In this experiment we will make a oozing foamy batch of elephants toothpaste. We will
use 30% Hydrogen Peroxide and catalyst of Sodium Iodide to create the eruption for the
Elephants toothpaste. In the process we will instantly release oxygen, water, and heat
in an exothermic reaction that decomposes the hydrogen peroxide.
This demonstration is for informational purposes only and should not be tried at
home without adult supervision and safety precautions.
Materials Elephants Toothpaste
- 30% Hydrogen Peroxide
- Sodium Iodide 2M
- Food Coloring
- Dawn Dish Soap
- Empty Clear Plastic Soda Bottle
- Plastic Trash Bags
- Container or Basin
Watch Video: Elephants Toothpaste
Process To Make Elephants Toothpaste:
- Cut open some plastic trash bags and tape them to ground or table. This will make
clean up easy and limit the mess.
- Put on plastic lab gloves and safety goggles. Do this at the beginning. 30% hydrogen
peroxide is nasty stuff and can cause major skin burns. You do not want this to make
contact with and part of unexposed skin, eyes, etc... Be careful!
- Secure the plastic soda bottle into the container or basin you have chosen to use.
- In a separate plastic cup measure one teaspoon of sodium iodide. Mix in one ounce
of water. Mix until the sodium iodide dissolves into the solution.
- Pour 50 mL or 1.69 ounces of the 30% Hydrogen Peroxide into clear plastic soda
- Pick your favorite food coloring and add a drop or two to the 30% Hydrogen Peroxide in
- Add a nice squirt of dawn dish soap into the bottle with Hydrogen Peroxide and Food
coloring. Squirt the soap down the inside wall of the plastic bottle. Let it run down.
- When ready very quickly pour the Sodium Iodide solution into the clear plastic water
bottle containing the 30% Hydrogen Peroxide, Food coloring, and Dawn Soap. Do it fast
and stand back.
- A large steaming foam column with erupt from the water bottle like lightning as the
exothermic reaction occurs and instantly decomposes the oxygen in the Hydrogen
Peroxide. As the erupting column settles is will produce a big foaming pile of steam!
Pretty cool. Remember don't touch the foam without gloves and goggles.
The Science Elephants Toothpaste:
The chemical reaction that takes place is called an exothermic reaction or one that
releases heat. 30% Hydrogen peroxide is very strong and contains 10 times the
amount of oxygen when compared to the kind typically sold in pharmacies and
supermarkets.In this reaction we are adding a catalyst in the form of Sodium Iodide to
decompose and release the oxygen in the Hydrogen Peroxide instantly. The food
coloring adds some flavor and the soap produces the foam. Its actually oxygen gas
trapped in the soap bubbles that creates the foam or elephants toothpaste. When
Hydrogen Peroxide is broken down and decomposed it releases oxygen gas, heat, and
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