Hooked On Science: Hot Ice

Hooked On Science: Hot Ice


PLEASE follow these safety precautions when doing any science experiment.

  • ALWAYS have an adult present.
  • ALWAYS wear the correct safety gear while doing any experiment.
  • NEVER eat or drink anything while doing any experiment.
  • REMEMBER experiments may require marbles, small balls, balloons, and other small parts. Those objects could become a CHOKING HAZARD. Adults are to perform those experiments using these objects. Any child can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Keep uninflated or broken balloons away from children.


  • Sodium Acetate Hand Warmer
  • 2 Plastic Cup
  • Vinegar
  • Scissors


STEP 1: Turn the plastic cup upside down and sit it on a flat surface.

STEP 2: Fill the other cup half of the way with vinegar. Dip your fingers, scissors, and the sodium acetate hand warmer into the vinegar.

STEP 3: Using the scissors carefully cut open the sodium acetate hand warmer without activating the hand warmer.

STEP 4: Slowly pour the sodium acetate onto the bottom of the upside-down plastic cup and observe. Describe and classify the sodium acetate by its observable properties. Make observations to identify the sodium acetate based on its properties.


The handwarmer contains a supersaturated solution of sodium acetate. Once the sodium acetate hits the bottom of the upside-down plastic cup a chain reaction happens to cause the solution to crystallize. This reaction is exothermic, which gives off heat.

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