Dry Ice Bubble

What To Do

For this fun experiment you will need some dry ice, gloves, goggles, water, washing up liquid and a couple of containers. Head on over to the shop page where you can order the dry ice. You must be very careful when handling it because it is so cold that it can burn your skin. You will need an adult to help you with this experiment. To prepare, take a container and make up some strong bubble mixture by adding lots of washing liquid to water. Mix it up gently so you do not end up with lots of bubbles.

Half fill a bowl with water, put on your gloves and goggles and take a small scoop of dry ice (no more than a quarter of a cup) and drop it into the water. The dry ice will instantly start producing loads of ‘steam’ which will start to overflow out of the bowl. Now soak a cloth in the bubble mixture, stretch it out and wipe it across the top of the bowl so you make a thin film across the top. It will take a little practice and when it works, will trap the vapour. Now you can sit back and watch as the bubble grows and grows.

The Science

Dry ice is very cold, minus 78.5 degrees so as soon as it hits air or water it starts to warm up and sublimate (turn from a solid to a gas instantly), that is the ‘steam’ which you can see. The bubble mixture creates a film that traps the steam and the bubble grows until it pops. As an extra bit of fun, try soaking your finger in bubble mixture and poke the bubble. You might be surprised that it does not pop! Now try it with a dry finger and see what happens