How to Make Slow Melting Ice

Contemporary embroidery in ice with cross stitch
Creating my embroideries in ice has thrown up a number of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is preventing the ice from melting in my hands as I embroider it.

Of course a slowly-slowly approach helps. When embroidering ice I rarely complete more than three or four stitches in one sitting. This is time consuming but any time that the ice is out of the freezer it is prone to melting and so stitching in short bursts helps mitigate against this.

I have been exploring other ways in which I can affect the ice to slow down the speed at which the ice melts.

1. Use Boiled Water

The first tip is to boil your water before creating your ice. This will reduce the amount of air bubbles trapped in the ice and so make the ice more dense. This will slow down the melting process and also help to produce more ‘crystal clear’ ice.

2. Add Salt

Secondly, adding salt to your water before freezing it can help to slow down the melting process (though it will slow down the freezing process as well!)

Adding salt to the water upsets the balance between freezing and melting. It causes a temperature drop that slows the melting rate whilst increasing the freezing rate. The net result is that the ice melts more and more slowly after the initial addition of salt.

Adding 2g or more of salt to your boiled water should affect a change in the time it takes your ice to melt

3. Make Large Blocks of Ice

Creating as large a block of ice as you can will also help to increase the longevity of the piece of ice.

Quite simply there will be less of the surface area of the ice exposed. Multiple small ice cubes will melt quicker than one large block of ice of equivalent volume because more of the surface area of the ice is exposed.


If you’ve got any more tips on how to prevent ice from melting too quickly please do feel free to share them in the comments below!