Don't flush explosive sodium metal down a toilet

Leave it up to the experts and a special standalone test toilet to find out what happens when you flush sodium down the loo.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Sodium metal and water can make for an explosive combination. Grant Thompson, known as "The King of Random" on YouTube, teamed up with Cody from Cody's Lab for an in-depth video exploration of how chunks of sodium metal react to toilet water. The result is a compelling intersection between science, entertainment and mayhem.

The team used the same standalone stunt toilet system Cody developed for a mercury-flushing experiment. That means no sodium made it into the local water supply.

The flexible and highly reactive metal gets all fiery and fussy when it touches down in the bowl of water. Cody and Grant start off with small amounts and use an extra-long handle in order to safely flush the loo from a distance.

The testing culminates with a handful of sodium metal chunks going down the flusher. This is the moment we are waiting for and it doesn't disappoint. Kaboom. Cody's test toilet ends up as a pile of rubble. It's the best possible "Don't try this at home" warning you could ever get: This is exactly the sort of experiment you want to leave to the guys with safety glasses, gloves, test toilets and slo-mo cameras.