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Make elephant toothpaste with this basic chemistry experiment

The foam-like substance is kid-friendly and a fun way to demonstrate basic chemical processes.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Elephant toothpaste is a foam substance you can easily make at home with just a couple of ingredients. It is also a kid-friendly substance and safe to play with after the experiment is over!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • Food coloring
  • Dish soap
  • Empty plastic bottle

The first thing you need to do is combine 1 tablespoon of yeast with 2 tablespoons of water. You can do this in a small bowl. 

Next, fill your empty plastic bottle with half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of both food coloring and dish soap. 

Finally, you can carefully drop your water and yeast mixture into your bottle and watch the elephant toothpaste form!

You will notice during the experiment that the plastic bottle and the foam is warm to the touch. This is because this reaction is an exothermic chemical reaction, meaning heat is released in the process. 

Credit: WLTX

Other common exothermic reactions are when you light a match or a candle. Another example in our atmosphere is with water. When water vapor transitions to water droplets, moving from gas to a liquid, the reaction is an exothermic reaction and heat is expelled in the process!

You can play around with the elephant toothpaste and even make bigger reactions using more hydrogen peroxide and yeast.