Video uses black pepper and water to show kids how important it is to wash their hands

Even in the midst of an international pandemic, it can be tough to get kids to understand the importance of hygiene and clean hands. 

Luckily, one US kindergarten teacher is here to help, sharing a popular science experiment on her Instagram which helps show how important thorough hand washing is. 

Miami preschool teacher Amanda Lorenzo shared the clip on her 'Mandy's Munchkins' account, which documents her life with her class of kids. 

In the cute video, Lorenzo instructs one of her students to dip her finger into a 'virus', which is just a sprinkle of black pepper in water. When the pepper doesn't move, she has her student look at her finger to check if there is any pepper on it.

The student then dips her finger in soap and places it back in the water. When the student puts her soapy finger into the water, the pepper spreads out to the opposite side of the dish and her finger has no 'virus' on it.

According to the caption of the video, Lorenzo learned of the experiment from TikTok user Daboo Ratnani.

But how does it work - is pepper really afraid of soap?

According to 'Cool Science Experiments Online', it's all down to surface tension. 

"When you sprinkled the pepper on the water, most (if not all) of it stayed floating at the surface of the water. This is because the pepper flakes are so light that the surface tension of the water keeps them floating on top," the site reads. 

"However when you add a little dish soap, the surface tension of the water is disturbed. The water molecules move away from the soap taking the pepper with them. This causes the pepper to move or run away from the centre of the plate". 

Lorenzo's experiment has racked up almost 400,000 views and has drawn praise from parents and other early childhood educators, who say it's helped convey to their kids the importance of handwashing. 

"I just wanted to say thank you for teaching such an amazing lesson for the children and even adults to understand the importance of washing hands to avoid this pandemic," one person commented. 

"Thank you, this clip helped my six-year-old get a better idea about germs and viruses," wrote another. 

If you're wondering how long to wash your hands for, Nikita Lal from Hand Hygiene NZ told the Project she recommends people sing  'Happy Birthday' twice as you wash. Forty seconds to a minute of thorough scrubbing should be enough time to get rid of all the bugs you carry around.