Elephant Toothpaste

I’ve seen quite a few pins on Pinterest lately about Elephant Toothpaste, which is such a fun experiment to watch.  It took a while to try it out ourselves because one of the ingredients needed is 6% hydrogen peroxide (the grocery stores only carry 3%).  I finally went to the beauty supply store and bought a 20 volume developer as noted in Preschool Powol Packets instructions. However, I re-did this experiment later with 3% hydrogen peroxide, and I felt that it worked just as well, for the purpose of having fun with it. So my suggestion would be to just use what you have.


  • Baking pan
  • Water or soda bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Yeast
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Food coloring


Measure 2 tablespoons of warm water in a separate container (we used the glass bowl below, and I later transferred it to a smaller measuring cup that would make it easier to pour into the water bottle).

Next, add 1 teaspoon of yeast.


Stir well.  The yeast will catalyze (speed up) the reaction.


Next, put your water bottle in the middle of the baking pan.  Add 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide, a squirt of dish soap, and 4-5 drops of food coloring. Swish the bottle around to mix the ingredients a bit.

Then add your yeast and water mixture.

Watch the foaminess begin!

My daughter’s reaction: “Dad can we go find an elephant so we can brush his teeth?”  My son’s reaction: “Why did we make elephant toothpaste if there aren’t any elephants around here?”  That’s when you tell your kids that it’s called Elephant Toothpaste because it looks like toothpaste coming out of a tube that’s big enough for an elephant to use.

Scientific Bob explains: “The foam you made is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles”.