We hope to provide a complete source of uses for dry ice. There’s more than this list covers, but we’ll keep adding new ideas. We hope you’ll find something fun and useful to do with dry ice.
Dry ice can be dangerous to use if you don’t know what you’re doing. Therefore, always use proper safety habits when storing and handling dry ice.
Cooling and Freezing
Dry ice can keep things cold or frozen, as it can lower the temperature of an object or substance by removing heat through sublimation. A common use is to transport temperature-sensitive products, such as food and medical supplies.
- Keep food and drinks cold in a cooler
- Flash-freeze food
- Make ice cream
- Make root beer
Dry ice can keep food fresh and prevent spoilage. It can be placed in coolers or containers to help extend the shelf life of perishable items.
- Preserve food freshness during shipping
Dry ice aids in carbonating beverages, such as soda or cocktails, by releasing carbon dioxide gas into the liquid.
Creating Special Effects
Dry ice can be used to create fog or smoke effects for stage performances, movies, or other events. When placing dry ice in water, it produces a thick, white fog that can create a variety of visual effects.
Commercial and Industrial Uses
Dry ice is present in a variety of industrial applications, such as cleaning and surface preparation, pest control, and fire suppression. It can also be used to power air tools, such as air hammers and chisels.
- Plumbers use dry ice to create “ice plugs” in pipes allowing repairs without turning off water supplies
- Loosening car sound-deadening material
- Aiding in removing and installing cylinder liners in engines
- “Blast cleaning”
- Removing floor tiles
- Repairing dents in vehicles
- Pest control (under strictly controlled circumstances)
- Stabilizing asphalt during transport to and from construction sites
Dry ice is used to treat injuries, such as frostbite, by applying it to the affected area. It can also be used to numb the skin for minor surgical procedures.
- Storage and transportation of temperature-sensitive medical devices, samples, and equipment
- Removing skin imperfections like moles and warts
- As an alternative to embalming before a funeral
- Removing pressure-sensitive adhesives
- Attract and trap insects like bed bugs and mosquitos
- Refrigeration during power outages
- Create dry ice rockets (safe practices and supervision required)
Gardening with Dry Ice
- Allowing dry ice to sublimate near plants for 10-15 minutes can increase their growth rate
Camping, Hunting, and Fishing with Dry Ice
- Storing fish for transport
- Store food cold for long camping trips