Preschool Science: Pepper and Dish Soap Experiment

Magic Moving Pepper:
A preschool science lesson in water tension.

Watch as pepper magically floats away from your soap covered finger tip as you dip it in the water.
Lesson: The dish soap breaks the water tension that is created by the pepper resting on the water's surface, thus, forcing the pepper to float away from the water.

You'll need:
  • Pepper
  • A bowl
  • water
  • a teensy amount of dishsoap

Here's how:
  • Fill a bowl with water
  • Add lots of pepper, the more pepper the more dramatic the effect.
  • Dab your finger in some dish soap, you don't need a lot.
  • Dip your finger lightly in the water
  • Watch as the pepper magically floats away!

*Develop your child's critical thinking skills by asking them what they think will happen before they add their finger to the water or have them try dipping their finger in with out the soap. Have them right down their ideas.
Here's a little video of our experiment. I think my favorite part is when my daughter dip the shaker in the water. That's real life, I guess.


  1. that was awesome. i'm so doing this tomorrow. except. i'm using an automatic pepper grinder.

    what? i'm impatient.

  2. woah!! that was amazing! We are definitely trying this tommorow! I added this activity to my tumblr! Im so impatient though! I wanna do it tonight!

  3. This was an object lesson in church once... I can't remember what it was for though.

    Ah yes... found it - random, eh?

  4. Very cool. I'm doing this with my kids today.

  5. Anonymous8:44 AM

    We just did this and were trying to find out from the internet why it happened, so thanks for including the reason! My daughter loved your video...but probably because her name is Kayah lol and it at least sounds like one of yours is as well

  6. I am so excited to do this with my English children's bible study in Korea tomorrow. (I tried it at home just to make sure and it sooo worked...and I saw I can even put more pepper in the bowl after the soap covered finger has been dipped and do it a second time