Cool Dry Ice Projects

Cool Things To Do With Dry Ice

Dry ice is extremely cold, plus it's also cool! There are lots of interesting experiments and projects you can try using dry ice. For example...
Making dry ice fog is one of the classic dry ice projects.
Making dry ice fog is one of the classic dry ice projects. Andrew W.B. Leonard / Getty Images

One of the simplest, yet still coolest things to do with dry ice is to toss a chunk of it into a container of hot water. This causes the dry ice to sublimate (turn into vapor) more quickly, producing dry ice fog. This is a popular party effect. It's even more spectacular if you have a lot of dry ice and a lot of water, such as dry ice in a hot tub. More »

These pellets of dry ice are sublimating in air.
These pellets of dry ice are sublimating in air. Richard Wheeler

Some grocery stores sell dry ice, but many don't. If you don't have dry ice, the first cool thing to do is to make some yourself! More »

This is a dry ice bubble.
If you coat a container of water and dry ice with bubble solution you will get a bubble that sort of resembles a crystal ball. Anne Helmenstine

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. More »

Dry ice is cold enough to freeze bubbles before they pop.
Dry ice is cold enough to freeze bubbles before they pop. marianna armata / Getty Images

Freeze a soap bubble over a piece of dry ice. The bubble will appear to float in the air over the dry ice. You can pick the bubble up and examine it. More »

Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so dry ice balloons will rest on a surface rather than float.
Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so dry ice balloons will rest on a surface rather than float. Fuse / Getty Images
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! More »

Inflate a Glove with Dry Ice

Pressure from sublimating dry ice can inflate a sealed plastic glove like a balloon.
Pressure from sublimating dry ice can inflate a sealed plastic glove like a balloon. Stuart McClymont / Getty Images
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.

Simulate a Comet

A comet may be referred to as a dirty snowball, although its chemistry is more complex.
A comet may be referred to as a dirty snowball, although its chemistry is more complex. Francesco Reginato / Getty Images

You can use simple materials to simulate a comet. In a big plastic bowl, lined with a trash bag, mix together:

  • 1 liter water 2 cups dirt 1 tablespoon starch (holds comet together, not found in real comets) 1 tablespoon syrup (comet organic component) 1 tablespoon vinegar (for amino acids) 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol (like the methanol in real comets)
Put on gloves and add 5 pounds of roughly crushed dry ice. Feel free to add a little more water. Press together the ingredients in the plastic trash bag. You can dust your finished comet with dirt, since most comets are dark objects. Like a real comet, your model will shoot off jets of gas and will have a similar composition to the real deal. You can find more information at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab.
This is a high-speed photograph of a dry ice bomb exploding.
This is a high-speed photograph of a dry ice bomb exploding. Dantheman3141
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. More »
Dry ice makes a nice smoking volcano effect.
Add a little water to dry ice to make a smoking volcano effect on a cake. You can use red jello or tinted icing if you want 'lava' to flow down the sides of the cake. Anne Helmenstine

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. More »

Put dry ice and water in a Halloween jack-o'-lantern and let the fun begin!
Put dry ice and water in a Halloween jack-o'-lantern and let the fun begin!. Anne Helmenstine

Make a cool Halloween jack-o'-lantern that spews dry ice fog. More »

This is what you get when you drop a piece of dry ice into bubble solution.
This is what you get when you drop a piece of dry ice into bubble solution. Anne Helmenstine

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. More »

This chocolate ice cream is bubbly and carbonated because it was frozen using dry ice.
This chocolate ice cream is bubbly and carbonated because it was frozen using dry ice. Anne Helmenstine

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. More »

Spoon
A spoon is a classic metal object for performing the singing spoon demonstration, but almost any metal object will work. George Doyle / Getty Images
Press any metal object against a piece of dry ice and it will appear to sing or scream as it vibrates. More »
cocktail
You can mix sliced fruit with dry ice to make carbonated fruit. Eat your fizzy fruit or use it as fizzy ice cubes for drinks. John Foxx / Getty Images

Freeze strawberries or other fruit using dry ice. Carbon dioxide bubbles become trapped in the fruit, making it fizzy and carbonated. More »

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Cool Dry Ice Projects." ThoughtCo, Aug. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/cool-dry-ice-projects-606405. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, August 4). Cool Dry Ice Projects. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/cool-dry-ice-projects-606405 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Cool Dry Ice Projects." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/cool-dry-ice-projects-606405 (accessed November 17, 2017).