The elephant toothpaste is a dramatic chemical reaction which produces tremendous amounts of steaming foam that sort of looks like the toothpaste an elephant might use.

We pour potassium iodide solution into hydrogen peroxide solution to form elephant toothpaste

Safety First! Adult supervision required. Wear protective eye wear and clothing. Don’t eat/drink your experiments.

Materials and tools required


  • Potassium Iodide
  • Liquid Soap
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (50% concentration)
  • Distilled Water
  • Food Color


  • 1000 ml Conical Flask
  • 250 ml Plastic Beaker
  • Stirrer

Video on the YouTube for experiment

What to do!

Step 1 – Take 300 ml of hydrogen peroxide in a conical flask and add some food color.

Step 2 – Put few drops of liquid soap in the conical flask.

Step 3 – In a 250 ml beaker add 50 ml hot water and 20 gm of Potassium Iodide and mix it well.

Step 4 – Pour the mixture in a conical flask and watch the massive foam ooze out endlessly.

Images for instructions

Working principle of the activity

The foam you made is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The potassium iodide act as a  helper to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles.

This is a Exothermic Reaction – that means it not only created foam, it created heat!

Safety Precautions

  • Do it in a well-ventilated area, under a fume hood, or outdoors. There may be a small amount of smoke.
  • It’s a good idea to wear protective eye wear and clothing, as for any science demonstration. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics, as they readily melt if exposed to flame. Cotton, silk, and wool are good choices, or you can wear a lab coat.