My children have become enamored with the Slushy Magic commercial currently airing. If you haven’t seen the commercial, Slushy Magic is a plastic tumbler with a lid and three “magic” ice cubes. Put the cubes in the tumbler, pour in your favorite drink, put the lid on and shake. Somewhere between one to five minutes later, the liquid turns into a delicious slushie!
You can see how this would appeal to kids. Heck, it appealed to me! But at the TV price of $29.98 for two plastic cups and six plastic ice cubes, spending that kind of money definitely did not appeal to me. So, we set out to make our own Slushy Magics at home.
To recreate the Slushy Magic effect, it’s important to understand how it works. Each cup comes with three plastic ice cubes filled with salt water. Salt water freezes at a lower temperature than plain water does. Once it’s frozen, anything it comes in contact with will also freeze rapidly. (Anyone who’s ever made ice cream in a bag, another fun summer activity, has seen the effects of salt and ice working together!)
So, here’s what you’ll need:
- Ziploc-type sandwich bags
- Table salt and water
- A cup with a lid
- A beverage with sugar in it (diet or sugar-free beverages won’t crystallize)
The night before you want to make slushies, prepare the “ice cube” bags. Put one half-cup of water in each bag, along with one teaspoon of table salt. Make sure the measurements are exact — too much salt will lower the solution’s freeze point even more, and the mixture will not freeze solid in your freezer. (I arrived on this ratio after several attempts to get it right. Again, add too much salt, and you’ll have a bag of water that never freezes in a household freezer.)
After about two minutes, peek inside and see what’s happening:
In doing some more research while writing this post, I saw that Toys R Us sells Slushy Magic for $14.99, with pretty mixed reviews. Many people noted that the Slushy Magic cups have holes in the lids too, and if you don’t cover them while shaking, you have a mess. Others complain that the ice cubes’ volume takes up more than half the cup. (They have to, or the freezing effect won’t take place.) But basically, it’s a cup, a lid, and salt water… and now you know how to duplicate the effect at home for next to nothing!