DIY Elephant Toothpaste

A DIY Science + Art STEM Activity

Download the PDF version of “DIY Elephant Toothpaste” to print.

Who: You and an adult.

Important: Be sure to wear protective glasses when conducting reactive experiments. You might also want to wear an apron or smock because hydrogen peroxide has been known to bleach fabrics.

The term “Elephant Toothpaste” is a fun nickname and should not be confused with or used as real toothpaste.  This is NOT an edible product.

When and Where: Inside or outdoors with adult supervision.

What: Elephant Toothpaste


  • A clean, 16 oz plastic soda bottle or large cup (see photo)
  • 1/2 cup .03% hydrogen peroxide liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water
  • Liquid dish washing soap
  • Food coloring
  • One small cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Plastic covering for table (this activity is MESSY!!)
  • Safety goggles


  • Put your safety glasses on.
  • Cover your table with a plastic type tarp.
  • Add hydrogen peroxide to your bottle.
  • Squirt a small amount of liquid dish soap and a hint of food coloring into the mix and swirl it around.
  • In a small cup, stir together warm water and yeast.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into your bottle.


When the yeast mixture touches the hydrogen solution, it creates a chemical reaction resulting in the release of oxygen molecules. As the hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water, the fizzing action will cause the foam to bubble up!

This chemical reaction is also exothermic. In this case, the yeast acts as a catalyst for the reaction process creating energy in the form of heat. This is why your bottle may feel warm to the touch.



To find out how Full STEAM Academy integrates STEAM activities with our curriculum to enhance the learning experience go to