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When you need to buy dry ice, it’s natural to wonder where to find it and how much it costs since it’s not something most of us need often.
This article will cover buying dry ice, its cost, proper handling and storage, safe usage, and more.
What is dry ice?
Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide, distinct from conventional ice made from water. Unlike typical ice, dry ice doesn’t have a liquid state; instead, it sublimates directly from a solid to a gas. This unique characteristic is why it’s referred to as dry ice.
It is essential to note that dry ice is unsafe for consumption, unlike traditional ice forms such as cubes or crushed ice. Therefore, it should not be used in beverages like cocktails.
Primarily utilized as a highly effective cooling agent, dry ice outperforms regular ice due to its sublimation property. It doesn’t melt and create a mess, making it ideal for keeping products cold or frozen.
Additionally, dry ice finds application in fog machines commonly used in venues like concerts and theaters. Its sublimation creates a dramatic fog effect, enhancing the overall atmosphere.
Where can I buy dry ice near me?
Many grocery stores like Kroger, Publix, Albertsons, Walmart, and Costco offer dry ice. Gas stations such as Sheetz and 7-Eleven and butcher shops are also places where you can find dry ice. If convenience is key, you can even order dry ice online and have it delivered to your doorstep.
For a more extensive list of places to purchase dry ice, along with details on pricing, handling, and essential tips, continue reading. If your preferred store isn’t mentioned here, or if these options aren’t available, consider checking with stores offering drinking water refill services, as they often sell both regular ice and dry ice.
Grocery stores that sell dry ice near you
Wondering where to buy dry ice? Look no further. Walmart is one of the places that sells dry ice; you can also find it at other major grocery stores.
Although not displayed on the supermarket floor, many larger grocery stores carry dry ice. To get it, simply ask the store manager, and they will provide the quantity you need.
Here’s a list of grocery stores that offer dry ice. Keep in mind that while some sell it at all their locations, others may only have it at specific stores. Avoid disappointment by calling ahead to confirm availability at your local store.
Grocery stores that provide dry ice:
- Acme Markets
- Chef’Store (Formerly Smart Foodservice)
- Fred Meyer
- Gelson’s Market
- Giant Food Stores
- Harris Teeter
- Ingles Markets
- King Soopers
- Smart & Final
- Tom Thumb
- Weis Markets
- Whole Foods Market
- WinCo Foods
Gas stations that sell dry ice
Gas stations are another option for purchasing dry ice, not just grocery stores.
Unlike grocery stores, some gas stations permit customers to handle dry ice. When doing so, remember to follow safety precautions, including wearing thick gloves. For additional guidance on packing, handling, and storing dry ice, refer to the rest of this post.
Not all gas stations offer dry ice, and availability may vary by location. Call your local gas station beforehand to avoid unnecessary trips and inquire about their dry ice availability. Save yourself the hassle and make a quick call before heading out!
Here is a list of gas stations where you can purchase dry ice:
- Hy-Vee Gas Stations
Online dry ice delivery
Ordering dry ice online for home delivery is convenient and accessible through various companies and online grocery stores. You can even purchase dry ice in bulk from some of these providers.
Here is a list of online platforms where you can buy dry ice:
- Continental Carbonic
- Dry Ice Corp
- Dry Ice Delivered
- Emergency Ice
- The Ice Factory
Other places where you can buy dry ice
In addition to grocery stores, gas stations, and online delivery companies mentioned earlier, there are alternative places where you can purchase dry ice locally.
Explore these alternative options:
Reach out to local butcher shops to inquire about the availability of dry ice. Use Google to find nearby options by searching for “butcher shop near me.” Call them and ask if they sell dry ice.
Some FedEx locations offer dry ice for packaging and shipping items that require cold storage. Contact your local FedEx and inquire about purchasing dry ice.
Certain UPS stores also provide dry ice for packing and shipping perishable goods. Contact your local UPS store and ask if they have dry ice available for sale.
Local ice companies
Explore local ice companies in your area that may sell dry ice. For example, Arctic Ice is a prominent dry ice manufacturer in the Midwest. Look for companies like CK Supply, Penguin Brand Dry Ice, Arctic Ice Inc, and Airgas Dry Ice.
Search for “dry ice company near me” or specify your town or city’s name in the search to find relevant options. Contact these companies to inquire about purchasing dry ice in bulk or smaller quantities.
Types of dry ice
Dry ice is available in various forms to meet different needs:
Dry Ice Blocks:
- Large pieces measuring 10″ x 10″ x 12″.
- Weighing up to 60 pounds.
- Suitable for substantial cooling requirements.
Dry Ice Slabs:
- Customizable to specific dimensions.
- Ideal for covering a significant area in coolers or containers.
Dry Ice Pellets:
- Perfect for smaller storage needs.
- Available by weight.
- Pellet sizes are typically similar to a sugar cube or slightly larger.
- There are three types of dry ice pellets: rice pellets, carbonic pellets, and regular pellets.
How much does dry ice cost?
Dry ice typically ranges from $1 to $3 per pound, with the cost influenced by quantity and purchase location factors.
For cost-effective options, consider buying dry ice in bulk online. This is especially beneficial when you require a substantial amount.
Alternatively, large retailers such as Kroger or Albertsons offer competitive prices for smaller quantities, making them suitable for those seeking a good deal without buying in bulk.
Handling, packing, and storing dry ice safely
It is crucial to recognize that dry ice is a hazardous material that demands careful handling for safe usage.
Key Safety Points:
- Avoid ingestion: Never swallow dry ice, as it can cause internal burns and release gas during the transition from solid to gas.
- Skin burns: Dry ice can cause burns on the skin upon direct contact.
- Avoid sealed containers: Storing dry ice in a sealed container can lead to an explosion.
- Carbon Dioxide risks: Excessive carbon dioxide fumes from dry ice can result in asphyxiation.
Exercise caution while handling, transporting, and storing dry ice to ensure a safe working environment.
Packing and transporting dry ice safely
When transporting dry ice, follow these straightforward tips to ensure safety:
Choose the right container
Select an appropriate container for dry ice storage. Avoid tightly sealed or screw-top lids, which may lead to gas buildup and potential explosions. Opt for an insulated, non-airtight Styrofoam container.
Secure the package in your vehicle
If picking up dry ice from a store, ensure the container is securely placed in your vehicle. Prevent shifting during transportation to avoid potential container damage, especially with large blocks or slabs.
Transport in the trunk or bed
Whenever possible, position the dry ice container outside the vehicle’s interior cabin. This minimizes the risk of exposure to carbon dioxide leaks, offering an additional layer of safety.
Check for Carbon Dioxide leaks
Before hitting the road, inspect the container for any signs of carbon dioxide leaks. This precaution is crucial, as you may not easily detect leaks while driving. Confirm there are no leaks to ensure a safe journey.
Handling dry ice safely
To avoid potential risks associated with dry ice, it’s crucial to follow these simple guidelines:
Wear protective clothing
Protect yourself by wearing gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and goggles. This safeguards your skin from potential burns caused by contact with dry ice.
Keep dry ice away from your face
During handling, always keep dry ice away from your face. This precaution prevents accidental inhalation of carbon dioxide leaks.
Use in a well-ventilated area
Utilize dry ice only in well-ventilated spaces. Excessive carbon dioxide fumes can lead to asphyxiation, underscoring the importance of proper ventilation during use.
Avoid bare-hand contact
Never handle or break dry ice with bare hands. Instead, use a towel or a pair of tongs. This adds an extra layer of protection to the previously mentioned gloves.
Use tools for breaking
If you need to break up dry ice, use a chisel and hammer – not your hands. This ensures safe handling and minimizes the risk of injury.
By adhering to these straightforward precautions, you can handle dry ice safely and mitigate potential hazards.
Storing dry ice safely
Once you’ve purchased dry ice, it’s crucial to store it properly. Here are simple guidelines to ensure safe storage and maximize its lifespan:
Purchase and use on the same day
Buy dry ice on the day you intend to use it, as it begins to sublimate immediately after purchase.
Choose a cold location
Store the dry ice in a cool area, avoiding direct sunlight. Do not place it in a freezer, as this can be unsafe.
Prevent the build-up of carbon dioxide gas by keeping the container in a well-ventilated area. Avoid confined spaces like walk-in coolers, refrigerators, freezers, or vehicles.
Keep the lid closed
Minimize the frequency of opening the container to slow down the sublimation process. Keeping the lid closed helps extend the lifespan of the dry ice.
Add crumpled paper
Enhance longevity by placing crumpled paper inside the container. This simple step helps slow down the sublimation process and makes the dry ice last longer.
How long will 2 lbs of dry ice last in a styrofoam or regular cooler?
Dry ice begins to evaporate immediately after purchase, and it will completely sublimate within approximately 24 hours. To maximize its effectiveness, buy dry ice before you use it.
Is it safe to use dry ice in a plastic cauldron filled with water to create fog?
Yes, it is safe and can produce a cool effect. Ensure nobody puts their hands into the cauldron, and open windows or doors to prevent gas buildup, which can be harmful if inhaled in a confined space.
Is it safe to use IGLOO containers for transporting dry ice with frozen food?
Yes, it is safe if the IGLOO container is insulated and equipped with built-in ventilation. Avoid placing dry ice in any air-tight container to prevent the risk of explosion.
The bottom line
If you need dry ice, you have several convenient options. Grocery stores, supermarkets, and major retailers like Walmart, Albertsons, and Kroger offer dry ice in both bulk and small quantities.
Gas stations such as Speedway, 7-Eleven, and Wawa, butcher shops, and local ice stores are also reliable sources. Alternatively, you can order dry ice online and have it delivered to your doorstep.
Contact these stores to find the most cost-effective option and inquire about their dry ice prices. Now that you know the available choices, you can make an informed decision and save money on your dry ice purchase.