Sugar snake

A black snake grows out of a pile of sugar and baking soda

15 minutes



  • Put on protective gloves and eyewear.
  • Conduct the experiment on the plastic tray and in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep a bowl of water nearby when working with fire.
General safety rules
  • Do not allow chemicals to come into contact with the eyes or mouth.
  • Keep young children, animals and those not wearing eye protection away from the experimental area.
  • Store this experimental set out of reach of children under 12 years of age.
  • Clean all equipment after use.
  • Make sure that all containers are fully closed and properly stored after use.
  • Ensure that all empty containers are disposed of properly.
  • Do not use any equipment which has not been supplied with the set or recommended in the instructions for use.
  • Do not replace foodstuffs in original container. Dispose of immediately.
General first aid information
  • In case of eye contact: Wash out eye with plenty of water, holding eye open if necessary. Seek immediate medical advice.
  • If swallowed: Wash out mouth with water, drink some fresh water. Do not induce vomiting. Seek immediate medical advice.
  • In case of inhalation: Remove person to fresh air.
  • In case of skin contact and burns: Wash affected area with plenty of water for at least 10 minutes.
  • In case of doubt, seek medical advice without delay. Take the chemical and its container with you.
  • In case of injury always seek medical advice.
Advice for supervising adults
  • The incorrect use of chemicals can cause injury and damage to health. Only carry out those experiments which are listed in the instructions.
  • This experimental set is for use only by children over 12 years.
  • Because children’s abilities vary so much, even within age groups, supervising adults should exercise discretion as to which experiments are suitable and safe for them. The instructions should enable supervisors to assess any experiment to establish its suitability for a particular child.
  • The supervising adult should discuss the warnings and safety information with the child or children before commencing the experiments. Particular attention should be paid to the safe handling of acids, alkalis and flammable liquids.
  • The area surrounding the experiment should be kept clear of any obstructions and away from the storage of food. It should be well lit and ventilated and close to a water supply. A solid table with a heat resistant top should be provided
  • Substances in non-reclosable packaging should be used up (completely) during the course of one experiment, i.e. after opening the package.

FAQ and troubleshooting

Urotropine (solid fuel) lumped. How to measure it now?

Indeed, this reagent tends to lump when stored. We have foreseen this case and supplied a black ball-tipped rod in the set, which you may use to crush the lumped salt.

Can you eat or touch the snake?

You must never taste any of the chemicals or products of the reactions that you work with, even if, in theory, it should be safe to do so. Perhaps you got an unexpected product from your reaction, or perhaps the starting chemicals contained impurities. In any case tasting your experiment could be very dangerous.

It is for these reasons that eating in professional laboratories is strictly forbidden. Safety first!

After the "snake" has cooled you can touch it, but be careful, it may be hot. The carbon contained in the "snake" may smolder. The carbon form the "snake" will get onto your hands, so wash your hands after the experiment.

Expected result

The solid fuel starts to burn. The mixture of sugar and baking soda in the flames will turn into a black "snake." If this experiment is done correctly, it is possible to grow a snake that is 15–50 cm long.


Dispose of solid waste together with household garbage.