From chilling your favorite cocktail to a grand Halloween décor, dry ice truly has many usages. But it is not very easy to get a block of it.
It is even harder to handle it safely. And trust me, when I first tried to search for where to buy dry ice near me, I had to face a thousand doubts!
So, to help you with this, we are going to give you all the detailed information about buying dry ice at the right price from your nearby retail store or online shopping sites.
But before that, let’s clear a few of your doubts about dry ice first!
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What Is Dry Ice?
Before you dive deep to know where to get dry ice near me, you need to know what it is actually!
It is nothing but Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in solid form. When we freeze carbon dioxide without any impurities to −109.2° Fahrenheit (−78.5° Centigrade), it takes a solid form that we call dry ice.
It starts a chemical reaction and dissipates dense fog and smoke when we add dry ice to cold water. And this effect creates an eerie and foggy atmosphere that is absolutely cool to look at!
Forms Of Dry Ice
Honestly saying, I was utterly unaware of dry ice and its pricing. But when I first searched where can I buy dry ice near me, I got to know many interesting things.
Typically, dry ice is available in three forms in the open market.
- Blocks: Typically, blocks of dry ice come in a dimension of 10” x 10” with a thickness of 12” or more. A standard block can weigh up to 60 lbs.
- Slabs: If you need any customized dimensions, slabs are the best option to hop for. It also comes in handy if you want to put it inside a container. Besides, it is also easier to break.
- Pallets: If you want a cocktail or to create Halloween effects, pallets are the best option! It comes in size similar to a large sugar cube. Besides the regular ones, you can get rice pallets and carbonic pallets as well.
Supplies To Take When Buying Dry Ice
When I first searched for where to buy dry ice near me, I also knew that it would need some special equipment to handle it.
- The first thing that you need is a sturdy cooler from Igloo. Made of high-density polyethylene, this particular cooler comes with a trademarked tent-top design ideal for carrying dry ice.
- But you also need a heavy-duty glove from Ironclad that has not only high abrasion resistance but also ensures a perfect fit. Made of thermoplastic rubber, this glove can make your hand absolutely safe to handle dry ice.
- And to wrap the dry ice container, you can get high-quality linen towels from Hammam. These ultra-soft towels have high absorption properties to keep you safe from any dry ice leakage. Made of Turkish cotton, these are also pretty lightweight and pocket-friendly.
Where To Buy Dry Ice: Dry Ice Retailers Near Me
It is definitely better to get the dry ice home-delivered, as you don’t need to handle it that way.
However, if you need it fast and can’t wait to get it delivered right to your doorstep, you can try your nearby retailers. There are many places where you can get it.
1. Grocery Stores
When I first searched for where to buy dry ice near me for drinks or Halloween smokes, the first thing that came to my mind was to check the local grocery stores.
Believe it or not, I hit the jackpot as dry ice is available in bigger grocery stores around the states. But you won’t get it from supermarkets or small shacks.
You can also try other grocery stores of famous chains, such as Kroger, Weis Market, Ralphs, Tom Thumb, WinCo Foods, Smiths, and Vons. Besides, Whole Foods and Giant also recently started selling dry ice blocks.
2. Ice Companies
Many ice companies make dry ice for both domestic and industrial purposes.
And it is highly possible that you have ice companies in your city that maybe you are not aware of. So, you can try Yellow Pages or can look in your city-specific social media pages to locate one.
But the only drawback is you need to order in bulk quantity.
3. Online Dry Ice Sellers
You can find several dry ice sellers who operate strictly in the online field. You can look for dry ice on Amazon or other famous retail sites.
And if you are from India, you can look for dry ice on Flipkart, too! However, you need to check the reviews and ratings of the product before buying it.
If you live near Dallas-Fort Worth and Central Texas, you can try Emergency Ice.
Besides, an industrial gas manufacturer, Praxair, also supplies dry ice all over the United States and a few other countries.
4. Gas Stations
This finding was also shocking at first when I tried to look for where to buy dry ice near me a few days ago.
But yes, you can get dry ice from your nearby gas station. However, you need to handle it all by yourself as they don’t provide thick gloves like supermarkets.
It is better to check it over the phone to know about their current inventory before you actually visit these gas stations.
5. Some FedEx And UPS Stores
But you’ll be surprised to know that several franchises of these two companies offer dry ice. It is mainly for packaging purposes.
You can get dry ice from them (obviously with some buck; not at all free) to package and ship products like raw fish, meat, and other frozen items.
But unlike the supermarkets, you need to have your own gloves to handle those.
Although they mainly sell dry ice for packaging, it is absolutely legal to take a block or two just to use it for domestic purposes.
6. Butcher Shops
When I asked one of my colleagues where to buy dry ice packs near me, she suggested visiting a nearby butcher shop.
It seems impractical until I approach them. Many butcher shops actually sell dry ice.
They mainly buy dry ice in bulk to preserve their cold cuts. Besides, they also use it to store raw meats, sausages, hams, and salamis.
Many people also use it to store smoked meats as well. But often, they buy excess dry ices.
So, if you are lucky enough, you can get a chunk from them. But, beware of food contamination.
Buying Dry Ice
Even if you know where to buy dry ice near me, you also need to understand you need to take a few more steps to buy dry ice and get it home safely.
- First, you need a sturdy container, especially if you are buying it from a grocery store. The container should be leakage-proof and should have a thick bottom.
- Second, your containers shouldn’t be made of steel or tin. Try to use something like corrugated cardboard. You can use plastic and wooden containers as well.
- Third, you should have an extra layer of sponge or Styrofoam to wrap around the container. The extra layer should be at least 2-inch.
Transporting Dry Ice
As you must have already known, dry ice is made of carbon dioxide. And ingesting a good amount of it can be extremely hazardous.
So, you need to take some precautionary measures while transporting it.
- You need to secure the block of dry ice inside a tough container like the BPA-free boxes from Vtopmart. Containers like this are entirely leakage-proof, which makes it absolutely safe to carry dry ice.
- Keep the dry ice container in your car in such a way that it doesn’t shift too much. If you are carrying a large block, you need to be extra careful, as a sharp turn can cause it to break the container.
- It is better to carry dry ice outside the main cabin if you have sufficient boot space in your car. Otherwise, use a solid trunk like the heavy-duty storage trunk from Plano to incorporate an extra layer of protection.
- Never ever keep dry ice inside a closed car and also on a lengthy trip. Make your journey time as low as 15 minutes. And if you need to carry it for a long time, switch off your AC and keep your car window open.
Handling Dry Ice
Dry ice is extremely cold! If you touch it with bare hands, it can cause skin burns in no time.
So, to properly handle the dry ice, you need to adapt to some safety measures.
- Always keep the block or pallet of dry ice inside the container. Never keep it in an open space. It is also recommended not to keep it close to toddlers and pets.
- You should wear a thick glove like the utility gloves from Handlandy before you touch dry ice or even its container.
- Keep the dry ice block away from your face while handling it. Ingesting enough carbon dioxide in one shot can is extremely hazardous.
- It is always better to wear goggles like the protective goggles from Supermore if you have to break the block of dry ice. Even a small splinter can seriously damage your eyes.
Storing Dry Ice
I was utterly unaware of storing the dry ice in the right way when I searched for where to buy dry ice near me a few days ago.
Keeping it in the right way is as important as safely handling it. And to do that, follow these steps.
- It is better to use dry ice close if you don’t want to lose around 10 lbs. each day. A high-quality close can effectively slow down the sublimation. However, keeping it in an air-tight container is not recommended because it can explode if excessive pressure builds up inside the air-tight container.
- You can keep the dry ice close inside a cardboard or plastic container with a tightly closed lid. It will not only eliminate any chance of leakage but will also add an extra layer of safety.
- Put some crumpled paper inside the container to eliminate a high amount of dead space. It can effectively decelerate the sublimation process of dry ice.
- You should keep the dry ice container in a cold but well-ventilated place to eliminate any chance of asphyxiation. You can keep it inside your refrigerator. But, keeping it inside the freezer can be deadly as freezers are air-tight.
How long does dry ice last?
It entirely depends on how you keep it. If you keep it in a sealed box in a sub-zero place, it can stay for days.
If you leave it unused and let it evaporate, dry ice won’t last for more than 24 hours at max.
And if you put it in water to create a ghostly effect for Halloween, the smoke will last for around 15 minutes.
How to break up a block of ice?
First, you need to wrap the block of dry ice in a thick towel. And then hammer it gently till it breaks inside the towel.
But remember, never try to touch the dry ice empty-handed! Always wear a thick industrial-grade glove and a safety goggle while handling dry ice.
How much to buy dry ice?
The price of it varies from country to country. Dry ice price in India is much lower than the price in the United States.
So, where to buy dry ice near me is not the sole puzzle you need to solve, as you also need to get a reasonable price.
A block between 1lb to 5 lbs. can typically cost around $1 to $3 in the USA. You can definitely get a better deal in retailers like Walmart and Costco.
Although an unusual purchase, dry ice is a must-need item in any grand décor or a crazy house party.
And I hope you won’t find it challenging to get a block of it, as I had faced it when I first searched where to buy dry ice near me. But remember, you need to handle it with extreme caution.
So, that’s all for today, folks! Feel free to drop your suggestion and feedback in the comment box below. Happy festive!
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.