Elephant Toothpaste Experiment

By | July 18, 2013


 I will be honest when I first saw pictures of this experiment I thought it was something to do with toothpaste…WRONG!  It is only called the Elephant Toothpaste experiment because when it comes out of the top of the bottle it looks like toothpaste, however it does not feel or taste (DO NOT TASTE IT) like toothpaste.  Once I read more on it, I thought it would be a cool experiment my kids would enjoy.

The hardest thing with this experiment is getting the hydrogen peroxide, it is not the one you use on cuts so it is harder to find.  I went to a few pharmacies looking for 6% hydrogen peroxide (the one for cuts is 3% and will not work for this) and none of them had it.  I finally found it at a beauty supply store, but there it is called 20 volume hydrogen peroxide.  Apparently it is used for coloring hair.  So my advice is save yourself the trouble and just go to the beauty store first.

The girls thought it was really cool when the foam started coming out (which happens pretty fast after pouring in the yeast).  They could not resist touching it to see what it felt like and they noticed that it was warm and did not feel like toothpaste at all but like the bubbles from a bubble bath.  Once the bubbles stopped coming out they had fun playing with the foam for a bit and then asked if we could do it again, guess that means this experiment was a hit!  Make sure you check out all our other Science Experiments for some more science fun!

What is happening with this experiment? The yeast you are using is acting as a Catalyst to quickly remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. The dish soap then catches the oxygen and helps to makes lots of bubbles.  This process is creating an Exothermic Reaction, which means that it is creating heat.  So you will notice that the bubbles are warm.  Also the only reason this is called the Elephant Toothpaste experiment is because when it comes out of the top of the bottle it looks like toothpaste, however it does not feel or taste (DO NOT TASTE IT) like toothpaste.

Check out our SCIENCE board on Pintrest for more fun experiments!

Supplies

Empty 16oz Plastic Bottle
1/2 Cup 6% Hydrogen Peroxide (or 20 Volume)
1 Tablespoon Dry Yeast
3 Tablespoons of Warm Water
1 Tablespoon Liquid Dish Soap
2 or 3 drops Food Color (optional)
Small Dish
Funnel

Directions

 Pour your Hydrogen Peroxide into your bottle
 Add 1 TBS Dish Soap
 Next Add 2 or 3 drops of food color (this is optional)
In your small dish mix the 3 TBS warm water with your 1 TBS Dry Yeast
 Pour your Yeast mixture into your bottle and then remove the funnel!
 Now watch as the foam comes out the bottle
 Because the foam is so thick it looks like toothpaste
 The kids may want to touch it to see what it feels like, do they notice that it is warm?
 No it does not feel like toothpaste it just looks like it
The foam is only water, soap and oxygen so it is okay if the kids want to play in it a little, it wont hurt them. (NOTE: Don’t let them put it in their mouths, that could hurt them)
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30 thoughts on “Elephant Toothpaste Experiment

  1. Eva Gallant

    What a fun thing to do with kids on a rainy day! I just stopped by for a visit from the Ladies only blog hop; hope you find time to return the visit!

    Reply
  2. Sarah Lashbrook

    Cool! I love that picture of your daughter smiling and watching the foam come out. That is a beautiful picture of excitement over learning (and a beautiful girl, too)!

    Reply
    1. Tracey Kite

      It does kind of look like a volcano! I bet this would for for those volcano science projects instead of baking soda and vinegar.

      Reply
  3. Lizbeth McGow

    Intersting…I think my little one would love it but I have to keep my eyes on him trying to taste it, for some reason even though he just turned 5 he keeps trying everything…lol…I will stop by the salon where I get my hair done to see if the girls there can share some H2O2

    Reply
    1. Tracey Kite

      My little one tried to taste it and I had to stop her. It sure looks like it might taste yummy, but I am sure it doesn’t.

      Reply
  4. Susan@Organized31

    How fun! My kids and I love these types of science experiments. The tip on hitting the beauty supply store is much appreciated. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday at Organized 31.

    Reply
  5. Kathy Penney

    How cool! You are doing some really fun things with the kiddos this summer! Thanks for sharing at All Things Pretty!

    Reply
  6. Joan Hayes

    This is awesome. When my daughter saw the post she was freaked out. But I told her to read it and then she blurted out “This is COOL”. So I am definitely pinning this. Thanks for sharing at Thursdays Treasures.

    Reply
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