Introduction: Instant Ice - How to Waterbend in Real Life

Picture of Instant Ice - How to Waterbend in Real Life

Pour a glass of water and watch it turn to ice instantly! This step-by-step tutorial will show you everything you need to know about Instant Ice.

Step 1: Watch the Videos!

This is how to waterbend in real life!

For exact step-by-step instructions and tips and tricks, check this video out!

Step 2: "Super Cool" Water Trick

Picture of "Super Cool" Water Trick

A couple of years ago, a friend at work told me he left water bottles outside overnight in freezing temperatures.  Then he got the water to freeze instantly by shaking them.

I was fascinated by the idea, and began to research the online resources demonstrating the effect of supercooled water, and began to experiment with it on my own.  

I can confirm, along with hundreds of others, that this phenomenon is legit, and here's how to do it step-by-step!

1. Find some purified water (The easiest place to find this is an unopened bottle of water)
2. Put it in the freezer for the exact amount of time to supercool it (More on this later)
3. Initiate nucleation of the ice crystals (Easier than it sounds)

Step 3: How to Supercool Water

Picture of How to Supercool Water
Every bottle is going to be a little bit different.  

Some factors that affect the time to freeze are;
  • Volume of water in the bottle
  • Size and shape of the bottle
  • Temperature of water before it goes in the freezer
  • Temperature of the freezer
  • Position of the bottle in the freezer
  • Impurities in the water
The easiest way to find out the ideal freeze time for your bottles, is to start with bottles at room temperature, and put multiple bottles in the freezer at the same time.  This will increase your chances for success.

To determine the formula for your specific bottles;
  • Make a note of the time
  • Check your bottles after 90 minutes, and thereafter every 15 minutes until one freezes
  • Mark the time of the frozen bottle, and subtract 15 minutes.
Your specific bottles should work within this window of opportunity.

In my case, the first bottle froze after 2 hours and 45 minutes, and I found all the bottles worked consistently between 2-1/2 hours and 2 hours 45 minutes. 

Step 4: How to Test Your Supercooled Water

Picture of How to Test Your Supercooled Water

The rest of the unfrozen bottles in the freezer should be supercooled and ready for action.

When you take them from the freezer, be very gentle.  They are super sensitive and can freeze with even the slightest jolt. 

To test one, just give it a whack on the bottle, anywhere you want.  If you hit it hard enough, you should see the water instantly begin to freeze from the top to the bottom.  The result will be a clear liquid turning to an opaque white, as seen in the pictures.

You can also freeze the water using a piece of ice as a nucleation point.  

Just pour the water on top of the ice, and watch your ice pillars grow right before your eyes!

If they don't grow very fast, try leaving your bottles in the freezer for another 10 minutes.

If your bottles are freezing with only a slight touch, or before you want them to .. try taking your bottles out of the freezer 5 minutes earlier.

As the water freezes, it actually releases latent heat into the ice and the temperature warms up to just below freezing.  This leaves you with a delicious edible slush with the consistency of a wet snowball.  

Step 5: In Another Container

Picture of In Another Container

You can try pouring your water into an extremely clean glass.  If it's still liquid at this point, try dropping an ice-cube into the center, and watch the whole thing crystalize.

You can do the same thing by just holding an ice cube on the surface of the water, and watch it get frozen in place.  

Step 6: Colored Ice

Picture of Colored Ice
I found you could color your crystallization by adding a couple of drops of food coloring to the water before they go in the freezer.  In this case, I used 2 drops of blue food coloring.

I tried pouring out an entire bottle on a bed of ice to form an "instant snow-cone", then used some juice from melted freeze-pops as a makeshift syrup.

A fun and entertaining treat for a hot summers day!

Well, there you have it!  That's how to freeze water instantly like a water-bending master.

If you haven't see the video yet, it's not too late.  See it here!


If you like this project perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at


gravityisweak (author)2015-03-04

I accidentally did this with a beer bottle recently. I had seen this video in the past and once I realized what was happening I started screaming and yelling, haha.

113962 (author)gravityisweak2016-12-15

you what! HOW!!!!!!!

gravityisweak (author)1139622016-12-16

I had put it in the freezer with plans to take it out once it was cool. I forgot about it and went to get it out. I noticed it was still liquid and picked it up. When I uncapped it, it suddenly started rapidly freezing just like in the video. I was freaking out.

113962 (author)2016-12-15

hi guys what i just saw was awsome

Forgotten_Memories (author)2016-06-13


Paladin6004 (author)2013-06-21

Sweet! Now we need one for earth, air, and fire so that we can become the avatar!


kevanchristian (author)2014-07-21

Super awsome!

lmrandall (author)2014-04-23

Woah this is cool!!!!!!!!!! This is useful in the South, expecially during summer!! Thanks so much for a great snow cone idea!!!

BigMatt333 (author)2013-09-19

It was AWESOME!!!!
Thank you soooo much!

TheUnknownVariable (author)2013-09-15

Wtf •~•???

TheUnknownVariable (author)2013-09-15

This also works with beer but u hit it on a surface with the bottom of the glass.... I saw it in mythbusters. •~• :)))

Farco556 (author)2013-09-08

Is that a statesmetal bowl? If so where did you get it from?

tommyfun (author)2013-07-27


tjmort22 (author)2013-06-30

Very COOL!, no pun intended....

kkaryamapudi (author)tjmort222013-07-21

It actually gets warmer as it "freezes".

shubhansu (author)2013-06-26

awsome man that soo cool :like:

SkeptiCol (author)2013-06-21

I did this to one of my beers by mistake, wondered what the hell was happening. I grabbed it out of the freezer (in a hurry) removed the top, the pressure drop was enough to start the freezing process, scared the crap out of me when I saw it, AND it made my beer instantly flat and yuck!

Dr. dB (author)2013-06-17

Whatever you do, DON'T drop the "Ice-Nine" !!!!

hmuckleroy (author)2013-06-09

I put it in the microwave and set the timer to a negative number.

Dr. dB (author)hmuckleroy2013-06-17

Just don't try that with instant coffee - you might end up flung into the far future! Then you'd have to hope they still have photo-copiers, so you could Xerox a mirror to get back to your proper time-frame....

flowerelena (author)hmuckleroy2013-06-09

So your water came out yesterday?

Titanica-art (author)flowerelena2013-06-10


snoopindaweb (author)2013-06-14

Keep Em' coming.

PKM (author)2013-06-13

Fun fact, it's possible to do this with cider as well as water. Last summer I put a bottle of cider (can't remember the brand, probably aspall or bulmers) in the freezer to cool it, but left it in slightly too long. I was delighted when I remembered about it, got it out and the contents were still completely liquid, so I popped the cap off. Instant freeze from the top down before I could pour it out, and I made a face like D:

creshawn (author)2013-06-11

dasani nor aquafina work

Gary Viveiros (author)2013-06-11

How do you get around the inevitable 'defrost timer' of the modern frost-free refrigerator which cuts off the cooling for 20 minutes , every 4 hours? Have you ever tried canned fruit juice to begin with, for a possible flavored ice?

nartyteek (author)2013-06-10

Awesome! I am itching to mystify my young nieces with this one. It will blow their minds.

clinares (author)2013-06-10

This is actually how I serve beer at my house. I call them "slow tippers" because you have to tip them slowly so that it does not slush up on you. I'll put the beers in the freezer in advance and leave them there for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (Dos XX green bottle). If you tip it slowly you feel the ice crystals going down your throat. Very refreshing, especially after cutting the grass.

morval666 (author)2013-06-09

I get this happening every now and then when I put a bottle of pop in the freezer for almost too long. You move it or just open it and boom the whole thing becomes a slurpee. But too long and its frozen and you gotta wait.

raypsi (author)morval6662013-06-10

yeah and the slurpy comes shooting out the top even with a can of beer no foam bummer,
wonder how long a 5 gallon water cooler bottle would take to freeze? I could make a ice chair to sit in this summer

Burnt Offering (author)2013-06-09

Hi all, just a side note, I used to service scientific instruments, this is super cooling, we had a machine from the states that would super cool milk below 5 degrees C, then a paddle would be activated inside the test tube and freeze the milk, you would watch the temperature rise (in one thousands of a degree), the temperature it froze at depended on how many impurities were in it (in this case milk fat) to drop the temperature that it froze at. IE pure water should freeze at zero, the more impurities in it, the more below zero it actually freezes at.
SO, they could see if the milk being sold to make milk shakes was being watered down, or if you were being sold "full" milk
State analysts posing as ordinary people would go to cafe's and milk bars, order a glass of milk, and then analyze it, if you were watering it down (freezes closer to zero) then you were prosocuted.
They also monitor the milk sold by the dairy farmers, who had to balance the Fresian cows, to the Jersey cows (who gave more cream in their milk) to see if you were in the boundries of the states limits.
And the machine was called a CryoScope. as in looks at Looks at cold things.

Chloe8 (author)2013-06-09

A magical water!

annarosesc (author)2013-06-09

I never knew that. I also did not think that would happen. Very cool!


patbking (author)2013-06-09

Um, where's the link to the video

sitearm (author)2013-06-09

@The King of Random; Hi! I've tweeted this. Excellent practical instructions including especially how to determine the right amount of time to superfreeze water based on freezer and water brand used. Interesting term, "water bending" I've googled it and it seems to have multiple interpretations both cinematic and real life. Learned something new, thank you! Cheers; Site

thinkdunson (author)2013-06-09

works with dr pepper too. the freezing point of water goes up or down with a decrease or increase in pressure, respectively. so if you take your dr pepper bottle out of the freezer at the right time, it'll freeze when you open it because the pressure inside the bottle has decreased.

RossTheGreat (author)2013-06-09

Also, does it have to be pure water? Or is like, Dasani or Arrowhead or Aquafina or Pure Life ok?

RossTheGreat (author)2013-06-09

Will it eventually do this on its own? If you leave it in the freezer long enough?

pyogazel (author)2013-06-09

that was cool, thank you for sharing!

desmondtheredx (author)2013-06-09

been waiting for this for a while

Kshitij0211 (author)2013-06-09

gosh! thx! i jus won 500 buks(INR) in a bet wit my frnd!! u r awsum!

ProCactus (author)2013-06-09

What about near frozen creeks and streams? That would be cool :D

krelyea (author)2013-06-09

I never knew what it was, but I have had this occur with the freezer pops in the little sleeves. There they were still liquid in the freezer, took it out, thumped the sleeve and watched it soludify in front of my eyes. Thanks for the info as to why.

chocolatechip (author)2013-06-08

Awesome!!! I did this with Ozarka water and it took 3 and a half hours.

Piggy Snipps Jr (author)2013-06-07

I shall freeze the world...

bcavaciuti (author)2013-06-07

awesome love your projects :D what happens if you use your finger as the nucleation site...that would be painful O.o put a beer or juice bottle in a topless milk bottle full of this below freezing water and you'd get an instant beer holder and cooler (might wanna use better looking bottles than milk ones)

caarntedd (author)2013-06-07

Fantastic! Great research, cool party trick, well made Instructable. Favourited.

tankb220 (author)2013-06-06

Thats awesome!

gator235 (author)2013-06-06


About This Instructable




Bio: Random Weekend Projects
More by The King of Random:5 Ways to Start a Fire, Using Water How to make a Batarang like "The Dark Knight"How to Make Ninja Stress Balls
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