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Potassium Chlorate—How Pyromaniacal Mad Scientists Take Care of Cockroaches and Pesky Gummy Bears

Pyromania is definitely nothing new on WonderHowTo. From flamethrowers and hydrogen fireballs, to flame-making pistons and wine corks, to simply burning steel wool fireworks and DIY smoke mix, we've covered it all. But when pyromaniacal mad scientists feel the need to release some tension in the lab, gummy bears and cockroaches become the victims of euphoric oxidation by way of molten potassium chlorate.

A recent video by famous YouTube chemist NurdRage shows one of mankind's most despised creatures subjected to a little test-tube cremation. First, some potassium chlorate is dropped into a test tube, then melted with a blowtorch to make it more reactive. After it's hot enough, the roach is dropped in and consumed by flames until there's nothing but cremains.

I can't help but think that he took it easy on the little bugger, since it was already dead and all, but hey, that's just me.

If you want to try this out yourself, you don't have to hunt down any potassium chlorate online—you can just make your own. NurdRage has a great tutorial on making DIY potassium chlorate at home with laundry bleach and sodium-free salt (i.e. salt substitute).

Now, potassium chlorate isn't just used for annihilating pesky cockroaches. You can oxidize anything that's combustible, like gummy bears...

Sugar...

Sugar and sulfuric acid...

And yes... even steel wool...

If you're looking for an oxidizing agent a little less powerful than potassium chlorate, look no further than potassium nitrate and have some fun.

1 Comment

Agh! Too bad the cockroach cremation video was removed!

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