Dry Ice Uses

Dry ice can be used for the following applications:

ACCELERATED PLANT GROWTH  A small quantity of CO2 will increase the growth rate of plants.  Allow the dry ice to sublimate in close proximity to the plants for 10-15 minutes daily.

ASPHALT COOLING  Using dry ice allows for the delicate asphalt to stay at required temperatures during transport from the manufacturing plant to job site.  Even more beneficial, using dry ice allows contractors to speed up the cooling process and core the paving sooner.

BED BUG REMOVAL  Infestation of bed bugs has become a serious problem because most of the chemicals used to control them are now banned or restricted.  Removal of small infestations or testing whether you have them is possible by building a trap using dry ice.

BROKEN FREEZER  Use dry ice to keep freezer contents frozen during breakdowns. Click for Dry Ice Calculator.

BROKEN REFRIGERATOR  Use dry ice to keep refrigerator contents cool during breakdowns. Click for Dry Ice Calculator.

CAMPING  Dry ice provides the most effective and inexpensive means to keep perishables chilled or frozen.

CARBONATE LIQUIDS  When dry ice is added to liquids, the dry ice will sublime and become a gaseous CO2 vapor.  During this process, the liquid will absorb the CO2 gas and become a carbonated liquid, AKA Soda pop, Sparkling water, etc. CO2 is extensively used around the world in the beverage and soda industry

CHEMOTHERAPY  Many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments have found the use of super cooled “cold caps” to be an effective way to reduce or prevent hair loss

CONTAINMENT TANK REPAIR / REMOVAL  Dry ice will remove oxygen from flammable containment tanks if placed inside, reducing the risk of flammable vapors catching spark and exploding

DE-FLASHING MOLDED PLASTICS AND RUBBER – Dry ice causes molecules to band closer together and “shrink”.

DRY ICE BLASTING  Dry ice blasting has become the fastest growing application of CO2 in the entire industry.  Similar to sand blasting, dry ice blasting uses a jet nozzle and compressed air to shoot small pellets of dry ice (blasting rice) with superior results.  The extreme cold causes targeted material to shrink, allowing for easier removal.  The used blasting rice will sublimate into gaseous CO2 after use which makes cleanup a breeze.

FISHING / HUNTING  Enthusiasts wait entire lifetimes for the one chance to bag the elusive trophy animal or catch the perfect wall decoration.  Don’t let it spoil, use dry ice!  Keeping your animal or fish chilled with dry ice will ensure minimal spoilage during transportation.

FLASH FREEZING SUSHI / FISH  Dry ice can be used to flash freeze fish, ensuring freshness and prolonging preservation time by up to ten days longer than regular ice.  This method also acts as a biocide and is FDA required before sushi can be sold for consumption.

FOG VISUAL EFFECT  Dry ice when combined with hot tap water will produce and awe-inspiring display of bubbling water and thick voluminous fog.  Use a pound of dry ice for every 4L of hot water for 5-10 minutes of maximum effect.  Since dry ice retains a temperature of -78°C, the water will cool rapidly.  Replace with hot water to maintain desired effect.

FREEZING FRESH FRUITS  Place dry ice in the bottom of your cooler and the fruit directly on top.  Close cooler and let fruits freeze for 20-30 minutes.  Remove fruit and place in freezer safe plastic bags as needed.

FRESH MEAT PROCESSING  Dry ice will keep the temperature cold and reduce spoilage while processing meat.  This is used in industrial processing of ground meats and sausages.

GREEN BURIALS  Dry ice can be used to preserve the human body until the funeral.  This method has been proven more environmentally friendly than the use of toxic, embalming chemicals, and MUCH less expensive.

INERTING MEDIUM  Dry ice will replace oxygen in a container preventing or extinguishing fires.  The most common use is for safely removing underground gas storage tanks.

KILLS CLOTHES MOTHS  Dry ice, when combined with heavy plastic bags can kill moths, larvae, and eggs through fumigation.  Place clothes for fumigation in a plastic bag (at least 3mm thick).  Wrap 5 pounds of dry ice in a towel/rag and place inside the bag.  Seal the bag but ensure there is enough space for the sublimation to escape rather than building pressure.  20-30 minutes should be adequate time to finish the job.

LURES MOSQUITOS AWAY  Mosquitos love dry ice! Mosquitos are attracted to both animals and humans is because when exhaling, we produce small amounts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide).  When CO2 is detected by a mosquito, is registers the location of its next meal of blood.  As dry ice sublimes to CO2 gas, it is equivalent to over 1,000 people breathing at the same time in a close proximity.  Therefore the mosquito will zoom in on the dry ice because of the high concentration of 100% pure CO2 gas that dry ice expels. Place 5-10 pounds pieces of dry ice away from areas where people are gathered.  Works amazing!

MEDICAL USES  There are a number of applications in the medical field.  Doctors will often use dry ice to freeze and remove warts or other skin imperfections.  Temperature sensitive medical supplies, samples, and equipment are also commonly transported with dry ice as a cooling agent.

PLUMBING  Dry ice can be used to freeze pipes, essentially stopping the flow of water at point of contact.  This method is very useful if you are unable to access the main shutoff valve.  Once the pipes are frozen, proceed with repairs.

PRESERVE SEEDS AND GRAINS  Dry ice can be used to protect post-harvested seeds and grains from bacteria, fungi, and insects.  Place what you desire to store into a storage container with a small vent on top.  Add dry ice to container (amount varies depending on container size).  The dry ice will sublimate into gaseous CO2 and displace oxygen and keep contents at low temperatures to kill fungi and bacteria

REMOVE CAR DENTS  Dry ice can be used to remove car dents and dings as long as there is no crease on the bottom and the sheet metal is not bent.  Allow the dent to sit in the sun to warm up (or use a blow dryer).  Take a 10 pound slab of dry ice and place directly over the dent.  The rapid cooling of the metal will pop the dent back to normal.  There is a very small risk of paint scratching with this method however it is quite rare (use at your own risk)

REMOVE SKIN IMPERFECTIONS  Dry ice is sometimes used either with or as a substitute to liquid nitrogen to remove small skin imperfections, warts, and moles.  This method should not to be used at home.

SCHOOL SCIENCE & EXPERIMENTS  There are a multitude of fun, creative science projects and experiments to be used in schools.  Volcanoes, cloud chambers, comets, making baking soda, observing sublimation, and gaseous expansion are some common school science projects.

SHRINK METAL FITTING  Dry ice works wonders for metal shrinking and fitting.

SPECIAL FX & THEATRICS  Using a fog machine or buckets of hot water and a fan, many shows are enhanced by adding flowing fog.

WELDING MOTORCYCLE TANKS – Use a similar method as when purging containment tanks, the main idea is to use the dry ice to sublimate and displace oxygen before welding.  Be sure to eliminate all traces of fuel and wash out the tank with warm soapy water.