You've likely seen magicians able to “magically” pop balloons without touching them. But what’s the actual science behind the timed destruction of a balloon? IMr. O gets popping as he explores the chemistry of dissolving polar and non-polar molecules.
If you have latex or citrus allergies, we do not recommend trying this at home. Also, make sure to use natural latex balloons, especially ones that are meant to pop easily like water balloons. Many other balloons will work as well, but some are treated to not lose gas as easily or be more durable. The treatment of them, basically a form of vulcanizing the rubber in the balloons, changes the latex molecules so they no longer dissolve in the d-limonene. By the way, as Mr. O mentions in the video, d-limonene can be purchased online as a natural cleaner. But, be careful using it on plastic containers and similar items as it can damage the plastic.
Mr. O’s “O Wow Moments” helpy ou to become an scientist at home with hands-on, minds-on experiments and demos! Watch Mr. O every Saturday morning during the 7 a.m. news on Houston's KPRC Local 2 to see a new science demo you can try at home. Share your experiments with us on facebook and Instragram!