Chemical Reactions

About a week ago my kids were really bored so we decided to have a look through my stash to see what fun we could find.

My loft is lined with cupboards that are full to the brim of art and science supplies – I know, I’m weird. We found a box that I had forgotten about and it had the things in that we needed for Elephants toothpaste. Eeeeeeek!!! (#NerdAlert)

If you want to try this experiment the way that we did it, you need the following items:

  • Potassium permanganate
  • 12%/40 volume hydrogen peroxide
  • Washing up liquid
  • Small empty water bottle
  • 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon
  • old container to mix your activator
  • An old tray to catch the foam, (we used our tuff tray)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Protective eyewear, (just in case)
  • Old clothing
I got ours on eBay
I also purchased this on eBay

We started by pouring about 25mls of hydrogen peroxide into an old container and adding a generous squirt of washing up liquid. We then swirled this around in the container to mix it together.

Next we took the measuring spoon and put 2 scoops of the potassium permanganate into the empty water bottle.

After this, we added the hydrogen peroxide/soap mix to the water bottle and then screwed the sports cap back on, (quickly).

The reaction starts off relatively slowly but then picks up speed and oozes out of the sports cap. It was really awesome to watch.

A chemical reaction happens between the potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The decomposotion of the hydrogen peroxide generates oxygen which turns the detergent into foam.

My young scientists noticed that the bottle was really warm this is due to the reaction being exothermic. Exothermic reactions are reactions that release energy into the environment in the form of heat. Exothermic reactions feel warm or hot or may even be explosive. More energy is released making chemical bonds than is used breaking them

I hope that if you do this experiment that you enjoy it as much as my little people did. Just make sure that they are wearing protective clothing, (old shirts, goggles and gloves), so that they stay safe.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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