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Dry Ice: 6 Worst-Case Scenarios

Dry Ice: 6 Worst-Case Scenarios

Dry Ice: 6 Worst Case Scenarios

Avoid these six worst-case scenarios of dry ice usage.

When safely handled, using dry ice for all your various projects can be a breeze. Dry ice can fix dents in cars, flash-freeze food, refrigerate food in a power outage, deter mosquitoes, and so much more. In the autumn, dry ice makes an excellent addition to any Halloween celebration. Even so, things can go wrong. To avoid a disastrous dry ice experience, read on to learn the 6 top worst-case scenarios of dry ice.

1. Not Having Enough Dry Ice

It’s awful to think you have bought enough dry ice only to discover that it has disappeared by the time you need to use it. Alternatively, finding out you don’t have enough can keep you from achieving your goal. For example, you may only have enough of it to create a ghostly fog for half an hour rather than six. Never buy dry ice too early before the time you need to use it, and never neglect to calculate the amount you will need to purchase. Dry ice sublimates at about 10 pounds per 24 hours, so plan accordingly.

2. Handling Without Protection

The next worst-case scenario is to injure oneself directly through improper handling. Dry ice, at -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit, will burn you if you touch or pick it up with bare hands. Always wear gloves or use tongs to handle the dry ice.

3. Storing in Enclosed Spaces

Because dry ice, which is solid carbon dioxide, is constantly sublimating, the carbon dioxide gas can cause dizziness, nausea, fainting, and death if kept in an unventilated space. If you are transporting dry ice in a vehicle, never ride with it for more than 15 minutes without cracking the windows. If need be, open the windows in your house in the room where you keep the dry ice. 

4. Storing in an Airtight Container

Worse than storing dry ice in an enclosed space is storing it not only there but also in an airtight container. The carbon dioxide gas needs to escape into the air, so a build-up of the gas in one space will cause an explosion. Closing up a piece of dry ice in a plastic water bottle and watching it explode might be a fun scientific trick, but doing so in ignorance can lead to severe damages.


If you have the misfortune to ingest a piece of dry ice, either on its own or through a drink, go to the hospital immediately. The dry ice will cause internal burns. Avoid this worst-case scenario by never tasting solid CO2 and never drinking a dry ice beverage until all the dry ice has sublimated. Also, never let children or pets have free access to the substance.

6. Improperly Disposing of Dry Ice

If you have some leftover dry ice that you need to dispose of, never toss it in the trash or down a drain. Let it vanish by itself. You also must properly dispose of the container and gloves used to handle the dry ice, as these are considered hazardous materials.

Dry Ice For All Your Needs

Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our dry ice is fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. We are happy to help you determine the best way to ship your goods, whether you have a huge amount of cookies or a single pie, and help you select the perfect amount of dry ice for the job. Give us a call at (201) 767-3200 or contact us online for a quote. To connect with us online, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.