How to cool a drink quickly

How can you get a cold drink when you don’t have any in the fridge?

Supercool it!

How to supercool a drink

What you need:

  • A metal bowl
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Drink in a glass bottle
  • Salt

ice and salt experiment

Method

  • Half fill the bowl with water and ice.
  • Place the bottle in the ice.
  • Add a handful to salt to the water and stir.
  • Watch what happens to the bowl and drink.

You should find your drink gets lovely and cool very quickly!

ice and salt experiment

Why does ice and salt supercool a drink?

The salt lowers the melting temperature of the ice, making the water temperature drop below zero. This means the water in the bowl becomes very cold and absorbs heat from the drink, making it get very cold quickly.  We call this supercooling.

Another way to demonstrate this is with a frost on a can experiment or by making ice cream with salt and ice ( it tastes better than it sounds! )

ice and salt experiment

Extension activities

Can you design an experiment as a control condition? Maybe ice and water with no salt??

Can you record the temperature before and after adding the salt?

Does the temperature drop further if you add more salt?

What happens if you use a plastic bottle? Does it work as well?

If you use a smaller drinks container, does it cool faster?

Note: If you use a can be careful when you open it!

supercool a drink

 

 

More Fun Science Investigations

Have you tried our 50 Kitchen Science Experiments?

Like a challenge? How about our easy STEM Challenges?

 

 

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