How to Make a Dry Ice Bubble

Dry ice (chemical formula CO2) is frozen carbon dioxide gas. It is much denser and cooler than conventional ice. A dry ice bubble experiment would be a perfect science fair idea. This fun research project also allows kids to play with foam. Just follow the simple steps given below.

Dry Ice Bubble

Materials Required

  1. Liquid dish wash soap
  2. Water
  3. Small plastic cup
  4. Long narrow piece of cloth
  5. A pair of scissors
  6. Clear bowl with a smooth lip and a diameter smaller than 12 inches
  7. Warm water
  8. Thick gloves or a pair of tongs
  9. Dry ice

Dry Ice Bubble Experiment

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of liquid dish soap with one tablespoon water in a plastic cup.
  2. Cut a strip 1 inch wide and 18 inches long from the cloth.
  3. Soak the strip of cloth completely in the solution you made.
Picture 1
  1. Half fill the bowl with warm water.
  2. Transfer two to three pieces of dry ice into the warm water, using heavy gloves or tongs. You can adjust the number of dry ice pieces according to how much fog you want. Still, it’s not advisable to produce too much or too little of the latter.
  3. Dip two fingers in the soap solution and run them along the lip of the bowl being careful not to get the soap in contact with the water.
Picture 2
  1. Remove the cloth from the solution and run it in between your thumb and forefinger to get rid of the excess soap.
  2. Stretch the cloth fully with both your hands and drag it across the rim and over the top of the bowl. The goal here is to create a thin film of soap that stretches across the open part of the container.
Picture 3
  1. On getting filled with the fog emitted from dry ice, the soap film will expand as a dry ice bubble. It resembles a crystal ball in shape and form.
Dry Ice Bubble Experiment
  1. When the bubble has bulged out enough, it will burst and release a massive cloud of smoke.

Information on safety: Don’t let your body come in direct contact with dry ice as it is dangerously cold, and you may even get a frost bite if not sufficiently careful.

Other Cool Things to Do With Dry Ice Bubbles

Want some more dry ice tricks up your sleeve? Read on.

Dry Ice Boo Bubbles

You can make exciting boo bubbles using a dry ice boo bubble machine. They are ghostly, vapor-filled, bouncing and touchable. However, you can also create them manually. Here is the procedure.

  1. Use a utility blade like a box-cutter to chop off the top of a 2-liter The hole at the top should not have a diameter greater than that of the funnel to be used later.
  2. Attach the funnel to a rubber tubing.
  3. Make a hole at the base of a small portion cup having the same diameter as the tube. Slide the free end of the rubber tube into this hole.
  4. Make the soap and dry ice solutions as directed above but put the latter inside the bottle this time.
  5. Invert the funnel over the bottle to get the smoke pouring into it. Control the pressure of the smoke by adjusting the area of the bottle covered by the funnel.
  6. Remove the funnel.
  7. Submerge the portion cup in the soap solution and then cover the bottle with the funnel.
  8. You will find a boo bubble, filled with carbon dioxide and water vapor, taking shape.
  9. When it reaches the desired size, gently shake it off the portion cup.
Dry Ice Boo Bubbles
  1. It quickly hits the ground before bursting, and a cloud of fog erupts.
  2. Make scores of boo bubbles following the same method. You need to wear Bubble or pure cotton gloves to touch them while playing. You can blow up a giant boo bubble and bounce it off soft fabrics to enjoy yourself.

Another idea is to drop a few pieces of dry ice in warm water inside a hand-made volcano, to make it erupt violently.

Glowing Dry Ice Bubble

You can also make a glowing dry ice bubble. Put a waterproof flashlight in the bowl containing dry ice and watch its light shine through the dense fog. Follow the process above of creating the bubble before turning off the lights to exude an eerie glow from it. Watching the smoke churning inside the transparent bubble can even give kids goose bumps. This makes for a great Halloween idea. What say?

Glowing Dry Ice Bubble

Dry Ice Bubble Video

Explanation of Dry Ice Bubble Formation

Dry ice is a solid that directly changes into its vapor form without passing through the intermediate liquid state, a process called sublimation. It happens at a temperature of −109.3 °F. Putting dry ice in warm water accelerates the process, creating clouds of fog. The thin film of soap stretched across the rim of the bowl traps the expanding smoke to make a giant bubble.

Hope you loved this project idea. What are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and get working. Wish you lots of thrills and chills.


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