Elephant Toothpaste (The Safe Version)

I want to show you how to make Elephant toothpaste! You’re probably wondering toothpaste for elephants? And I say yes! It’s a cool experiment that looks at exothermic reaction & catalyst.

So, let’s dive into how to make the Elephant Toothpaste.

What You’ll Need

  • A clean 16-oz plastic soda bottle or science beaker if you have one at home.
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide liquid (3% solution) you can get this from a beauty supply store or pharmacy)
  • 1 packet of dry yeast
  • 5 Tablespoons of warm water
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Food coloring
  • Small cup & spoon
  • Funnel
  • Safety goggles (Sunglasses can work)

What To Do

Note: This experiment can be very messy, so be sure you have a plastic covering on your table or a washable surface or tray.

  1. Use your funnel to pour the Hydrogen Peroxide into the bottle. Be very careful because the liquid can irritate your skin or eyes. I would recommend getting a big helper!
  2. Add 8 drops of your favorite food coloring into the bottle.
  3. Squirt a small amount of liquid dish soap into the bottle and swish the bottle around a bit to mix it.
  4. We are going to make a CATALYST (A kid friendly version) by mixing an entire package of dry yeast with 5 tablespoons of very warm water in a small plastic cup. Stir the mixture with a spoon. If the mixture is too thick or paste-like, add a small amount of warm water to thin it out.
  5. Now the adventure starts! Pour the yeast water mixture into the bottle (a funnel helps here) and watch the foaminess begin!

What’s Happening!!!

The foam is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles. Did you notice the bottle got very warm? If you did, the reason is we created an exothermic reaction, which means it not only created foam, the hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2) and heat is given off.

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