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7 Common Consumer Uses for Dry Ice

What Is Dry Ice?

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. Unlike regular frozen water ice, dry ice is unique in that it doesn’t melt. (Hence the name, “dry ice”.) Instead, dry ice goes through the process of sublimination, meaning it converts directly from a solid state to a gas state, without passing through the liquid state.

Here are a few of the most common consumer uses of dry ice:

Shipping Food

Because dry ice is extremely cold, nontoxic, and completely dry, it is commonly used as a disposable refrigerant to ship frozen or perishable food. It’s particularly convenient when shipping fresh food to college students and relatives. Many grocery store delivery services, restaurants, and meal kit subscription boxes use dry ice to keep perishable food fresh during shipping.

Preventing Food Spoilage

When the power’s out or your freezer breaks, dry ice can help keep your food cold. The amount of dry ice needed to keep perishables cool varies depending on the size of your refrigerator or freezer and how full it is. Need help calculating how much you need for your order? Contact us at 1-800-ICE-TO-GO (423-8686) to speak to one of our dry ice specialists.

Keeping Food Cold While Camping or Traveling

Going camping for a few days or taking a road trip? Packing the cooler with dry ice is the perfect way to keep refrigerated items cold without the mess of melting water ice.

Science Projects or Experiments

Dry ice has been used in science fair projects for years. But beyond the classic volcano, there are tons of cool science experiments that incorporate the use of dry ice that are easy to do at home. Check out these ideas for some fun and memorable experiments to do with your kids.

Food and Beverage Presentation

Using dry ice in your food and beverage presentation is a great way to wow your guests. You can create a thick fog that surrounds a platter or use MistyStyx for memorable cocktails. (Remember that while dry ice is fun and safe to use near food, it should never be ingested!)

Mosquito Repellent

Having a backyard party and don’t want to deal with pesky mosquitoes? Pick up some dry ice. (You’ll thank us later!) Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that humans exhale. The concentration of CO2 from dry ice, however, is much higher than the CO2 we exhale. By setting out traps with dry ice in your yard a good distance away from your guests, you’ll lure the mosquitoes away as the dry ice sublimates to CO2 gas.

Halloween Smoke Effects

Want to make your Jack-o’-lantern have an eerie fog effect? Try placing a glass with warm water and some dry ice pellets inside the carved pumpkin. This technique also works well for creating spooky smoking cauldrons. Need some inspiration for fun dry ice Halloween experiments to do with the kids? Check out this guide!

Dry Ice Safety Precautions

The temperature of dry ice is -109◦ F (-79◦C) which is cold much colder than regular ice. It’s important to take proper safety precautions when handling dry ice to avoid burns that are similar to frostbite. Always handle dry ice with protective gloves or a towel. Children should be supervised by an adult when using dry ice.

When using dry ice, make sure to be in a well-ventilated location. Because dry ice changes to CO2 gas as it sublimates, working in a small space that is not ventilated can cause difficulty breathing or even suffocation.

Not only is dry ice a very effective cooling agent, but it’s also a fun and useful tool for creating entertaining and mysterious experiences for any party or event. Apple Ice is your reliable dry ice supplier in New York and the tri-state area. You can purchase dry ice at our locations in the Bronx, Monticello, Hudson, and Long Island or schedule a delivery to your home or business. For more information, call us at 1-800-ICE-TO-GO.

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