Dry ice is something that we don’t buy very often. We have to buy dry ice on special occasions. Probably, you’re someone who has never bought dry ice before. Therefore, you may be wondering where to buy dry ice, its costs, and how to use it safely.
In this article, we’ll try to figure out where to buy dry ice, its cost, and how to use it safely.
What is Dry Ice?
Do you know which gas we breathe out? Carbon Dioxide (CO2), right? Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2). It’s called dry ice because it doesn’t melt into a liquid state like regular ice made of water.
Dry ice sublimates directly from a solid to a gas. It means dry ice turns into carbon dioxide (CO2) when it exposes to room temperature or warmer conditions. It can be life-threatening if it doesn’t use safely. Dry ice is extremely cold, with a temperature of -78.5°C (-109.3°F). It’s not for regular use.
What is Dry Ice used for?
Dry ice is used as a cooling agent. It has many different uses because of its unique properties.
Here are some uses of dry ice:
- Food Industry: Mostly dry ice is used in the food industry. Dry ice is perfect for freezing and transporting food products. Dry ice can store food for a longer time.
- Shipping: As you know, dry ice is extremely cold. Because of that, it can store food and medical supplies for a longer time. When companies ship perishable items, they use dry ice.
- Medical Industry: Perhaps, the medical industry uses dry ice too much. Biological samples and vaccines need to be kept at a cold temperature. In that case, dry ice comes handy.
- Laboratory: Sometimes, dry ice is used in laboratory settings. Scientists need to maintain a consistent temperature for experiments and testing.
- Cleaning: Dry ice can be used for cleaning industrial equipment and machinery. This cleaning method is called “dry ice blasting.” Also, you can use dry ice for deep cleaning cars.
- Carbonation: Sometimes, dry ice is used to carbonate drinks or create carbonated ice cream or other desserts.
- Special Effects: Dry ice is perfect for creating foggy effects in theatrical productions or Halloween events.
Dry ice is a versatile substance that has a wide range of uses. No matter how you use it, always follow the safety guidelines.
How much does Dry Ice cost?
The cost of dry ice depends on several factors, such as the amount of dry ice you need, your location, and your supplier.
On average, dry ice costs $1 to $3 per pound. Also, it’s important to note that some suppliers may have minimum order quantities or additional fees for handling and delivery.
If you need a large amount of dry ice, you should consider purchasing it in bulk. Some suppliers may offer you discounts for bulk orders. It’s best to shop around and compare prices from different suppliers to get the best deal.
How many sizes of Dry Ice are available?
You can find different sizes of dry ice in the market, from small pellets or nuggets to larger blocks or slices. The size of dry ice you need depends on its uses.
Here are some common sizes of dry ice in the market:
- Pellets of Dry Ice: Pellets of dry ice are typically around 1/4 inch in diameter and are often used for smaller-scale cooling needs or special effects in entertainment.
- Blocks of Dry Ice: You can find blocks of dry ice in different sizes. Typically, the blocks of dry ice can measure 10″ x 10″ x 10″. These larger pieces of dry ice are often used in industrial companies.
- 1-inch Slices: These thin, flat pieces of dry ice are used for shipping perishable items.
- Custom: Maybe it’s possible to order dry ice in custom sizes. You need to contact the supplier for your specific needs.
Where to buy Dry Ice near me?
Most grocery stores sell dry ice. Also, you can purchase dry ice from gas stations.
Grocery Stores That Sell Dry Ice
Many large grocery stores sell dry ice. However, you won’t find dry ice on the supermarket floor.
You’ll have to ask the manager of your local grocery store for the amount of dry ice you require. The manager will bring dry ice to you.
Some retailers sell dry ice at all of their stores, while others will sell dry ice at select locations. For that reason, you should call ahead to inquire where they sell dry ice.
Here is a list of grocery stores that sell dry ice in alphabetical order:
Gas Stations That Sell Dry Ice
Many gas stations also sell dry ice. However, gas stations might not help you handle dry ice like grocery stores. In that case, you’ll have to follow the safety precautions while handling dry ice. We’ll discuss it later in the post.
Some gas stations may only sell dry ice at select locations. You should call ahead to inquire where they sell dry ice. You don’t want to waste your time.
Here is a list of gas stations that sell dry ice in alphabetical order:
Online Stores That Sell Dry Ice
Did you know that you can buy dry ice at online stores? Many online stores allow you to order dry ice online. They’ll deliver it to your doorstep. You can also buy dry ice in bulk from online stores.
Here is a list of online stores that sell dry ice in alphabetical order:
- Continental Carbonic
- Dry Ice Corp
- Dry Ice Delivered
- Dry Ice UK
- Emergency Ice
- Flipkart (India)
- Linde US
- Natuzzi Ice
- Solvent Direct
- The Ice Factory
- The Iceman
Additional Places To Buy Dry Ice
As you can see, you can buy dry ice from grocery stores, gas stations, and online stores. However, these are not the only options to buy dry ice.
Here are a few other places to buy dry ice near you:
59. Butcher Shops
As you know, dry ice is used for storing perishable items like fish and meat. For that reason, butchers use dry ice to store meat. They may sell extra blocks of dry ice to you.
All you have to do is contact your local butcher shops, whether they’re willing to sell extra blocks of dry ice. How do you find your local butcher shops? To find butcher shops near you, enter the phrase “butcher shops near me” into Google and hit the search button. You’ll get a list of butcher shops near you with contact information.
Never visit a butcher shop without calling them ahead. They may not have extra blocks of dry ice to sell. To save time, always call them ahead.
60. FedEx and UPS Stores
FedEx and UPS are two popular delivery partners in the United States.
Some FedEx and UPS locations may provide dry ice for packaging and deliver products that need to be kept cold, like fish and meat.
You can get dry ice from these companies for packaging purposes. However, you’ll have to handle dry ice on your own. Therefore, contact FedEx and UPS if they have any dry ice for sale.
61. Local Ice Manufacturers
There may be local ice manufacturers that sell dry ice.
For example, Reddy Ice is America’s leading ice supplier. They sell premium packaged ice, premium packaged block ice, dry ice, gourmet ice, and premium craft ice. They have many locations across the United States.
Reddy Ice may not be available in your area. In that case, use Google to search for ice manufacturers in your area. You’ll get a list of ice manufacturers in your area with contact information. Contact them to ask if they sell dry ice.
How To Handle Dry Ice Safely?
After buying dry ice, you need to know how to handle it safely. Dry ice is not like regular ice that is made of water. It can cause serious damage if it isn’t handled with care.
Here are a few tips to handle dry ice safely:
- Wear gloves: Dry ice is -78.5°C (-109.3°F). It’s incredibly cold. You can’t touch it with a bare hand. It can burn your skin. Always wear insulated gloves, use tongs, or wrap your dry ice with an insulating material while handling.
- Don’t eat or drink it: Dry ice is not made for eating or drinking purposes. Never eat dry ice or drink anything adding dry ice. Also, always keep it away from your skin and face.
- Use it in a well-ventilated area: Dry ice emits carbon dioxide (CO2) gas as it sublimates. It could cause suffocation in an enclosed space. Always use dry ice outside or in a well-ventilated area.
- Don’t use airtight containers to store dry ice: It’s dangerous to store dry ice in an airtight container. If the gas can’t escape, pressure will build up inside the container, leading to a potential explosion. Always use an insulating container that’s not tightly sealed.
How To Store Dry Ice Safely?
After buying dry ice, you need a place to store it. Like you have to handle it safely, you’ll have to store it safely as well.
You should buy dry ice the day you’ll use it. Dry ice starts to sublimate from the time you purchase it. In a typical insulated container, dry ice sublimate at a rate of 1% per hour.
Here are a few tips to store dry ice safely so it lasts longer:
- Store in a cold area: Always store dry ice in a cold area to reduce the sublimation rate. Never store dry ice in the fridge. Always keep dry ice away from the sunlight.
- Store in a well-ventilated room: Dry ice emits carbon dioxide (CO2) gas as it sublimates. If you store dry ice in a sealed room, carbon dioxide will build up. It’ll cause asphyxiation. Therefore, always store dry ice in a well-ventilated room to prevent building up carbon dioxide.
- Don’t open the container lid frequently: Try to open the container lid as infrequently as possible. If you open the dry ice container lid frequently, it will sublimate quickly.
- Use crumpled paper: You can use crumpled paper inside the container to reduce the sublimation rate.
How To Transport Dry Ice Safely?
Here are a few tips to transport dry ice safely:
- Use the right container: It’s important to use the right container to store dry ice. As you might know, dry ice emits carbon dioxide (CO2) gas as it sublimates. If you use a tightly sealed container, pressure will build up and cause an explosion. Styrofoam containers work best for the storage of dry ice.
- Make sure the container is secure in the vehicle: If you’re carrying large blocks of dry ice, make sure it doesn’t shift during transportation. Large blocks of dry ice could rip through the container when you make a sharp turn. Therefore, make sure the container doesn’t shift during transportation.
- Check for carbon dioxide leaking: Lastly, always check whether the container is leaking carbon dioxide. You won’t be able to check for carbon dioxide leaking while driving.
Does Walmart sell dry ice?
Yes, Walmart does sell dry ice. However, the retailer sells dry ice in smaller quantities.
Where can I buy dry ice?
You can buy dry ice at a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, butcher shops, ice manufacturers, and online retailers.
How long does dry ice last?
It depends on several factors. Typically, dry ice lasts for about 24-36 hours in a cooler, depending on the size of the ice and the condition inside the cooler. It sublimates at a rate of about 5-10 pounds every 24 hours.
Can I eat dry ice?
Dry ice is not meant for eating or drinking. Never drink or eat dry ice in any circumstances. It can cause severe damage to your mouth, esophagus, and stomach if consumed.
Can you touch dry ice?
Dry ice is extremely cold. You should never touch dry ice with a bare hand as it can cause severe frostbite. Always wear thick gloves or tongs before touching dry ice.
Will dry ice freeze water?
No. When you place dry ice in the water, it’ll sublimate through the water, and produce a fog-like effect.
Can I store dry ice in a freezer?
Never store dry ice in the working refrigerator freezer. Dry ice is colder than the temperature of the freezer. Because of that, dry ice could cause the refrigerator to not function properly or shut down. Dry ice can be stored in a refrigerator that doesn’t function.
How do I dispose of any unused dry ice?
Place any remaining dry ice in a well-ventilated area. My recommendation is that you leave the dry ice in the original packaging and place it on a towel. It’ll sublimate away in a short amount of time.
What is colder than dry ice?
The dry ice temperature is -78.5°C (-109.3°F). However, liquid nitrogen is colder than dry ice – usually between -346°F and -320.44°F – which makes it more dangerous to handle.
Who invented dry ice?
A French inventor, Adrien-Jean-Pierre Thilorier (1790–1844), discovered dry ice.
As you can see, there are many places to buy dry ice in bulk or in smaller quantities. You can buy dry ice from grocery stores, gas stations, butcher shops, and online retailers.
Dry ice needs to be handled with care. As you know, it can cause severe damage to your skin. Therefore, always follow the safety guidelines while handling dry ice.