Tired of the same old baking soda and vinegar science experiment? Here is a cute experiment for making elephant toothpaste that makes lots of colored foam and is fun for kids. It uses stuff you probably have sitting around the house anyway, and while it is not as explosively fast as baking soda and vinegar it produces quite a bit of colored foam.
The experiment is a decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, which is a chemical reaction that normally occurs very slowly. To make it more exciting yeast is used as a catalyst which speeds up the reaction. I used standard drug store hydrogen peroxide, which is a 3% solution. You can also buy a 6% solution of hydrogen peroxide at some beauty supply stores, and get an even faster reaction. But if you are going to do that you need to use gloves and safety goggles, so I decided to keep my experiment more low key.
Here is short version showing the results, and you can see a longer video of the full experiment at the end of the post.
Here is how to make the Elephant Toothpaste:
- Empty soda bottle
- measuring cup
- packet of yeast
- warm water
- 1/2 c. hydrogen peroxide (3%)
- 1/4 c. dish soap
- food coloring
- Mix the yeast in a small amount of warm water and set it aside to start dissolving.
- Add the hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and food coloring to the soda bottle and swirl to mix.
- Add the dissolved yeast and sit back to watch the foam.
- Clean up the mess.
This is a fun science experiment for the end of the school year!