What? Elephants brush their teeth?? Well, maybe not, but the kids will have a great time creating and watching this experiment right before their eyes! It really does look like toothpaste fit for an elephant, but it is also a fun reaction experiment; one you’ll want to do over and over.
Common sense warning: Do not eat or brush your teeth with elephant toothpaste!
What you need:
- Empty water or pop bottle
- Sheet pan or cake pan (to contain the toothpaste)
- 2 tablespoons of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
- ½ cup of 6% hydrogen peroxide (can be found at Sally Beauty Supply)
- 4-5 drops of food coloring
- Squirt of dish soap
What you do:
- Set the water/pop bottle in the center of the sheet pan/cake pan.
- Mix the warm water and yeast together in a separate bowl/container. Set aside.
- In the water/pop bottle mix the ½ cup of 6% hydrogen peroxide, 4-5 drops of food coloring and the squirt of dish soap.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and watch what happens!
Why does this work?
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) naturally breaks down into water and oxygen. It is stored in opaque containers to help slow down the process. Catalase (an enzyme in all living things, including yeast) speeds up the reaction. The dish soap captures the oxygen and makes bigger bubbles and the food coloring makes it look awesome. The foam and bottle feel warm because the reaction releases energy as heat. This is called exothermic.