Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dry Ice Effects

When I showed you my Bloody Drink Labels and Sign I mentioned that we were going to have a punch bowl with dry ice. Yesterday we picked some up so that we could experiment with it before the party!

Dry Ice Basics
  • Dry ice is extremely cold (-109F).
  • Wear heavy gloves or use ice tongs when handling to prevent frostbite.
  • Do not put directly into drinks. Accidental ingestion is extremely dangerous.
  • Use only in metal or plastic containers. Glass will shatter.
  • Dry ice is Solid Carbon Dioxide. Standing directly over a large amount for an extended period of time can cause you to become light headed.
  • Mixing dry ice with hot water will give you a longer lasting effect than cold water.
  • Store a large chunk in a tightly sealed cooler and it should last for up to two days. It will not keep as long in a freezer due to the oxygen that is let in when you open the door.
  • Some stores carry dry ice just for Halloween. You can find a directory of places that carry dry ice year-round HERE.
Creepy Punch Bowl

Fill a large plastic punch bowl with the beverage that you will be serving. Place a tall skinny cylinder made of metal or plastic in the middle. Make sure that it is at least slightly taller than the punch bowl so that your drink doesn't pour into the dry ice container. We used the bottom half of an old martini shaker that is about 5-1/2" tall. Fill this container slightly more than half-way with hot water.

Wearing heavy gloves, carefully drop a large chunk of dry ice into your metal container.

I love the effect that made! This turned out to be a great way to get the effect that we were wanting while still being safe so we don't have to worry about small chunks breaking off and ending up in someone's glass.

The big fog dissipates after about five minutes after which you will have this errie haze for about another twenty minutes. At that point you will want to put the gloves back on, carefully remove the metal container and begin again with hot water and more dry ice.

Glowing Tonic

You have probably heard by now that Tonic Water glows under black light. We decided to experiment with this and put warm tonic water in the middle container with the dry ice instead of regular water. Hang the black light above the punch bowl instead of behind it to achieve the best effect.

The dry ice causes the tonic water to bubble over into the rest of the punch bowl, giving it all an awesome glow. This would work even better if you fill the entire punch bowl and middle container with tonic water. Set a bottle of gin next to it and you're ready to go!

Red Potion

For this one we placed a small chunk of dry ice in a small salsa bowl. Then we mixed about 1/3 cup warm water and 30 drops of red food coloring in a small cup and poured it over the dry ice.

We didn't get the red fog that we were hoping for but we did end up with these cool red bubbles. It was a fun and unexpected result! The food coloring will splatter a bit so make sure that you cover the surface that it is sitting on.
Bubbling Fog

For this one we took another small salsa bowl, placed it in a roasting pan (to catch the bubbles), and filled the bowl with warm water and 1-2 Tbsp liquid dish soap.

Drop in a small chunk of dry ice and watch it bubble. I plan to use this in one of our pumpkins outside so that it pukes bubbles! Mwuhahaha!

Add more water if you would like to change the size and consistency of your bubbles.

The bubbles are full of fog and when they pop they make this fun haze.

Being careful to stay away from the area directly next to the dry ice, you can even grab a handful of bubbles and squeeze them to release the fog. My son thought this trick was awesome!
The Grand Finale

After all of our experiments we still had this large chunk of dry ice left so we just dumped it into a large bucket of hot water.

It was pretty impressive and created this really cool low lying fog. It not only covered our entire kitchen floor but went all the way through the dining room and into the living room! I don't recommend using this indoors though. It made the floors a little slippery. It would make an amazing effect for a backyard cemetery though!

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Red Couch Recipes said...

That was a really fun post on dry ice. I always use it but I am naughty and put it in the drink! Love your post. I have never put it in hot water. I think that would make it foggier. I have a huge metal jack-o-lantern and I put the punch in there with the dry ice and it seeps out the face of the pumpkin! Fun! Joni

Vicky said...

Oh my gosh, my boys would love this too :) Um, not that I wouldn't as well! I had no idea you could do so much with dry ice... loved the tonic water addition and the red too.

April said...

That is sooooo cool! We're having a Halloween themed birthday party for my girls the Saturday after Halloween and may just have to do this in the backyard!!! I think my grocery store has dry ice too!!

The Autocrat: Haley said...

OMG! I think that is the best thing yet. I shared your paper bats with my uncle who is having a party, he loved the idea. Wish I lived closer to him so I could have blogged about it.

Crystal said...

Wow! That looks so much fun. Thanks for all the great tips and idea.

Big D and Me said...

Love this post - I've been wondering about how to use dry ice - thanks

Caitling95 said...

I was wondering what type of punch you used. Does the color of the punch affect how the tonic water will make it glow?