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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Cool Things To Do With Dry Ice

By March 5, 2012

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Dry ice in water makes fog. (Shawn Henning)Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It is called "dry ice" because it's frozen, yet never melts into a liquid. Dry ice sublimates or makes the transition directly from frozen solid into carbon dioxide gas. If you are lucky enough to get some dry ice, there are lot of projects you can try. Here are some of my favorite cool things to do with dry ice.
  • Homemade Dry Ice - First you need dry ice, so if you don't have any, make it!

  • Dry Ice Fog - The classic project is to put a chunk of dry ice in hot water, causing it to produce clouds of vapor or fog.

  • Dry Ice Crystal Ball - Place a piece of dry ice in a bowl or cup containing bubble solution. Wet a towel with bubble solution and pull it across the lip of the bowl, trapping the carbon dioxide into a giant bubble that resembles a crystal ball.

  • Frozen Bubble - Freeze a soap bubble over a piece of dry ice. The bubble will appear to float in the air over the dry ice.

  • Fizzy Fruit - Freeze strawberries or other fruit using dry ice. Carbon dioxide bubbles become trapped in the fruit, making it fizzy and carbonated.

  • Singing or Screaming Spoon - Press any metal object against a piece of dry ice and it will appear to sing or scream as it vibrates.

  • Dry Ice Ice Cream - You can use dry ice to make instant ice cream. Because carbon dioxide gas is released, the resulting ice cream is bubbly and carbonated, sort of like an ice cream float.

  • Dry Ice Bubbles - Place a piece of dry ice in bubble solution. Fog-filled bubbles will form. Popping them releases dry ice fog, which is a cool effect.

  • Simulate a Comet - NASA has a project where you simulate a comet using dry ice and a few other simple materials.

  • Dry Ice Jack-o'-Lantern - Make a cool Halloween jack-o'-lantern that spews dry ice fog.

  • Dry Ice Erupting Volcano Cake - While you can't eat dry ice, you can use it as a decoration for food. In this project, dry ice produces a volcanic eruption for a volcano cake.

  • Dry Ice Bomb - Sealing dry ice into a container will cause it to burst. The safest version of this is to place a small piece of dry ice into a plastic film canister or potato chip can with a pop lid.

  • Inflate a Balloon - Seal a small piece of dry ice inside a balloon. As the dry ice sublimates, the balloon will blow up. If you use too big a piece of dry ice, the balloon will pop!

  • Inflate a Glove - Similarly, you can put a piece of dry ice into a latex or other plastic glove and tie it closed. The dry ice will inflate the glove.

Dry ice is a lot of fun to play with, but it is very cold, plus there are other hazards associated with it. Before attempting a project involving dry ice, be sure you are aware of dry ice risks. Have fun and be safe!

Dry Ice Facts | Dry Ice Science Fair Projects

Do you know any other cool things to do with dry ice? If so, be sure to post a reply!

Comments

July 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm
(1) Kiko says:

Drink it :D

September 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm
(2) dakotafowler says:

heck no if you do later on you wold soon freez and die becase the gas gets in the lugs

November 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm
(3) Hunter High pipe (hmu on fb) says:

yea if you drink it you might regret it.

December 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm
(4) Thunde cap says:

I ain’t skeeeered, I stick it in my mouse and blow bubblez wiv it.

September 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm
(5) Jane says:

Why then don’t other materials like wood produce this sound when pressed against dry ice?

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