How to Build a Spaghetti Tower

Making a spaghetti tower is a great team-building exercise that is popular among schoolchildren, coworkers, friends, and family. You can also build a spaghetti tower alone for an extra challenge! Spaghetti towers are made using dry spaghetti strands and marshmallows. Make squares with the spaghetti and marshmallows first, before forming these into pyramids. Use these existing pyramids to form new ones, and watch as your tower grows higher! To make building spaghetti towers into a fun, competitive game, try setting a time limit, seeing who can build the tallest tower, or limiting the supplies.

EditSteps
EditCrafting the Squares
Push 2 strands of dry spaghetti into 1 marshmallow. Line up the 2 spaghetti strands. Push them evenly into the round side of the marshmallow.[1] Use full-size marshmallows rather than the miniature kind.

Using 2 strands of spaghetti instead of just 1 will strengthen your tower and help it to eventually stand upright.

Push the spaghetti far enough into the marshmallows so that it feels stable, but not far enough to come through the opposite side. Around halfway will do.[2]

Make a right angle with 2 more strands of spaghetti. Line up 2 more spaghetti strands. Push them into another side of the same marshmallow to form a corner.[3] It might be tricky to push these next spaghetti strands into the same marshmallow. Do it carefully, and try to add the strands just next to where the first strands were pushed in.

Add a marshmallow to each end of the spaghetti strands. Push a marshmallow firmly onto each end. Be careful when adding marshmallows to spaghetti that has already been connected, as it can easily break with too much pressure.[4] Replace any broken strands of spaghetti with new strands.

Push 2 strands of spaghetti into each new marshmallow. Create 2 more right angles. Make sure that the strands are lined up well, and are as close to 90° as possible. This will ensure that your tower is sturdy.[5] Your square so far will look like a rigid “U” shape.

Use 1 more marshmallow to connect the final ends of the spaghetti strands. Push the remaining strands of spaghetti into 1 last marshmallow. Do this as carefully as possible to avoid breaking the rest of the square.[6] You should now have a completed square shape made out of 4 marshmallows and 8 strands of spaghetti.

Build as many more squares as you like. The greater the number of squares that you build, the higher that your tower will be. Your initial squares will become the base for your tower.[7] Start with 9 squares if you are not sure how many to begin with. This will give you good practice in creating a smaller tower.

EditMaking the Pyramids
Place 2 strands of spaghetti into the top of each marshmallow. Each of the 4 marshmallows in each square needs 2 strands of spaghetti inserted into the top. Align these so that they point straight.[8] Each square will end up with 8 more spaghetti strands pointing upwards.

Gather the strands of spaghetti and connect these with a marshmallow. Grasp the 8 strands of spaghetti that are pointing upwards. Hold them together tightly as you firmly push a marshmallow onto the end.[9] The marshmallow will connect the strands and hold them together in a point type shape.

Make more pyramids using the rest of the squares that you made. Add the spaghetti strands to the tops of the marshmallows. Join these together into a point using a final marshmallow.[10] If you began with 9 squares, you will end up with 9 pyramids in total.

Arrange the completed pyramids to create a base for your tower. Align the pyramids that you just made so that they look like a square or rectangle from above. If you have 9 pyramids, align these to be 3 pyramids across by 3 wide.[11]
Make sure that the base pyramids are close together to ensure that your tower is stable.

Connect the central marshmallows at the top of the base with spaghetti. Push spaghetti strands horizontally to make more square shapes on the top of the base. Make sure that these are connected firmly, as they will become the base for the next layer.[12] Be very careful to avoid leaning or placing pressure on the base pyramids.

Repeat the process of making pyramids. Insert spaghetti strands coming from the top of each of the marshmallows. Connect the strands from each square using a central marshmallow.[13] You will notice your tower beginning to narrow in as it gets taller.

Continue building the tower until you reach 1 marshmallow point. Keep adding spaghetti strands horizontally and vertically to make square bases and points. Work as carefully as possible as you make your way up the tower to avoid breaking any pieces.[14]
The bigger your tower, the longer it will take to reach the top.

EditDesigning a Competition
See who can build the best tower in a limited amount of time. Have all of the supplies ready before you begin. Set the timer, and compare towers at the end![15] Around 20 minutes is a good place to start for a competitive spaghetti tower match.

You don’t have to compete with others. Try timing yourself, and see if you can build a better tower each time.

You can judge the towers based on height or stability.

Compete to see who builds the tallest tower. Get all of the supplies, and see which group can build the tallest tower before it collapses. You may need to start building the tower on the ground, and stand on a secure chair as it grows![16] Have a measuring tape ready so that you can measure the end results.

Limit the supplies that are available. Try using just 20 strands of spaghetti and 1 marshmallow for each tower. You will need to break the marshmallow into smaller pieces for this type of competition.[17]
With limited supplies, the design of the towers will need to vary. Get creative, and see how tall and stable you can make a tower with only 1 marshmallow.

EditWarnings
Don’t attempt to cook or burn the marshmallows to the spaghetti to try to strengthen your tower. It won’t work, and your tower will just end up burnt.[18]
EditThings You’ll Need
Packets of dry spaghetti

Packets of full-size marshmallows

Timer

Chairs

Measuring tape

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 26th March 2019

Historical Events

1845 – Patent awarded for adhesive medicated plaster, precursor of band-aid
1931 – Leo Bentley bowls 3 consecutive perfect games in Lorain, Ohio
1969 – Marcus Welby MD, a TV movie is shown on ABC-TV
1992 – NHL NY Rangers clinch 1st NHL regular season championship in 50 years
2000 – Nabisco Championship Women’s Golf, Mission Hills CC: Karrie Webb of Australia wins the first of her 2 titles in this event, 10 strokes ahead of defending champion Dottie Pepper
2017 – Anti-corruption protests in Russia result in hundreds arrested including opposition leader Alexei Navalny

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1885 – Robert Blackburn, British aviation pioneer and the founder of Blackburn Aircraft, born in Kirkstall, Leeds (d. 1955)
1890 – Jozef Arras, Flemish writer
1919 – Strother Martin, American actor (Cool Hand Luke, Slapshot), born in Kokomo, Indiana (d. 1980)
1934 – Gino Cappelletti, ORFU, AFL running back (AFL Player of Year 1964)
1948 – Kyung-Wha Chung, Seoul Korea, violinist (Chung Sisters)
1953 – Lincoln Chafee, American Senator from Rhode Island

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1776 – Samuel Ward, American politician (b. 1725)
1920 – William Chester Minor, American surgeon and contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary (b. 1834)
1957 – Édouard Herriot, French politician (served 3 times as Prime Minister of France), dies at 84
1991 – Frans Dohmen, union leader (Neth Catholic Mine Workers), dies at 81
2002 – Randy Castillo, American drummer (Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe) (b. 1950)
2004 – Jan Berry, American musician (Jan and Dean) (b. 1941)

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Clean Sneakers

Cleaning your sneakers keeps them smelling fresh, prolongs their life, and doesn’t take very long to do. Clean your shoes by hand to give them a little more TLC, or put them into the washing machine for a primarily hands-off approach. You can even tackle cleaning the soles of your shoes to spruce them up without having to clean the entire thing. Whichever method you choose, you’ll end up with clean shoes that look (and smell) a lot better!

EditSteps
EditUsing the Washing Machine
Check the label to make sure it’s safe to machine wash your shoes. Most sneakers can be cleaned in the washing machine, but it’s always a good idea to double-check beforehand. If the label says “hand wash only,” you may want to consider cleaning the shoes by hand. If your shoes don’t have a label, search the brand online to get cleaning recommendations.[1]
If your shoes have any leather or suede, it is not a good idea to machine wash them, as the water can damage those parts of the shoes.

Use a scrub brush to brush away any visible clumps of dirt. Preferably, do this over a trash can or outside to keep the dirt from getting all over your floor. If the dirt is wet, let it dry completely first. Dry dirt brushes away more easily than wet dirt does.[2]
Removing as much dirt as possible before washing the shoes will help them get cleaner in the washing machine.

Remove the laces and treat dirty sections with laundry detergent. Check them out to see if there are any areas that are particularly dirty. If so, take a little bit of laundry detergent and use your fingers to rub it into the shoelaces. This pretreating will help the dirt come out more easily.[3]
Put the laces into their own small mesh bag to keep them from wrapping around other items when they’re in the wash.

Put the shoes into a mesh bag and wash them along with towels. If you don’t have mesh laundry bags, you can buy them online or at department stores for about $10. Put the bag with your shoes in it, the one with the laces, and a load of towels into the washing machine.[4]
Washing the shoes along with towels keeps the shoes from banging around in the washing machine, which could potentially damage your shoes or the machine itself.

Run a gentle cycle with cool water. Use the same amount of detergent you normally would, and avoid using hot water. Choose the gentle cycle if you have the option.[5]
Don’t overdo it on the detergent. Excess detergent can cause soap residue to build up on your shoes, making them stiff and possibly even staining them.

Let the pair of shoes air dry. You can put them in front of a dehumidifier, a fan, or an open window, but avoid putting them in front of any type of heat source or into the dryer. If the shoes have insoles, take them out and let them dry separately to speed up the process.[6]
You might be tempted to toss your sneakers into the dryer so you can wear them sooner, but doing so could ruin the shape of your shoes. The high heat could warp plastic or synthetic fibers.

To help the shoes keep their shape, stuff the insides with crumpled newspaper.

Reassemble the shoes once everything is completely dry. It should take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours for your shoes to dry, just depending on whether or not you do anything else to speed up the process. Once they’re dry, put the insoles back in place and re-lace them.[7]
If your shoes still look really dirty, you may need to treat the soles separately or perhaps try putting them through the laundry again. If you can’t get them clean, it may be time to invest in a new pair of sneakers.

EditWashing Sneakers by Hand
Remove the laces from your shoes. As you take out the laces, pay attention to their condition—are they grungy? Are they fraying? If they’re just dirty, you’ll be able to clean them, but if they’re fraying and threadbare, it may be time to buy a new pair.[8]
If you do need to buy new laces, measure your current ones to see what length they are. That way, you’ll be sure to purchase replacements that are long enough for your shoes.

Rub laundry detergent into the stained areas of the laces. For this purpose, it’s helpful to pour a small amount of laundry detergent into a bowl; should do. Dip your finger into the laundry detergent, and then rub it into grungy sections of your shoelaces. Repeat this step until both laces have been treated.[9]
Rubbing the laundry detergent into the laces causes the soap to start reacting with and breaking down the ground-in dirt.

Rinse the laces with warm water and pat them dry with a clean towel. Take your shoelaces to the sink, and turn the water on to warm. Rinse each shoelace, taking time to rub along the entire length to remove all the dirt and soap. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear and your laces are clean. Dry them off with a clean towel and set them to the side.[10]
If your laces are particularly dirty, you could also fill your sink with warm water and leave the shoelaces to soak for 10 to 15 minutes while you clean the rest of your shoes.

Clean the eyelets with a toothbrush and a little bit of laundry detergent. The eyelets are the little holes that the shoelaces wind through. Continue using the small bowl of laundry detergent from earlier, and dip a clean toothbrush into it. Scrub the eyelets with the toothbrush to remove any built-up dirt or grime, then wipe them clean with a damp sponge.[11]
When rinsing away the laundry detergent, avoid using an overly-wet sponge. Wet the sponge then wring it out so it’s not dripping wet. This’ll keep the suds from spreading too far and your shoes won’t get over-saturated.

Dislodge dry dirt with a small scrub brush. Pick up your shoes and examine them. If there are dry clumps of dirt or grass, brush them away with a small scrub brush. Do this over a trashcan or outside to keep the dirt from getting all over your floor.[12]
Don’t try to brush away dirt that is still wet. Let it dry completely first—it’ll be much easier to remove once it’s dry.

If there are stuck pebbles, use a pair of tweezers to scrape them out.

Mix together of laundry detergent and of water. Depending on how much laundry detergent is left in your bowl after cleaning the shoelaces and eyelets, you may not need to add more. Stir the water and laundry detergent together until the mixture is sudsy.[13]
It doesn’t matter if you use warm or cold water. The laundry detergent will dissolve easily in either one.

Wet a toothbrush in the mixture and scrub the entirety of the shoes. You can use the same toothbrush you used to clean the eyelets, or you could even use the small scrub brush from earlier. Whatever you choose to use, dip it into the laundry detergent and water mixture, and then proceed to scrub the entire body of each shoe. Clean the body of the shoe, the tongue, the soles, and even the inside of the shoe. Use a circular motion to dislodge ground-in dirt.[14]
Re-wet the toothbrush as many times as you need to while you clean.

Don’t forget that insole! Remove it and clean it the same way you did the exterior of the shoe. If it still isn’t coming clean, you can always buy replacement insoles.[15]

Wipe down the shoes with a clean, damp sponge. After you’ve scrubbed the shoes, dampen a sponge and then wring it out so it’s not dripping wet. Wipe away all the soap residue and dirt, rinsing the sponge out as often as you need to.[16]
Don’t forget to wipe down the insides and the bottoms of the shoes, too.

Let the shoes dry naturally and then lace them back up. Set the shoes to the side on a dry towel. Leave them to air dry, which should take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. You can speed up the drying process by putting the shoes in front of a fan or an open window, but don’t put them in front of any kind of heat source because the heat could warp the shoes or even shrink them. Once they’re dry, replace the insoles and re-lace the shoes.[17]
If your shoes were really stinky, sprinkle some baking soda over the insides while they dry overnight. In the morning, knock out the excess baking soda before putting the shoes on.[18]

EditCleaning White Soles
Mix together equal parts of baking soda and laundry detergent. Since you don’t need too much of either ingredient, start off with 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of baking soda and of laundry detergent. Stir them together to create a paste.[19]
This method works great when you simply need to spruce up the soles of your shoes but don’t need to clean the rest of them.

Apply the mixture to the soles with a clean toothbrush. Take a toothbrush and dip it into the baking soda and laundry detergent. Scrub it into the soles of the shoes, taking care to get all the sides and the bottoms of the shoes, too.[20]
Don’t be afraid to really pile the paste onto the soles. You can always make more if you run out, and it won’t hurt anything if you use a lot.

Wet a sponge with cold water and wipe away the baking soda mixture. Once you’ve scrubbed in the paste, take a sponge and saturate it with cold water. Wring it out so it’s not dripping wet, and then start to wipe away the paste from the soles. Scrub away at any areas that are still dirty, and rinse out the sponge as often as you need to.[21]
Use a sponge rather than running the shoes under a stream of water. The sponge will keep the rest of the shoe from getting wet, which means you won’t have to wait for them to dry after you’ve cleaned them.

Wipe the soles down with a dry towel. Don’t forget to dry the bottoms, too, so that you don’t slip if decide to wear them right away. Enjoy your clean shoes![22]
If you notice any sections that are still dirty, you may want to apply a second coat of the baking soda paste to see if that helps lift the remaining dirt.

EditTips
When in doubt, check the shoe manufacturer’s website to see how they recommend cleaning their shoes.[23]
When in a pinch, use a white eraser to rub off smudges.[24]
Avoid putting your shoes in the dryer or near a heat source, as the high temperatures can warp the shape of the shoes.[25]
EditThings You’ll Need
EditUsing the Washing Machine
Laundry detergent

Scrub brush

Mesh bag (optional)

Newspaper (optional)

EditWashing Sneakers by Hand
Laundry detergent

Towels

Toothbrush

Scrub brush

Sponge

Small bowl

Measuring cups and spoons

Baking soda (optional)

EditCleaning White Soles
Small bowl

Measuring spoons

Baking soda

Laundry detergent

Toothbrush

Sponge

Towel

EditRelated wikiHows
Stop Shoes from Banging in the Dryer

EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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