SaH: Elephant Toothpaste

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Chemical reactions can be a lot of fun! In this experiment, while it is not as big as some of the ones you can find on the internet, we will be making elephant toothpaste with ingredients you might be able to find around your house.

 

Materials

  • Eye protection – you can use glasses or sunglasses
  • 16-20oz. soda/water bottle – make sure it is clean before use
  • 1 Tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water
  • ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Funnel
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid dish soap
  • Tray or cookie sheet
  • 1 cup
  • Food coloring – optional!

 

What to Do

  1. Ask an adult to join you for this experiment – it is better to do with supervision.
  2. Place the funnel in the opening of the bottle. Pour in 1 tablespoon of dry yeast, 3 tablespoons of warm water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Wait 15 minutes – the yeast is activating during this time. You can watch the mixture bubble and rise.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 10 drops of food coloring into the bottle. Gently swirl the bottle to mix the contents. At this point, place the bottle on a tray or cookie sheet to prevent any spill over from making a mess! In addition, make sure your safety glasses or sunglasses are in place to protect your eyes.
  5. Place the funnel back on the top of the bottle. Pour in ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the bottle.

Observe. What is happening? What do you see? Smell? Hear?

 

What is Happening?

The chemical reaction between yeast and hydrogen peroxide produces oxygen and water. The bubbles that you see are made from the oxygen being released. Due to the chemical reaction, the reactants (yeast, sugar, hydrogen peroxide) cannot go back to their original state.

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