I’d heard about the crazy reaction that’s meant to happen when you put Mentos in Diet Coke (see the link for a great video – just skip the ad) and had even bought some stuff to do it last Summer. This included a couple of bottles of 7-Up and Extra Strong Mints for a staged ‘disappointing’ first attempt. As we’d not got around to doing it yet, I thought I’d do it for some half-term wow-factor.
In the video, the girl only put FIVE Mentos in the coke. So we went for it and put TWO WHOLE PACKETS in.
We did the planned ‘disappointing’ one first, with the 7-Up / Extra Strong Mints, but unfortunately the mints were too big for the bottle opening, so we used Mentos instead – but got (reassuringly) no reaction.
Then we moved on to the main event. We did one Diet Coke bottle at a time (to eek-out the fun). I gave the instructions (“chuck ‘em all in and then leg-it”). The reaction from the bottle? Nothing. Ab-sol-ute-ly no-th-in-g.
My eldest even shook the bottle in the style of a Formula One driver. Still nothing. We’d aimed for a magical Mento moment, what we got was a fizzy flop:
Google “why didn’t my Mentos and coke fountain work?” and seems I’m not alone. I’m in a parallel universe with this other parent who posted:
“I stood there like an idiot with all the little kids looking up expectantly at me, (with my carefully given out swimming goggles on) shoveled in the Mentos and nothing happened!!!”
Apparently we’d both been been scuppered by science:
“Mythbusters reported that when flavored Mentos with a smooth waxy coating were tested in carbonated drink there was hardly a reaction, whereas standard Mentos added to carbonated drink formed an energetic eruption, affirming the nucleation-site theory”
I’m not a big Mento connoisseur or anything, but I think ours had a smooth coating. The Extra Strong Mints with their pitted surface may have been the answer after all. So close, yet so very far. Alternatively, there’s always the potential that our ingredients had somehow passed their sell-by date (if that’s possible…?).
Either way, this calls for re-trials. Ignoring the possibility that it’s just an advertiser’s ruse to buy more mints and coke, I’m not going to let this beat me.
And if it fails again? … well, I also saw the following advice:
“Next time try a lump of metallic potassium and some liquid oxygen. It doesn’t half go with a bang!”
Now, call me chicken, but I think I’ll be giving that one a miss, even with swimming goggles.