Cool Dry Ice Projects

14 Experiments With Solid Carbon Dioxide

Dry ice is extremely cold, plus it's also cool! There are lots of interesting and educational experiments and projects you can try using dry ice.

Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, isn't dangerous if it's stored and used correctly, but if it isn't, it can present hazards such as frostbite, asphyxiation, and the possibility of an explosion. So be careful and have fun!

Here are several dry ice projects:

Cool Dry Ice Fog

Dry ice fog coming out of a cup
Andrew W.B. Leonard / Getty Images

One of the simplest yet 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 enough dry ice to fill a hot tub.

Dry Ice Crystal Ball

Crystal ball on a black background and in a fog

CasPhotography / Getty Images

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

Make Your Own Dry Ice

Dry ice smoking with vapor on dark background

waraphorn-aphai / Getty Images

Some grocery stores sell dry ice, but many don't. If you can't find any dry ice, the first cool thing to do is to make some yourself.

Frozen Soap Bubble

Frozen bubble
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 up the bubble and examine it.

Inflate a Balloon With Dry Ice

Random colored balloons
Fuse / Getty Images

Seal a small piece of dry ice inside a balloon. As the dry ice sublimates, the balloon will fill up. If your piece of dry ice is too big, the balloon will pop!

Inflate a Glove With Dry Ice

White and blue inflated medical latex gloves background

~UserGI15632523 / 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

Man swinging a comet model of charcoal and ice

Jonathan Blair / 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)

Dry Ice Bomb

The mist with the effect of dry ice

waraphorn-aphai / Getty Images

Sealing dry ice in 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.

Dry Ice Erupting Volcano Cake

Dinosaur birthday cake with volcano

JennyPPhoto / Getty Images 

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.

Spooky Dry Ice Jack-o'-Lantern

Misty Jack-o-Lantern

joeygil / Getty Images

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

Cool Dry Ice Bubbles

Bucket of soap foam

Amrut Kulkarni / Getty Images

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

Carbonated Dry Ice Ice Cream

Mixing milk with sugar and berries for ice cream production

RossHelen / Getty Images

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.

Singing Spoon

Holding a spoon

Pakorn Kumruen / EyeEm / Getty Images

Press a spoon or any metal object against a piece of dry ice and it will appear to sing or scream as it vibrates.

Carbonated Fizzy Fruit

A blackberry and lime tequila cocktail poured over ice and garnished with dry ice

Castle City Creative / Getty Images

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