Whether you are conducting a science experiment or simply want to know the various ways to melt ice cubes, you have many options. Ice cubes are generally used in drinks because they are larger and melt more slowly than shaved or crushed ice. Ice starts its melting process immediately after you remove it from a cold or freezing environment, but there are many ways that you can speed up the process of melting the cubes.
Those who use salt to melt ice during the winter know that salt is an effective way to melt ice cubes fast. Rock salt is generally used to melt winter ice and snow, but most salts can do the job. Cooking salt, table salt, non-sodium salt, kosher salt and sea salt contain sodium chloride. When sodium chloride combines with ice, the ice will melt. How fast the ice melts depends on its size and the amount of time it spent thawing before before the salt was applied.
Pouring hot water on an ice cube is a quick way to melt it. The hotter the water, the faster the ice cube will melt. You can boil the water in a pot and place the ice cube inside of it, or you can watch the ice cube melt slowly as you pour the water on it. The extreme contrast of the heat and cold is causes the ice cube to melt quickly.
Sit your ice cubes in a bowl and place them outside in the sun's path. On a very hot, sunny day, the heat from the sun will melt your ice cubes within a matter of minutes. On cooler days, it may take a bit longer, but the sun will still do its job. The heat emitting from the sunlight will cause the ice cubes to melt and will also cause the water from the melted ice to evaporate.
Directly placing heat on ice cubes will melt them almost instantly. If you place the ice cubes in a hot stove, use a lighter or place lit matches next to them, the ice cubes will melt right away. The side of the ice cube closest to the fire will melt the fastest. The steam that rises from the ice cubes as they melt is water vapor, which is simply water in its gas state.