Crush a Plastic Bottle

How to Crush a Bottle Experiment

Here’s another super simple experiment that almost seems magical, but it works because of air pressure. Even though most of the time you can’t see or feel it, the air around us is pushes against every surface.

But by following the instructions for this science experiment you can watch as the plastic bottle is crushed by the air around it.

Crush a  Science Experiment Video

How to Crush a Plastic Bottle Science Experiment

Supplies Needed

  • Empty 2 liter plastic bottle with lid
  • 6-8 cups of Ice
  • 1/2 cup Boiling Water
  • 8×11 pan
  • Pitcher of Ice Water

Experiment Instructions

Crush a Bottle Experiment - Step 1

Step 1 – Begin by filling your 8×11 pan with ice.

Crush a Bottle Experiment - Step 2

Step 2 – Next, pour 1/2 cup of Boiling Water into the 2 liter bottle. After the water is in the bottle, wait for 2 minutes.

Crush a Bottle Experiment - Step 3

Step 3 – After two minutes have passes, put the lid back on the bottle. Make sure that it is tight.

Crush a Bottle Experiment - Step 4

Step 4 – Lay the bottle on it’s side in the pan full of ice.

Crush a Bottle Experiment - Step 5

Step 5 – Slowly pour the pitcher of ice water onto the bottle.

Crush a Bottle Experiment - Step 6

Step 6 – Stand the bottle up and observe what happens. The plastic bottle has been crushed in.

How Does the Experiment Work?

Once the hot boiling water was placed in the bottle, it heated up the air inside the bottle. When we put the cap on the bottle, the hot air was trapped inside.

When we then placed the bottle in the ice and poured the cold water on it, the air inside the bottle began to cool down. Cool air exerts less pressure than hot air, therefore the air pressure inside the bottle because to decrease.

The air pressure inside that bottle bottle decreased to the point where it was less than the air pressure outside the bottle. Therefore the pushing in was greater than the pressure pushing out, causing the bottle to be crushed.

More Science Fun

If you are looking for more experiments dealing with Air Pressure then you’re in luck. Check out these other fun and simple experiments we’ve done.

I hope you enjoyed the experiment.  Here’s some printable instructions!

Crush a Plastic Bottle Science Experiment - Steps

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  1. James Bergman says

    This bottle crushing experiment never gets old. I loved it as a kid and I still love it now. However, I have yet to try it with a regular plastic water bottle. They are designed to use less plastic than larger soda bottles. It is the reason they have ribbing. However, I have a feeling that the compression of these bottles will be more pronounced.

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