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How to Make Instant Ice Crystals- Nucleation Science Experiment

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Instant ice crystals are so much fun to make and are an easy science experiment that anyone can do as long as they have a freezer! Follow along with these instructions to learn how to make your own ice crystals. It’s a fun variation for instant ice experiments!

Keep reading to learn about the science behind instant ice and how you can set up your own instant ice lab!

Instant ice crystals are so much fun to make and are an easy science experiment that anyone can do as long as they have a freezer! Follow along with these instructions to learn how to make your own ice crystals. It's a fun variation for instant ice experiments!

Make Your Own Instant Ice Crystals!

Learn how to make instant ice crystals in this easy science experiment! Just two ingredients and you’ll have instant ice in minutes!

Why does instant ice work?

Instant ice only works if you have a super purified water source like distilled water or purified water. Tap water and rainwater usually won’t work.

Instant ice works through the process of nucleation.

When water is cooled, molecules move slowly. Nucleation is a process by which one small action starts a chain reaction.

So when your water is cooled below freezing but there are no impurities, it remains a liquid at a certain temperature.

But when it is jostled in any way, that first crystal starts to form and your ice is instantly formed on your string!

Can you make instant ice cubes?

No, you can’t make instant ice that comes out in a cube shape. But you can supercool purified water in ice cube trays and sometimes they will produce a little spike on the top!

That’s pretty cool!

Instant ice only works because there are no impurities, and no home freezer is free enough of impurities to create instant ice cubes. But you’re welcome to try it out and see what happens!

Maybe you can get it to work!

Learn how to make instant ice crystals in this easy science experiment! Just two ingredients and you'll have instant ice in minutes!

What do you need to make instant ice?

Here is what you need for instant ice crystals! You can shop these Amazon affiliate links for what you need!

That’s it!

How Long Does it Take to Make Instant Ice?

It varies depending on your freezer’s temperature, but in most cases, it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to get the water cool enough to make instant ice.

Instant Ice Video

Watch our instant ice video in action below!

Instant Ice Science Worksheets

Click the image below to get the lesson plan and worksheets for this science experiment!

instant ice science project worksheets

How to Make Instant Ice Crystals

Open your water bottle and place the string inside.

Place your water bottle in the freezer. You’ll want about 3-4 bottles in case something goes wrong. This is a finnicky experiment!

crystal ice

Wait 30 minutes then check on your water bottle. Hit one on a flat surface and see if crystals form. If they don’t, put the bottles back in for 30 more mintues.

Keep checking and testing the bottles until ice crystals form.

instant ice water

Once ice crystals form when you hit the bottle, remove the string.

Ice crystals will have formed around the string!

instant ice science project worksheets

More Ice Science Experiments

Crystal Experiments: 11 Ways to Grow Crystals at Home

Can You Burn Ice? Burning Ice Experiment (not for young kids!)

How to Make an Ice Magnifying Glass (start a fire with ice?!)

How to Make Instant Ice in 5 Seconds

Melting Ice Experiment

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