Slushie Steal

Remember those commercials for pillow pets? And then the ones for cuddle-uppets and the hanger that collapses to make more room in your closet? And what about those really big pipe cleaners that you could turn into fuzzy monsters? What were those even called? There are so many infomercials, it’s hard to keep them all straight. The only time I have ever bought one of those products, and it wasn’t from the “But wait, there’s more!” line either, it was at a store where it was being sold for 15 dollars less than on TV. So I wasted a grand total of five dollars on something I could have done at home. That’s right. Slushy Magic.

 (See comercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oi-3retwNBE)

I know what you’re thinking, but it does actually work. It takes longer than advertised, and there’s a really annoying hole at the top just in case you used soda that spills the liquid everywhere, but it works. I have enjoyed many a slushy with that thing. I had to, I payed for it! But I thought, what is the actual science behind it?

Well, it’s not the “Snowflake science” that’s advertised, nor is it the magic ice cubes that come with it. It’s salt. That’s right! The stuff that you can buy a lifetime supply of in the supermarket, for waaay less than on TV. (But it came with a slushy straw and a drink guide!) Anyway, if you freeze a large quantity of salt mixed with water in a bag, it turns into slush, and doesn’t completely freeze. (You can freeze it overnight, or until it turns a white-ish color.) Then, put that bag inside a larger bag (reccomendation: salt-water in quart size, put into gallon size) but do not unzip or open the bag with the icey slush. Instead, pour in your liquid of choice and seal the. Then shake it, sh-shake it, shake it, sh-shake it, shake it, sh-shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture! 

Salt lowers the melting point of water. To make a slushy, teh drink needs to be really cold, but not cold enought to freeze. Therefore the slat acts like a catalyst. One site explains, ” To make a slushie you want the temperature around the bag of your favorite drink to be lower than 32 degrees so your drink will freeze. When you add salt to the ice cubes you lower the melting point of the ice cubes by several degrees. The ice cubes stay colder, longer – long enough to turn your drink slushie.”

Happy slushie eating!

For more information check out the links below!

Links:

http://www.imcpl.org/kids/blog/?p=9844

http://charliebrownteacher.blogspot.com/2012/05/science-and-slushies.html

So ta ta for now and I hope to see your chemical reaction soon!

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