Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Elephant Toothpaste (a Chemical Reaction experiment)

I have seen this experiment all over Pinterest and while I do my best to try and bring my followers something relatively fresh and new, I decided that my boys should not miss out just because I blog. After all, why deprive them of one of the coolest chemical reactions ever?

This experiment doesn't REALLY make toothpaste, after all you wouldn't want to put it in your mouth. However, the look of the billowing foam definitely has the appearance of its moniker.

What You Need
1/2 cup clear 30-volume liquid developer (this is salon-grade hydrogen peroxide)
3 tbsp. water
Empty 20-oz clear plastic soda bottle (rinsed clean)
1 packet of yeast (or 1 tbsp.)
food coloring
1 tbsp. liquid dish soap
Tray and or large plastic sheet (we used a plastic trash bag under a jelly roll pan)
Safety googles

What to Do
1. ADULTS ONLY - Pour the liquid developer (aka hydrogen peroxide) into the empty bottle. Wear goggles to avoid damage from any splatter.

2. Add 8 drops of food coloring to the bottle.

3. In the cup, combine yeast and water. Stir to accelerate the dissolving process. Don't worry if it gets clumpy.

4. Add 1 tbsp. of dish soap to the bottle. Swirl gently to combine. Remember: kids should be wearing their safety googles!

5. Using a funnel, pour the yeast mixture into the bottle.

6. Watch as the yeast (your catalyst) combines with the soapy peroxide to create a fountain of foam.

It will spill out of the bottle so make sure to conduct this experiment in a place where messes are easily cleaned up.

My boys were amazed and even commented that the bottle felt warm to the touch. The chemical reaction created heat! The yeast removed oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide (developer); because of how quickly that took place, a LOT of bubbles are created.

Don't worry about the foam - it's not toxic. It's merely water, soap, and oxygen!

After we conducted this experiment we watched Bill Nye the Science Guy teach us about chemical reactions. All his DVDs are impressive, but this one was over the top!

The credit for this experiment goes entirely to Science Bob. Stop by to watch his video!

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