Elephant Toothpaste: A Spectacular Science Experiment for Kids

Greetings, young scientists!

It’s Calie here, back with another thrilling science experiment that’s both educational and also incredibly fun to witness.

Today, we’re talking about the famous Elephant Toothpaste experiment – a visually stunning reaction that’ll have kids of all ages buzzing with excitement.

This experiment is a fantastic way to explore the concepts of catalysts and exothermic reactions, all while creating an impressive foam explosion reminiscent of toothpaste fit for an elephant!

What You Need:

  • 16-oz plastic soda bottle (or a similar container)
  • 1/2 cup of 20-volume hydrogen peroxide (This is a 6% solution, which is stronger than what’s usually found in first aid kits. You can purchase it at beauty supply stores or online.)
  • 1 Tablespoon of dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Food coloring (optional, but makes it more visually fun)
  • A small cup (for mixing the yeast and water)
  • Safety goggles (Always protect your eyes, as hydrogen peroxide can irritate or burn.)


  1. Prepare Your Workspace: Cover your work area with plastic sheets or newspapers for easy cleanup. Don’t forget to wear your safety goggles.
  2. Mix Yeast and Water: In the small cup, mix the tablespoon of dry yeast with the three tablespoons of warm water. Stir for about 30 seconds until most of the yeast dissolves. This mixture will act as your catalyst.
  3. Prepare the Bottle: Pour the 1/2 cup of 20-volume hydrogen peroxide into the plastic bottle. If you’re adding food coloring, now’s the time to put 8 drops into the bottle. Then, add a good squirt of liquid dish soap into the bottle and swirl gently to mix.
  4. Start the Reaction: Pour the yeast and water mixture into the bottle with the hydrogen peroxide and quickly step back. Watch the foamy eruption!

What’s Happening?

As you witness the foam erupting from the bottle, you’re seeing science in action!

The yeast acts as a catalyst, accelerating the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This rapid release of oxygen gas creates countless tiny bubbles, which get trapped in the liquid dish soap, forming the thick foam you see.

The warmth you feel from the bottle is due to the reaction being exothermic, meaning it releases heat.

This experiment, popularized during our extended time at home in 2020, not only offered a fantastic way for families to engage in learning together but also demonstrated how simple ingredients could create spectacular results.


For a step-by-step visual guide and to see the reaction in all its glory, check out this informative video: Elephant Toothpaste Experiment Video.

It’s a great way to prepare for your own experiment and ensure a successful and fun experience.

The Elephant Toothpaste experiment is a fun way to get talking about basic scientific principles like catalysts, reactions, and the properties of gases.

So, gather your materials, don your safety goggles, and get ready for an explosive learning adventure!

For more experiments like these, check out our main article “100 Easy Science Experiments For Kids To Do At Home“.

Stay curious and happy experimenting!


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