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The Amazing Elephant Toothpaste Experiment

In & Outdoor Free

Activity Overview

Children of all ages will enjoy this visually stimulating experiment which is full of foamy fun. The chemical reaction that takes place quickly before your eyes is exciting for young scientists and provides immediate gratification. This experiment is quick and easy to set up and perform and is the perfect after school, weekend, or playdate activity.

The yeast in this experiment acts as a catalyst to extract the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide liquid. This process happens very rapidly and causes an extraordinary amount of bubbles to form instantly. This reaction that takes place is called an exothermic reaction. Trying placing your hand on the side of the bottle. You will feel that the bottle is nice and warm. This is because the work that was done to remove oxygen from the solution produced heat.

Although this fun experiment is called “Elephant’s Toothpaste”, this is not an edible experiment and is not toothpaste at all. It simply looks like a giant tube of toothpaste as the foam streams out of the bottle like toothpaste does when it is squeezed.

Materials Needed

  • 2/3 cup 6 % hydrogen peroxide
  • food coloring
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons liquid dish soap
  • yeast packet
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water
  • Baking tray
  • Empty 2 liter soda bottle
  • funnel
  • small container
  • spoon

How to Do It

  1. Place a plastic soda bottle on top of a baking tray. This experiment will overflow outside of the bottle, so the tray will protect your work surface.
  2. Pour 2/3 of a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the soda bottle using a funnel.
  3. Add 10 drops of food coloring into the soda bottle.
  4. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap into the bottle and swish the bottle around a bit mix the two ingredients together.
  5. In a separate container, combine the warm water and the yeast together and mix for about 30 seconds to activate it.
  6. When you are ready for the action, pour the yeast and warm water mixture into the bottle with your funnel to guide you and watch the foamy spectacle ensue.

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