Chemical Snow Recipe

Make Calcium Silicate Crystal Snow

There are several types of chemical snow.
There are several types of chemical snow. You don't want to eat chemical snow, but it makes a nice non-melting decoration. Anne Helmenstine

This is a recipe for chemical snow. It's not 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 or useful if you want snow that won't melt!


  • calcium chloride 
  • sodium silicate 
  • water

Calcium chloride is a common salt used for snow and ice removal. It's also sold in hardware or home stores to control humidity. Sodium silicate is also known as water glass. If you like, you can make it yourself from silica gel beads (packets of beads sold with shoes and clothes) and 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

You can 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.