Elephant Toothpaste


Do not brush an elephant’s teeth with this!

This experiment shows the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide catalyzed by potassium iodide. The reaction is done in a tall graduated cylinder so that the foamy product shoots out very quickly in a tall cylindrical shape; hence, the name elephant toothpaste. Link

6 thoughts on “Elephant Toothpaste

  1. morcheeba says:

    I recently bought some toothpaste in Japan… It took some detective work to make sure I was buying toothpaste, but eventually the selection came down to two tubes. There were almost no english words on the packages, but one tube said “mint” and the other said “lion”.

    It turns out that Lion is a brand name: http://www.lion.co.jp/en/products/html/pro_a015.htm

  2. DGary says:

    should be a warning on this, keep away from open flame, those bubbles are full of mainly oxygen….

    though it would make for easy cleanup.

  3. agulino says:

    Dr. Carlson has a video in which he conducts this experiment and explains everything that’s going on. It’s pretty fascinating, as is everything he does.



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