Introduction: Hot Ice

Picture of Hot Ice

Sodium acetate or hot ice is an amazing chemical you can prepare yourself from baking soda and vinegar. You can cool a solution of sodium acetate below its melting point and then cause the liquid to crystallize. The crystallization is an exothermic process, so the resulting ice is hot. Solidification occurs so quickly you can form sculptures as you pour the hot ice.

Step 1: Chemicals Reuired

Picture of Chemicals Reuired

>4 tablespoon Baking soda

>500 ml Vinegar

>2 ml Water

Step 2: Materials Required

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>steel vessel

>transparent container


>measuring cup

Step 3: Measure 500ml of Vinegar

Picture of Measure 500ml of Vinegar

I am using a 100 ml measuring cup .

Transfer this vinegar into a vessel.

Step 4: Add Baking Soda to Vinegar

Picture of Add Baking Soda to Vinegar

The baking soda and vinegar react to form sodium acetate and carbon dioxide gas.

If you don't add the baking soda slowly, you'll essentially get a baking soda and vinegar volcano, which would overflow your container.

Step 5: Heat the Solution

Picture of Heat the Solution

You've made the sodium acetate, but it is too dilute to be very useful, so you need to remove most of the water.Here is the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar to produce the sodium acetate:

Na+[HCO3]– + CH3–COOH → CH3–COO– Na+ + H2O + CO2

Since the reaction itself produces water as a byproduct there is no need to add water but if the content get thicken add 2 ml water.

Heat the mixture and stir constantly for some time.

Remove the solution once 00-50 ml of the solution is left.

Set the soultion to cool down and left unagitted.

Step 6:

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Once you remove the sodium acetate solution from heat, immediately cover it to prevent any further evaporation.

Pour the solution into a separate container.

I covered the container with foil paper.

Step 7: Look Out for Results

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Remove the solution from the refrigerator after cooling the solution for 30 minutes .

Insert any foreign object which would agitate the solution .

The sodium acetate will crystallize within seconds, working outward from where you agitated the solution .


MichaelL42 (author)2017-11-19

Thank you for the interesting experiment. I have a question:

You say

"Remove the solution once 00-50 ml of the solution is left."

What does that mean? You mean between 0ml and 50ml left?

My solution grew a white crust over the whole surface when there was still 150ml left. Did I do something wrong? I added a bit of water, and am trying now again.

Unkinkablemule (author)2017-11-16

there is no danger warning on this.

tvengineer (author)2017-11-14

The ingredient list says 2 ml Water... where did you put the water?

kirthik vasan (author)tvengineer2017-11-16

Do it when you star boiling the contents

If your mixture thickens else the reaction itself produces water as a reactant as you can see it in the chemical equation
Hope that helps you ☺☺

HunterGatherer9 (author)2017-11-15

For how long would a sodium acetate "sculpture" last? Is it dependent upon ambient temperature?

maxseech (author)2017-11-09

This is a cool instructable, hey i have a idea why not do hot ice VS dry ice?

kirthik vasan (author)maxseech2017-11-10

yes sure ill work on that very soon

Char29649 (author)kirthik vasan2017-11-12

I'd like to make dry ice

westexjoe (author)Char296492017-11-13

Please note that this procedure can be extremely dangerous, with injury potentials due to extreme pressure and extreme cold. Releasing pressurized carbon dioxide gas into atmospheric pressure yields the CO2 into it's solid form.

Get a bottle of industrial CO2 (the kind used for soda pop machines). Secure a nylon stocking over the valve outlet and slowly release the gas into the stocking. Dry ice crystals will begin to form on the stocking. Continue until desired amount of dry ice is captured. Warning! The bottle is at extreme pressure, THREE THOUSAND p.s.i. and the dry ice is 109 degrees BELOW zero.

Cheese Queen (author)Char296492017-11-12

Dry ice is made with botttled carbon dioxide gas. Search on youtube for videos on how to make dry ice. Its not cheap..

Humble Handyman (author)2017-11-12

Step 7 says "remove from the refrigerator"

When did you put the solution in the refrigerator?

dresch (author)2017-11-12

If you inserted a rod with a couple of RGB LEDs on the end ito the solution, It would be neat to see if that crystal dandelion would glow different colors...

DeborahM120 (author)dresch2017-11-12

Even glow sticks might be neat!

kirthik vasan (author)dresch2017-11-12

interesting right.

ill try doing this.

maint1 (author)2017-11-12

Is there a specific purpose, you ask? They used to sell these as hand warmers. They were thick, well sealed plastic pouches, with the sodium acetate solution and a metal "activation disk" inside. You "snapped" the flexible disk to start the hot ice reaction. To recharge, you put the pouches in boiling water, until the ice re-liquefied. What a great teaching aid for showcasing that latent heat is given off by liquids, when they freeze (yes, even water). Great instructable.

roto-ricky (author)maint12017-11-12

You can still get those handwarmers fro Lee Valley Tools. I use them while sitting around film sets as an extra and theyre great! About $7.50 CDN$.

TerriH44 (author)2017-11-12

At what point will it melt? Also, can you tell us what kind of metal piece they use in those pouches to use to make the reusable heating pads and if you can use a regular Ziploc bag to make those?

GaryM188 (author)2017-11-12

This pretty neat but is there a specific purpose for this?

OnAngelsBreath (author)GaryM1882017-11-12

Fun, cheap science project.

NL_Buddha (author)GaryM1882017-11-12

If you have ever seen the reusable heating pads that have a little metal peice in them that when you click it the bag crystallizes and heats up. This is the same process

AndrewD23 (author)GaryM1882017-11-12

This can be used to make a mid-term heater pack that, unlike the ones based on oxidizing metal, can be reused by rewarming the pack until the sodium acetate melts.

The sodium acetate gets VERY warm when it is recystallizing.

tomascco made it! (author)GaryM1882017-11-12

Only reason I can think of

ELECTRONFLYER1 (author)2017-11-12

a video would be nice

JimI8 (author)2017-11-12

You said, remove it from the refigerator but I dont see where you said put it into the refrigerator? Will the "ice" melt? when?

Nugget'sH (author)2017-11-12

Could you please clarify whether you mean baking SODA or baking POWDER?

They are different substances. Baking powder is baking soda + cream of tartar.


LordofHosts (author)2017-11-09

This is quite hot.

hope you liked it.

yes ,hope you liked my work.

please do vote me...

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an undergraduate student pursuing B.Tech in EEE(Electrical and Electronics Engineering).I am passionate about creating new stuffs using technology and hungry ... More »
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