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Elephant Toothpaste

Mix a few household ingredients to create an epic explosion of foam in a bottle!

Tags

chemistry, experiment

Difficulty

easy

Activity

The foam you’ll create in this experiment is filled with tiny foam bubbles containing oxygen. The potassium iodide acted as a catalyst, which is used to speed up a reaction. When the potassium iodide broke apart the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide, it did so rapidly. Therefore, it created tons of bubbles and foamed up. The flask/bottle getting warm was due to what is called an exothermic reaction – creating heat!

The reaction will release energy shortly after the potassium iodide is poured into the flask, and the toothpaste will foam up and likely overflow from the bottle. If you look closely, you will notice steam coming from the toothpaste shortly after the reaction has started. Anyone who would like to touch the foam must wait 5-10 seconds after overflow, due to high temperatures. Additionally, it is necessary to have gloves on both hands if you would like to touch the foam. This is because there could be unreacted peroxide remaining which can irritate skin and eyes.