Friday, April 6, 2018

Elephant Toothpaste, Not for Elephants.

Toothbrush Toothpaste Dental Care Clean De  I will be the first to admit that I am a geek. I adore learning about things and I love playing with new ideas.  When I was a teenager, most people thought geeks were like Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory but recently, its been cool to be a geek such as Abby on NCIS.  Well the other day, while watching MacGyver, I learned about something new, non toxic and a lot of fun.

If you watch the show, it came out of the first season where he wants to capture the attention of some middle school students and show them science can be fun.  He created something called Elephant Toothpaste.  I checked out the internet and Elephant toothpaste exists. 

To make this, you need:
1.  An empty one liter soda bottle.
2.  4 ounces of 20 or 40 volume Hydrogen Peroxide.
3.  A squirt of dish soap
4. Food Coloring
5. 1 small package yeast
6. 4 tablespoons of warm water.

Step 1.  Use a funnel to pour the four ounces of 40 volume hydrogen peroxide into the soda bottle.
Step 2. Add the squirt of dish soap and food coloring.
Step 3.  Mix the yeast in 4 tablespoons of warm water and let set a minute or two.
Step 4.  Pour the yeast mixture into the soda bottle and stand back.

It might take a few minutes for the reaction to occur but when it happens, the mixture will react and spew directly upwards in a rather thick mixture.  What is nice is that it is safe, can be done at home and the remains of the experiment can be safely tossed in the trash for easy disposal.

Just in case you wonder why it works, its because the yeast causes the oxygen to be released from the hydrogen peroxide so you are left with water and the oxygen bubbles make up the foam and push it out of the bottle.  In addition, the bottle gets a bit warm because its an endothermic reaction.

I want to try this some day but I did tell the science teacher about it at work and she's interested in it.  Its safe enough to use with younger children.  I tell you what, it was quite impressive when I observed it on the show and looked at pictures on the internet.

Also, I've read that at 20 volume or six percent is easy to find at beauty supply stores.

I'd love to hear if you've done this particular experiment before.  I think it looks fun.  Let me know what you think.

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