The Soapy Truth

Purpose: To provide individuals with a visual example of the importance of using soap when washing hands.

Materials needed:

  • A shallow bowl, pie tin or plastic plate
  • Water
  • Pepper
  • Dish soap


  1. Fill your container with about an inch of water.
  2. Sprinkle pepper evenly across the surface until it is covered. Most of the pepper, which represents germs, will remain floating on the surface of the water.
  3. Squeeze a drop of dish soap onto one finger of a participant.
  4. Have participant put that finger directly into the water. The pepper flakes will dart to the side of the container or fall to the bottom when the soap is introduced to the container.
  5. Discuss what the soap did to the “germs” and the importance of using soap while washing hands.
    pepper experiment 4