Does Dry Ice Cool Faster than Wet Ice?

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Updated on Mar 18, 2013

Grade Level: 6th - 8th; Type: Chemistry


In this experiment, students will find out whether dry ice will cool a beverage faster than wet ice.


Regular wet ice is created when water is frozen and turns from a liquid to a solid. Dry ice, on the other hand, is not water at all. It is solid carbon dioxide. However, like water, it is also colorless and odorless--and dry ice will cool your drink just like wet ice. In this experiment, we'll discover which does the job fastest.

Research Questions

  • What are some uses for wet ice? Dry ice?
  • What are the key benefits of dry ice?

Terms to Know

  • Water
  • Ice
  • Carbon Dioxide (solid)
  • Molecular composition
  • Freezing temperature
  • Cooling


  • Dry ice (you can get this at your local drug store in the first-aid section)
  • Wet ice (from your freezer)
  • Hot beverage, like coffee or soup
  • Two small plastic containers to hold the beverage
  • Two larger plastic containers to hold the ice
  • Two thermometers
  • Kitchen scale
  • Pen and paper for notes

Experimental Procedure

  1. Either buy frozen or prepare some regular ice in the freezer.
  2. To keep the mass of the dry ice and wet ice equal, be sure to weigh each. Do not separate the dry ice that is in the pack! This is dangerous. Instead, add/subtract the regular wet ice.
  3. Put both types of ice in a plastic container.
  4. Heat up two containers of coffee or soup until it is hot. Stick a thermometer in each. Record this temperature.
  5. Set the containers containing the hot beverage inside the larger containers that has the ice inside.
  6. Observe as the temperature drops. Record the temperature in five-minute increments.
  7. So which cooled down faster? Was there even a difference?
Suggested Chart


Initial Temp.

5 mins

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Dry Ice

Wet Ice


Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.

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