a very good quality, and it does explode with a large bang.



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    This is a great idea. I really like how you can use it on-demand without any special preparation. A few things though

    -It is pretty hard to find film canisters anymore around where I live, do you have any suggestions for a substitute?

    -Does the nut fly out when the grenade explodes? if so, that is a dangerous peice of shrapnel.

    -If you put Airsoft BB's in the canisters along with the ingredients, will they fragment outwards?

    I really like this grenade idea, and would like to see it in action.

    2 replies

    Thanks for the comment. I live in New Zealand, and I visit my local photography centre, Donlad Buckley Photographics, to buy a few old canisters every now and again.

    As for a substitute, I can't really think of anything else, but whatever you use, it needs to be light and have enough foil area to be broken quickly. Another factor to consider is the "fuse", ie the available volume inside the grenade (the bigger it is, the more gas will be required to rip the tape, and the longer it will take, bearing in mind that the more gas can fit inside the grenade, the weaker it will be) Really you just need anything that will hold enough of the ingredients for it to explode.

    The nut seldom goes anywhere very far, and certainly not very fast, so it's not really a hazard in my opinion.

    I love the idea about the BB's. but you have to remember that the explosion ruptures the tape, and sends the two cansiters away from each other, rather than the canisters actually exploding into pieces or something like that. I think the most important thing is the proportions of ingredients, as it took me a good couple hours to find the right mixture to make it even rupture the tape, so attempting to have spare energy to fire BB's may require some experiment. That said, you may find that if you can time the explosion correctly, by it exploding in midair, you may find that the BB's would scatter everywhere...

    I am too busy with school work at the moment to be able to test this extensively, and have probably spent a bit too long writing this =p, but I really think that you should try it yourself, or atleast send another comment in a week or two, just to remind me about it. Again, I'm sorry that I can't think of anything to use instead of canisters.

    Thanks again for the interest.

    Cheezy Monkey

    Ps, could you get the movie to work? I'm pretty terrible with the media side of computers.

    the movie worked fine, if a bit slow, which was the fault of my internet, not your linkage skills.

    i like the idea of this grenade, and if i get some film canisters, i will definitely try this!