Acetone and Styrofoam!

About: I'm a musician, maker, wannabe YouTuber, introvert, and above all a crazy cat guy.

Hi guys! I hope you enjoy this science experiment.

You need:
-A metal or glass container

Safety advisory:

Acetone fumes are flammable. Only do this in a well-ventialted area. Always wear safety glasses, and wash your hands well after handling acetone.

Have fun!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Metal Contest

      Metal Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge

    24 Discussions

    WOW, here in Argentina it is on the contrary. Acetone is named "drug precursor" and then its market is controlled. You must declare the use you will make of it when buying.

    By the way, the solution styrofoam-gasoline does not serve as adhesive. What is the case with styrofoam-acetone?


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I used to make a mixture that was nice and gooey, and I could spread it on things to repair them. One great example was I used it to repair cracked speaker cones. It also worked on some of the speakers' surround, but typically had better result if it was a cloth mesh type surround rather than a foam type or a rubber type. After spreading it on a speaker cone crack, just let it dry, and it was quite stiff, but still light weight.

    Later, I had a bunch of it mixed up and forgot about it. A week or so later, I remembered. All that was left was this amazingly hard semi-transparent circular block about 5/8" thick. I never had a reason to keep it, but I still have it.

    I did notice that some types of foam didn't melt as well as others.

    That's interesting. Here in the U.S., I got acetone from my local Walmart for 6 dollars over the counter. Why is it so hard to get in Argentina?

    kymyst told me that a styrofoam-acetone soluion works as a cement for PVC. I'll have to try it sometime, because that actually sounds useful. :)

    Well technically speaking anything that is a gelled Incendiary... The first Naplam was Actually made up of Naphthenic Acid and Palmitate, hence it's name. But more commonly now napalm is made with petroluem products like Gasoline...

    Good instructable BTW!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I seem to recall reading, many years ago, about a doctor who did something similar with discarded pudding cups and either acetone or tolulene (can't remember which)... he used this mixture to cast prosthetic limbs and was using this method to bring prosthetics to third-world countries.

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Either acetone or toluene will dissolve styrofoam, but acetone is non-toxic. Gasoline will also work.