Ivory Soap Experiment – Making Fun Halloween Soap


I have been wanting to do the Ivory soap experiment for awhile! If you don’t know what it is yet, you’re in for a treat! I also wanted to somehow make our experiment extra special so I went to Google for help. I found an article on using Ivory soap to make colored and shaped soaps with cookie cutters. What a fun idea! So I decided we would give it a whirl with a Halloween theme. After the kids got to play with the exploded soap of course!

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Exploding Soap

Getting the soap to explode is simple! All you have to do is un peal one bar of Ivory soap and place it on a microwave safe plate in the microwave. Set the timer for one minute and watch it grow. Add more time and watch the soap, when it stops growing you can remove it from the microwave. I was so surprised when I first felt the exploded soap. It looks smooth and wet but really it is papery and quite dry.

Ivory soap explosion

How They Played

Oh boy, this got super messy! Looking back I should’ve laid down a big tarp on the patio and let them go at it but I didn’t and I paid for it in clean up time. Now I know! Hopefully you can learn from my mistake. This is a messy messy activity.

My twenty-three-month old twins loved it! I gave them pieces of the soap and they played with it breaking it into tiny bits and of course throwing it all over our carpeted floor. My fault! I should’ve been prepared. I’m laughing about it now!


I added a bit of water and food coloring. My daughter spent a lot of time feeling and moving the colored soap around on her hands. At this point I knew it would be straight to the bath for these two kidlettes! Collage2

Making Something from the Mess

This part of the activity is appropriate for preschoolers through grade school. It requires much more motor skills than my almost two-year-old twins have. I did this portion of the activity on my own.

I took all of the extra soap and added water and more food coloring, making it into a paste. Make sure to mix it well getting all parts of the soap wet again. I then used a rubber spatula to smooth the soapy paste into Halloween cookie cutters, adding googley eyes at the end to give them more life.

Let the soap sit in the cookie cutters for twenty-four-hours until they are dry. and ready to use! These would make fantastic gifts to give out on Halloween!



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  • megha sapat jadhav

    Does it have to be Ivory soap? or would any white soap do?;
    Secondly, wouldn’t the dye get all over their hands if they’d actually use the soap?
    Great activity, but I was thinking instead of using dye, why not use coloured soad?

    • SowSproutPlay

      Ivory soap is the only soap that will explode in the microwave unfortunately. It has to do with the way it’s made. Air pockets are formed when the bars of soap are made which expand when microwaved.
      I don’t think that the food coloring will dye their skin at all. We use food coloring in the tub just as a way to add color to the water all the time and since it gets diluted with the water it doesn’t cause any problems.
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Really it is that simple to reform soap? Wow thank you. You made some fantastic creations – thank you for sharing this.

    • SowSproutPlay

      Yes! It definitely needs to be mixed with the water and food coloring well and set to dry for quite awhile. Some of the ones I made where I didn’t mix enough ended up crumbling.