Elephant Toothpaste: Fun Experiment For Kids

Elephant Toothpaste is a foamy substance resulting in a chemical reaction between hydrogen peroxide and potassium iodide or yeast with warm water as a catalyst. But it resembles toothpaste being squeezed from a tube.

Popular science experiment

Also known as the “marshmallow experiment”, it is a popular experiment for kids to perform in schools and parties. Hydrogen peroxide decomposes after coming into contact with potassium iodide or yeast with warm water. While decomposing, it breaks down into hydrogen and water. The oxygen pushes the solution out of the container. 

Bubbles are formed when oxygen is trapped in the soap particles and the trapped oxygen forms a huge amount of foam that looks like a toothpaste being squeezed from a tube. Color is added to give it a dramatic effect. It is an exothermic reaction hence the foam produced is hot.

Precautions

The foam that oozes out from the bottle in which the chemicals are mixed is too hot to touch hence shouldn’t be touched until it cools down. Children can do this experiment but only under the supervision of their guardians. 

You can try it at home with potassium iodide or yeast with warm water

Learn both the steps….

Elephant Toothpaste with potassium iodide

1. A clean and transparent plastic bottle for experiment

2. Hydrogen peroxide liquid 

3. Potassium iodide solution or yeast and warm water

4. Liquid soap

5. Color (choose any color including food coloring)

Learn the process

Arrange all the ingredients on a washable surface as you can see that the final product oozes out from the bottle and spreads on the surface.

1. Carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide liquid (50 ml) in the plastic bottle

2. Add color (5-10 drops) to the liquid (choose any color)

3. Add liquid soap 

4. Add potassium iodide solution (10 ml) to the mixture 

Elephant Toothpaste with the yeast solution

1. A clean plastic soda bottle for an experiment

2. 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid that is available in hair salons and beauty product stores

3. One packet (1 tablespoon) of dry yeast

4. 3 tablespoons of warm water

5. Liquid soap

6. Color (choose any color including food coloring)

7. A small cup

Learn the process

1. Carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide liquid in the plastic soda bottle

2. Add color to the chemical

3. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid soap into the chemical and still the mixture 

4. Make another mixture of small water and yeast and leave for 30 seconds

5. Pour the yeast water mixture into the hydrogen peroxide solution

Results

Both processes produce similar results. You will see a thick foam coming out of the bottle in which the chemicals are added.

https://www.scholastic.com/parents/kids-activities-and-printables/activities-for-kids/math-and-science-ideas/home-science-experiments-elephants-toothpaste.html

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