How to buy dry ice

Written by dan falk
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How to buy dry ice
Dry ice creates a fog effect. (nikkytok/iStock/Getty Images)

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide in solid form. Ice stays solid and dry at a temperature of -75 degrees Celsius (-110 degrees Fahrenheit). For commercial purposes such as special effects and theme parties that create fog during ghost stories, dry ice can be bought in 25 kg (55 lb) blocks in solid form or in 11.3 kg (25 lb) bags in pellet form. For household uses such as food preservation, dry ice by the pound or bag could store fresh or frozen meat and cool drinks during long trips.

Things you need

  • Container
  • Dry ice in blocks or bags
  • Shopping trolley

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  1. 1

    Bring your own heavy-duty, airtight cooler for transporting dry ice on your vehicle. Avoid paper bags and cardboard boxes.

  2. 2

    Go to your nearest supermarket and ask if they have dry ice on stock, and if not, have them order it for you.

  3. 3

    Get a block of the desired size from the ice cooler. Dry ice is usually in sealed, insulated bags or wrapped in layers of paper.

  4. 4

    Request a sales assistant to have the dry ice weighed if it hasn't already been pre-weighed or pre-priced.

  5. 5

    Put the dry ice in your cart instead of hand-carrying, and proceed to the counter.

  6. 6

    Order the quantity and size of dry ice from home delivery if you're not going out. Call a local dry ice shop. Their personnel will deliver it to you within the day, and you will pay upon delivery.

  7. 7

    Order blocks of dry ice from home if the quantity is too much or too heavy. Contact your online dry ice directory where all ice sellers are listed for free or by membership, and place your order. It will arrive safe at your doorstep by mail.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't lean too deep into a CO2 chest-type freezer to avoid shortness of breath, fainting and dizziness. Use insulated gloves when provided to dig into the freezer. Dry ice can burns fingers and skin with too much direct contact, causing frostbite.

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