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Elephant’s Toothpaste

Join Mita as we explore the science of this explosive reaction and find out how you can try it safely at home.

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Experiment with some enormous ‘toothpaste’, fit for an elephant.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) decomposes naturally into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). By adding a few more ingredients we can make a huge, bubbly reaction to visualise this process. In this experiment we add dish soap, to help create bubbles, and a catalyst – which is a special chemical that allows us to fast forward a reaction.

We’ve used two different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to show how the strength of a chemical can change the size of the reaction, but you can easily try this experiment at home with just a few household ingredients.

IMPORTANT: Please note, if you try this experiment at home you need to use hydrogen peroxide bleach, NOT a chlorine based bleach.



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