Fun with Dust-Off…

Dust-off canister

No, not that kind of fun – I’m talking about fun with endothermic reactions!

You see – Dust-Off isn’t really compressed air (pressurized Nitrogen is pretty boring) but is in fact liquid difluoroethane. So what happens when you release a liquid with a boiling point well below that of room temperature (-24.9 °C)?

Lets find out:

You get a reaction that will absorb an awful lot of energy from it’s surroundings (you can freeze stuff).

Getting more to the point- around here, in the summer, I come across a fair bunch of house spiders and, while I don’t mind them outdoors, can’t have them wandering around indoors. The problem is that they can be pretty tough to catch (especially the small ones) and mashing them makes a mess (especially the big ones). However, with the help of the aforementioned fluorocarbon, dealing with insects is a breeze.

All you need to do is give the can a good shake, tilt sideways and aim and fire. If you do things correctly the nozzle (moistened by shaking) will produce a directed spray of very fine difluoroethane droplets that, due to the their large surface area, vaporize rapidly – making the immediate surroundings very cool.

Bonus: on a humid day, your very likely to see frost form from the spray!

2 Responses to “Fun with Dust-Off…”

  1. Hey cuz! I stumbled upon this through facebook– Hey fun fact- Dust Off works to remove warts! Scott discovered this while working in a home depot store! I think it was a combination of having a wart, a can of dust-off and to much time! Hope you are well!

  2. Same here says:

    I got the can of dust off, and a pesky wart and put 2 and 2 together.

    I thought it prudent to google the situation prior to killing myself with an adverse reaction.

    So far I have yet to find conclusive evidence that this works, but I’ve got bright red spot around the wart, after freezing until the pain in unbearable and thawing.

    I guess if freezing a wart works, this can of dustoff really freezes the wart so I guess it works.

    Most posts I ran into said that you should put on a qtip first. But I figured to go with maximum strenght and apply directly to skin.

    I think I’ll google frostbite next.

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