Since fireworks are no longer an option, you have to find some way to occupy your time on the 4th of July. I turned to my demo team and brainstormed anything we could do in the backyard at 9News for the celebration. Here’s the classic Elephant’s Toothpaste demo using hydrogen peroxide and potassium iodide as the catalyst to make a red, white and blue patriotic eruption that shot up about 20 feet in the air.
We also learned that Oxiclean is the magic cleaner that will remove iodine stains from the beautifully pressed white shirt of a news anchor (thanks to Mark Koebrich for being the best Science Monday co-host in the world!)
UPDATED JULY 5, 2011 – Mark Koebrich asked photo journalist Brian Willie to share some behind-the-scenes video of this amazing eruption. Yes, everyone was wearing safety glasses. It’s important to note that the hydrogen peroxide completely decomposed into water and oxygen. The brownish yellow stains you see are from the iodine in the catalyst (potassium iodide). And the secret to removing those stains in an instant… OxiClean!