Elephant Toothpaste Experiment Recipe Formula

How to Make Steve Spangler’s Hydrogen Peroxide and Soapy Yeast Foaming Reaction

Elephant Toothpaste Experiment Recipe at Steve Spangler Science

Looking for the elephant toothpaste formula recipe? You’ve come to the right place! Here is where you’ll get our easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions about how to make the world-famous Steve Spangler’s hydrogen peroxide and soapy yeast foaming reaction formula — also known as the Elephant Toothpaste Experiment!

Elephant Toothpaste Formula: A Steve Spangler Science Exclusive

Learn how to make Steve Spangler’s Elephant Toothpaste recipe using safe and easy materials you can find at home. Only a few ingredients are necessary to make a BIG impression on your kids or your students. For variables, use different percentages of hydrogen peroxide to see how this single ingredient affects the overall foam-tastic explosion! You can also add food coloring for multi-color elephant’s toothpaste foam that is guaranteed to WOW your kids. For a fabulous, Halloween-inspired twist on this experiment, check out our Oozing Pumpkin Elephant’s Toothpaste Experiment for this memorable hands-on experiment that was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show! Kids: Go get a great adult helper, grab your ingredients (be sure to put on your safety glasses — we always should practice safe science) and watch the explosions begin!

Experiment Materials

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  • 1-liter plastic soda bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide (12%) (This is found at a store that sells hair care products. Ask for hydrogen peroxide that is labeled 40-volume. This is the same as a 12% solution.)
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Food coloring
  • Package of dry yeast (found at the grocery store)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Funnel
  • Construction paper, markers, and some creativity
  • Safety glasses
  • Plastic tarp to cover the demonstration table
  • Rubber gloves

Experiment Videos



Let’s start with the arts and crafts part of the activity by making a decorative wrap to cover the plastic soda bottle. Since the activity is called Exploding Toothpaste, use your creativity to make a wrap that looks like a tube of toothpaste.


Put on your safety glasses and rubber gloves.


Cover the demonstration table with the plastic tarp.


Use a funnel to add 4 ounces (120 mL) of 40-volume hydrogen peroxide to the 1-liter soda bottle.


Add a squirt of dish soap and some food coloring to the hydrogen peroxide in the bottle. Give the solution a quick swirl to mix the contents.


Carefully cover the bottle with the toothpaste wrap that you made previously. It’s best to have someone help you with this step to prevent you from accidentally tipping over the bottle.


The next step is to prepare a kid-friendly catalyst for the reaction by mixing an entire package of dry yeast with 4 tablespoons of very warm water in a small plastic cup. Stir the mixture with a spoon. If the mixture is too thick or paste-like, add a small amount of warm water to thin it out.


Here comes the fun part. Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and watch what happens. It may take a few seconds to react, but the result is well worth the wait.

When you are finished, it is safe to dispose of all of the demonstration materials either by throwing them away in the trash can or by washing them down the drain.

How Does It Work

Similar to what happened in the adult version of Exploding Toothpaste, the yeast works as a catalyst to release the oxygen molecules from the hydrogen peroxide solution. The oxygen-filled bubbles, which make up the foam, are actually the remainder of what happens when the hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). The bottle will feel warm to the touch because this is an exothermic reaction in which energy, in the form of heat, is given off.

Steve Spangler Science

Love our Elephant Toothpaste Experiment? Don’t miss our other experiments in our HUGE online experiment library. For all-in-one kits, check out our science kits and our at-home science experiments. For over 25 years, Steve Spangler Science has been on a mission to inspire kids and get them excited about STEM subjects. Our experiments and science-themed products are fantastic for after-school activities, activities for summer break or classroom activities that will amaze kids of all ages!

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