How to make Special Effects with Dry Ice

Dry Ice when combined with hot tap water can produce vigorous bubbling water and voluminous flowing fog.


For each 15-minute period put 2 to 5 kg of Dry Ice into 15 to 30 liters of hot water. This will make lots of fog depending upon the temperature of the water and the size of the pieces of Dry Ice. Hotter water will make more fog. Very hot water will add its own rising steam to the vapor cloud. If there is no steam the fog will flow down hill and in the direction of any air movement. A small fan can help control the direction. Smaller pieces of Dry Ice with more surface area produce a greater volume of fog and cool the water down much faster. In both cases the result is more fog for a shorter amount of time. Keep the water hot with a hot plate, electric skillet, or some other heat source to produce fog for a longer time. Otherwise when the water gets too cold it must be replaced to continue the fog effects. If the container is completely filled with water the fog will flow over the sides the best. But the Dry Ice sublimation will vigorously bubble the water and splash it out. Even a ¾ filled container will splash some so place the container where spilled water will not ruin anything. The water vapor fog will also dampen the area it flows across. Be careful because after some time floors do get slippery.

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Posted by NTT-Tech on Thursday, December 6, 2018

ApplicationAmount of Dry IceDuration
Witches Punch1 to 2 kgUp to ½ an hour
Pumpkins1 to 2 kgUp to ½ an hour
Witches Pot2 to 6 kgUp to an ¾ hour
Small Room (Use 2 Pots)6 to 12 kgUp to an hour
Large Room (Use 3-4 Pots)20 kg packageUp to an hour
Swimming Pool (unheated)20 kg package1 to 2 hours
Patio (No Wind)20 to 50 kg1 to 2 hours



20 to 50 kg of Dry Ice dropped directly into a heated swimming pool will make fog for an hour or longer depending on the water temperature and the size of the Dry Ice pieces. Because of the Jacuzzi's hot water, it makes the most fog the quickest. As long as the water is kept hot, it can take 20 to 50 pounds per hour. The Dry Ice will carbonate the water for several days. If possible drain the Jacuzzi. The swimming pool will read more alkaline during this time so wait to add acid until the carbonation has dissipated. If the temperature of the water in a swimming pool, fountain, waterfall, or birdbath is too cold (less than 15°C) the Dry Ice will bubble but produce much less fog.



It is OK to put Dry Ice into beverages for drinking as long as the dry ice is food grade.  Use 1 to 2 kg of Dry Ice for 4 liters of room temperature punch. Use large pieces of Dry Ice not small pieces. The Dry Ice is heavier than ice and will sink to the bottom. Do not use any regular ice! The Dry Ice will do the cooling and must not be eaten or swallowed. Too much Dry Ice will freeze the beverage so have extra standing by. It will bubble and give off the most fog when the beverage is room temperature. When most of the Dry Ice has sublimated, it will surround itself with ice and float to the top. There is still a small piece of Dry Ice in the center of these ice pieces so do not serve or eat them. Carefully ladle the beverage into drinking glasses without any Dry Ice. Add regular ice to glasses for cooler drinks.


Using a fog machine or buckets of hot water and a fan, many shows are enhanced by adding flowing fog. A theater fog machine is generally a 100 to 200 liter metal or plastic water barrel with a 220-volt hot water heater to keep the water hot. Dry Ice is placed in a bucket with holes to allow hot water to enter. When the bucket is lowered into the hot water fog is instantly produced. The resulting water vapor fog is gently blown by a fan and directed to the desired area by an air duct tube. Fog stops whenever the bucket of Dry Ice is pulled out of the water.