Science National Honor Society holds Elephant Toothpaste lab

Jennie Chen

Science National Honor Society met on March 2 to hold one of their “Reaction Series” experiments — the Elephant Toothpaste lab. The unique name comes the large foam produced by the chemical reaction, which looks like toothpaste large enough for an elephant to use.

The lab reflected the concepts of catalyst and decomposition reactions, and officers explained that in this catalyzed decomposition reaction, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) would slowly decompose into water (H2O) and oxygen gas (O2). Adding yeast would cause it to act as a catalyst and speed up the reaction. Finally, the soap bubbles would trap all of the rapidly produced oxygen and flow out of the container.

Materials needed:

  • 1 Water Bottle
  • 1/2 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)
  • 1 Tbsp of Dish Soap
  • 1 Tbsp of Dried Yeast
  • 3 Tbsp of Warm Water Food Coloring
  • Safety goggles, a funnel, a container
1. Add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide using a funnel.

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2. Add food coloring on the sides of the bottle or directly in.

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3. Add 1 tbsp of dish soap.

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4. Mix dry yeast with warm water and add yeast mix into water bottle.

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5. Observe reaction.

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6. Extra step: Add more colors to the foam during the reaction.

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