Dry Ice Smoke Ring Launcher - Science Experiment

How to Make Dry Ice Launcher

The Dry Ice Smoke Ring Launcher is a super cool homemade toy to keep kids fascinated for a good deal of time. It is a great idea to try both at home and at school with kids. 

Age: 6+      Time: <20min


1. Don't touch the dry ice with your skin.

2. Adult supervision.

 Materials List 

  • Disposable cup
  • Water
  • Balloon
  • Dry ice
  • Utility knife
  • Protective gloves

Dry ice smoke ring luancher material


Step 1/4 – Cut a penny-sized hole in the center bottom of the disposable cup.

Dry Ice Ring Launcher - Science Experiment step 1

Step 2/4 – Cut off the mouth of the balloon, extend the left balloon over the open end of the cup. (if it is too loose, use a rubber band to hold it tight.)

Dry Ice Ring Launcher - Science Experiment step 2

Step 3/4 – Add about 10ml water into the launcher, wear gloves and put 2-3 pieces of dry ice  (small enough to fit through the hole) into the launcher.

Dry Ice Ring Launcher - Science Experiment step 3

Step 4/4 – Hold the cup and let the balloon facing to you. Tilt the cup a little bit, letting the water stays against the balloon. Tap the balloon with your finger and there goes the smoke ring.

Dry Ice Ring Launcher - Science Experiment step 4


Why I can't launch a dry ice ring, just the smoke flow?

— Make sure the balloon is a little tight, not too loose and you want to tap the balloon with the right amount of force. It needs some practice. Be patient.

 Scientific Description 

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide which is the gas under room temperature. The dry ice will sublimate (the physic process that solid turns into gas directly) into carbon dioxide under room temperature. The sublimating process makes the surrounding environment super cold and causes water vapor in the air to condense. That is where the fog comes from. What behind the smoke ring is the vortex which is a region in a fluid in which the flow revolves around an axis line. A vortex is generated because the air coming out of the cup at the center of the hole travels faster than that around the edge of the hole. The speed difference makes a  vortex that can be seen rolling through the air. When you tap the balloon creates the movement of air to form a vortex. The smoke moves out with this vortex.  


Shoot the ring at a candle flame. It will put out the flame. See how far you can be from the candle and shoot the flame out.

Interested in dry ice?    Check our Cool Dry Ice Experiments for Kids to explore more about dry ice. Let's get started with this cool dry ice explore journey now!

Cool Dry Ice Experiments for Kids

Dry Ice Smoke Ring Launcher - Science Experiment  Dry Ice Smoke Ring Launcher - Science Experiment Reviewed by Ronyes Tech on November 17, 2020 Rating: 5

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