How to Make Hot Ice (sodium acetate) You Can Sculpt With

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Ok, I found this video on making something he calls “hot ice”, now immediately you know it’s not ice but something that looks like ice but

is actually hot. What he’s got here is something called “sodium acetate”, which you can not only easily buy online but you can also make it at home (links to where to buy sodium acetate and a video on how to make it are below). I initially thought “meh, maybe cool but probably not enough to warrant the effort to do this”, then I saw the sculpting he did with

it by pouring the liquid out which immediately transforms into crystals (watch the video, you’ll understand) and then saw how it actually crystallized as he was pouring it up into the glass, and thought “ok this is very cool, I like it, I’m posting this.” So here’s the first video:

Ok, now I’ve come up with 3 different ways in which you can obtain sodium acetate: you can buy it online in its pure form, you can get it

from hand warmers, or you can make it yourself at home out of baking soda and vinegar. If I had to pick one I’d go with the hand warmers because you can just go out to the store and buy them, then cut them open and voila you’ve got pure sodium acetate. Here’s some handwarmers that contain sodium acetate: EZ Heat Reusable Hand Warmers

(contain sodium acetate and water). You could also just buy the pure stuff from an online chemical supply company, I’ve found a place here that’ll sell you 100 grams (should be plenty) for just $8: Sodium Acetate at ScienceCompany.com.

Now, if you’ve decided that you want to make your own at home from baking soda and vinegar, here’s an excellent guide from Instructables.com:


Crystallization of homemade sodium acetateMore DIY How To Projects

Additional Resources and Further Reading

Transform Hand Warmers to Liquid Ice Sculptures from PopSci.com (very interesting, they compare sodium acetate to a sort of “real-world Ice-9”, ice-9 being the stuff from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle that ends up eventually destroying the world).

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