Adding a pinch of salt to a bucket of ice helps to keep it from melting quickly.
This sounds counter-intuitive, since we salt the pavement in the winter to melt the ice. Yet, adding a little water and salt to a cooler full of ice helps keep the ice cold for a longer period of time. The reason?
Salt lowers the freezing point of water. Once the water temperature dips below the requistite zero degrees fahrenheit, it serves to keep the vessel cool. While the ice may in fact melt, the water temperature will remain cool.
Next time you fill an ice bucket to keep wine or beer cold, try adding some cold salt water and see what happens.
Photo: Glasshouse Images
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