Science Story Time Experiment: Pepper Soap

Pepper and Soap Experiment

Learn about the importance of washing their hands, especially now!

Science Story Time Experiment: Pepper Soap

Connected Standard

3.2 K.A.6 Participate in simple investigations of matter to answer a question or to test a prediction.

What You Will Need

  • Shallow bowl or plate
  • Water
  • Pepper
  • Dish Soap


Dishwashing soap and a paper plate with water and black pepper.
  1. Fill the bowl or plate with water (until it reaches about 1 inch).
  2. Sprinkle pepper evenly across the surface of the water. 
  3. Stick your finger (without any soap) in the water.
  4. Stick your finger in a small amount of dish soap (you can also use a Q-tip or toothpick).
  5. Predict what will happen once you stick your soapy finger into the water.
  6. Stick your soapy finger into the water.

The Science Behind It

The pepper floats on the water because it is less dense or lighter than the water. Remember the pepper is representing our germs in this experiment. Without any soap on your finger the germs (or pepper) don’t move at all. However, germs do not like soap. The soap is able to surround the germs and take them off of your hands and wash them right down the drain! This is why the pepper ran away from the soap on your finger!

Books to Pair with This Experiment

  • Wash Your Hands by Tony Ross
  • I Am a Booger, Treat Me With Respect by Julia Cook
  • Cutie Sue Fights the Germs by Kate Melton

Experiment Credit


Download the Pepper and Soap Experiment PDF to print or save.