Balloon Popping Trick

Can you pop a balloon without touching it?

Yes you can! All you need to know is the balloon’s secret nemesis- the humble orange (or lemon)! That’s
right— latex balloons have a major citrus allergy.

What you need:
● Balloon
● Citrus fruit

What to do:

1. Blow up a latex balloon.

2. Take a peel from a citrus fruit (orange or lemon will work) and squeeze it hard enough to spray the oil
from the peel at the balloon.

OR scratch the zest off or a lemon, making sure you get plenty of zesty oil on your finger (invisible to the
naked eye) and pop your balloon in front of your friends with a single, light touch- your friends will be
lost for words!

3. You’ll see that exposure to the citrus oil immediately pops your latex balloon.

Why is it so?

Well, there is a chemical in citrus fruits called limonene, which is a hydrocarbon that is actually used in
many cosmetics and cleaning products, which makes them smell fresh and citrus-y.

Limonene is a hydrocarbon. Latex rubber is also a hydrocarbon. Hydrocarbons will dissolve together if in
contact with each other. So when the citrus oil touches the surface of the balloon, some of the latex
from the balloon immediately begins to dissolve in the limonene, which results in a Pop!

Extension: do other citrus fruits pop balloons? Try lime or mandarin zest!