How to Make Calcium Silicate Chemical Snow

A pile of snow on a white background

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"Chemical snow" can be achieved in a variety of ways. This recipe does not produce the wet snow you get from sodium polyacrylate in water. This is a dry snow made from calcium silicate crystals. It's a fun crystal or chemistry project, useful if you want snow that won't melt.

Materials Needed

Calcium chloride is a common salt used for snow and ice removal. It's also sold in hardware or home stores to control humidity. You can make sodium silicate, also known as water glass yourself. Combine the silica gel bead packet sold with shoes and clothes with sodium hydroxide (lye or drain cleaner). Sodium silicate is a liquid solution.

Make Chemical Snow

This is extremely easy. The calcium chloride and sodium silicate react in water to make calcium silicate. The calcium silicate is a flaky white solid.

  1. Add a small amount of calcium chloride to a test tube or small glass that is half-full of water.
  2. Add a few drops of sodium silicate solution.
  3. Swirl or shake the test tube and watch the white flakes of calcium silicate fall like snow.

Make Other Silicates and Snow Crafts

There are lots of fun ways to use fake snows in arts and crafts applications. You can also make other metal silicates besides calcium silicate. Replace the calcium chloride with aluminum sulfate to make aluminum silicate or use strontium chloride to make strontium silicate.