Elephant Toothpaste 

In this science experiment you can do at home, we walk through how to cause a decomposition of hydrogen peroxide using a catalyst of potassium iodide. Combining this violently fast reaction with dish soap creates bubbles that have the appearance of a big helping of elephant toothpaste! To use this experiment for a science fair project, consider questions like: Does the amount of peroxide change the amount of foam produced? Do different sized bottles produce different results?


1. Measure out 35 mL of 30% hydrogen peroxide into a beaker or glass.

2. Add 2 tblsp soap to the hydrogen peroxide. 

3. Add half a bottle of food coloring. 

4. Mix the solution until it all turns one color.

5. Add 20 mL of potassium iodide and the reaction will create the appearance of elephant toothpaste.

NOTE: For a variation on the experiment, try a larger container with a smaller opening for a more dramatic result.


  • 35% hydrogen peroxide

  • dish soap

  • food coloring

  • Erlenmeyer flask 

  • safety goggles

  • lab coat

Need supplies for this experiment?
See this list of materials on Amazon.


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