Using Pepper to Combat Coronavirus

Using Pepper to Combat Coronavirus

This awesome video from a teacher explains how to use pepper to combat coronavirus. With simple ingredients like black pepper  and some dish soap to demonstrate the importance of hand washing in preventing the spread of diseases (like coronavirus). It is a simple and dramatic illustration of the importance of soap and washing your hands. Hopefully after seeing this video, and doing the experiment, your kids will never look at hand washing the same.


  1. Put water on a plate.
  2. Add normal black pepper to the plate.
  3. Have the child touch the plate and see how the pepper transfers to their hands.
  4. Put some dish soap on the child’s hand.
  5. Have them put there finger in the middle of the plate.
  6. Watch as the pepper quickly “runs away” from the soap.

Why It Works

Here’s an explanation of the science behind the experiment that I found on this site (you can also find another video there demonstrating the experiment):

Water molecules like to cling to each other, because of this it creates surface tension. The surface tension allows it to resist other outside forces.

Pepper is not attracted to water, which will allow the pepper to float on top of the surface of the water due to the surface tension.

When you stick your finger in it that isn’t clean, the pepper sticks to your hand. When you use soap, it quickly moves away. This is because soaps are meant to break the surface tension so that it can clean an object.

This makes the water molecules carry the pepper with them as the tension is broken. This is why it’s important to use soap and water to wash your hands. It will make the viruses want to move away.

For more information and resources related to Covid-19, please visit our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Resource Page.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at