trying to do the water -> ice trick but not working.....

    There is a video that shows how to pour water onto ice and it will freeze on contact. I wanted to to try and reproduce this trick (science experiment?) but I've not had any luck.

    I will link to the video below but the basics are:

    They use distilled water which has a much lower freezing point because there is no neutron in the water to activate the freezing effect. When the water comes into contact with ice it instantly freezes (pretty cool effect), this can be done by putting the ice into the water or pouring the water over the ice.

    I've not had any luck getting distilled water from local supermarkets but I did read that deionised water is pretty much the same thing. I just tried it and whilst it didn't really freeze like normal water (it was large crystals that broke easily) it did freeze and what water there was remaining didn't freeze when poured on water.

    Now, there are a couple of things I did different from the original video:

    1) I used an empty mineral water bottle which was emptied and throughly dried out in an airing cupboard (would this still contain the neutrons required for the freezing process...?), the reason for this is the deionised water comes in 5 litre bottles and for the purpose of the 'trick' that wouldn't work.

    2) In their video they froze for 2 hours 45 mins at -24 degrees. My freezer is -20 degrees and I checked on it at 2 hours, this is when I found it in its semi frozen state.

    Fairly long post there, but he is the video (which is well worth watching) and I welcome any suggestions on recreating this effect.…tly

    the bbc did an article on this effect too (who did actually use deionised water but froze for a shorter time):…582


    I will have to try that out:)

    Original Poster

    It's good isn't it! Wanted to do it for a party trick but as I say, no luck so far...

    boil water and collect the vapour. cool the vapour and its distilled.

    Neutrons? You sure you know what you're talking about?

    he means nucleation the nuclei which cause the ice crystals to form otherwise known as minute bits of dust minerals etc.

    So sorry I can't help but thanks for,that video - brilliant !!

    Original Poster

    Yep that's the ones....


    Skip that and try the cola and mentos party trick instead!

    You might want to try rain water.

    sounds like you have not supercooled it right
    try it for less time and keep it steady
    i know our freezer 'hard' to open so jerks the unit a bit
    (might be easier to use a salt/ice bath for keeping steady and cooling smaller amounts)

    should be able to flush the bottle with some deionised to clean it no need to wash and dry etc and less likely to introduce dust/whatever

    never tried but my little one is watching avatar cartoon atm with waterbenders in it so may give it a go

    Edited by: "brilly" 31st Jul 2014


    This is probably not the answer you are looking for, but might help … This is probably not the answer you are looking for, but might help stabilise the temperature. Also, an essential trick for any upcoming BBQ's - if the weather holds ;--))The Cold Beer Hack.

    Is ti just me or is that guy not making any sense?

    Preventing the water to melt?


    If you don't use any salt it only takes a minute or so longer......I thought he said the salt was what did the magic?
    Edited by: "NEtech" 5th Aug 2014

    Original Poster

    Tried this again with the deionised water and the freezer. Tested it after 30 minutes, water wasn't frozen but didn't freeze when poured on ice cubes either. Checked again after 60 minutes, it was partly frozen (it never seems to freeze hard and is quite brittle) poured the liquid onto ice cubes again, still nothing.... the only other option is to try the ice cubes and salt as mentioned on the bbc site linked.
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