Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ice Cubes & Soap

When mixing my lye into my water I have found that if at least half of my water is ice cubes I get little to no fumes when the lye and water react.  I like this since its not always practical for me to mix the lye/water outside and I hate walking around with a pitcher of lye, even if it's covered.  Normally I just use the ice cubes we make with water from our Brita.  But because I'm not all that great at remembering to change the filter and I have distilled water that I buy specifically for soap, I thought I would make ice cubes with the distilled water.  This is what I got..... 

Can you see the icicle growing UP out of the ice cube?!  My kids thought this was pretty neat, so of course we had to investigate why this happened.  I figured it had to have something to do with the distilled water, since I've never seen this with any other ice cubes.  After some 'Google-ing' we found this blog post that explains why this happens.  It has to do with the way the water freezes.  The water starts freezing all around the edges, top and bottom, as this happens it causes pressure on the water, tiny holes can form on the top and as the pressure increases little drops of water will squeeze out of the holes.  As more water is pushed out it adds to the little icicle and it will continue to grow.  There are other factors involved as well, such as the water used (I was right!!) and how quickly it freezes.  Well, now I have another thing to add to my 'What I've Learned From Making Soap' list!

1 comment:

  1. That is so neat! Thanks for the fun info! I've learned something today too. :)