Cleaning your glassware. Ethanol is ignited in a beaker, which significantly heats up the air inside of it. As soon as the beaker is submerged into the water bath, the air cools down, and a partial vacuum begins to form, which sucks the water inside of it!


Cleaning your glassware. Ethanol is ignited in a beaker, which significantly heats up the air inside of it. As soon as the beaker is submerged into the water tub, the air cools down, and a partial vacuum begins to kind, which sucks the water inside of it!


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12 Comments

  1. Also as ethanol burns into water vapor and CO2, it displaces air and then as the cold water cools it down most of the water vapor condenses, adding to the effect.

    You can do a similar effect with ammonia or hydrogen chloride gas. These are super soluble in water, so it you fill a flask with one, flip it upside down and dip it in water, all of the gas will dissolve into the water and the resulting vacuum will draw up the water. As an added bonus, these will change the pH of the water, so if you add an indicator to the water it will change color too.

  2. I prefer Palmolive. It’s gentle on the hands and won’t shoot shards of broken glass into your face.

  3. Why would you do that for cleaning? What is shown here is for presentation purposes of the shown behavior. If you want to clean your beakers effectively wash them like usual with water and soap until clean and then give it a good spritz of acetone to get rid of all the water and leave it to dry.

  4. I’ll just keep using a sponge for now. My kitchen is already enough of a mess after making mess all afternoon.

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