This clever science hack using ice, water and salt chills a drink in less than five minutes! Perfect for when you really want a cold drink, but don’t have any in the fridge.
How to chill a drink quickly – ice and salt hack
- A metal bowl ( glass or plastic works as well, but you won’t see the frost on the outside as well )
- Drink in a glass bottle or can
- Thermometer – optional
- Half fill the bowl with water and ice.
- Place a bottle or can in the ice. The drink must be sealed so the salty water doesn’t get inside.
- 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!
Why does ice and salt chill a drink so quickly?
The salt lowers the melting/freezing temperature of the ice, making the water temperature drop below zero ( freezing point depression ). When salt is added to the icy water mixture the ice starts to melt. Melting requires energy. The ice absorbs heat energy from its surroundings ( the water and drink ) to melt. This means the water in the bowl and the drink get very cold, very quickly.
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! )
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?
Investigate to find the lowest temperature the icy water mixture can reach using an insulated container to reduce heat loss.
Note: If you use a can be careful when you open it!
More Fun Science Investigations for kids
Have you tried our 50 Kitchen Science Experiments?
Like a challenge? How about our easy STEM Challenges for kids?
Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Emma Vanstone
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