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Dry ice is commonly used for cooling and freezing purposes due to its extremely cold temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit or -78.5 degrees Celsius. If you are in need of any amount of dry ice, there are several places where you can purchase blocks of dry ice. In this article, we will explore the best places to buy it and provide tips on how to handle and use dry ice safely.
What Is Dry Ice?
Before we tell you where to get dry ice, let’s explain what it is and what it’s most commonly used for. Unlike regular ice made from frozen water, dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide. It is produced by pressurizing and cooling CO2 gas until it becomes a solid without passing through the liquid state.
Its versatility and ability to sublimate (convert directly from a solid to a gas) make dry ice an essential component for:
- Transportation and food preservation
- Special effects
- Packaging and mailing products
- Dry ice blasting
- Flash freezing.
So, if you need dry ice for packaging or similar purposes, let’s discuss where you can find it.
How to Find Dry Ice Available in Your Area
If you are looking for dry ice for any reason, there are several ways to find businesses that provide dry ice in your area. But first, it is essential to ensure that you are purchasing quality dry ice, especially if you intend to use it for specific purposes like shipping perishable foods or creating special effects.
Reading customer reviews or asking for recommendations can give you an idea about the reliability and quality of the various places that sell dry ice in your area. When you need to find a place that has it, this is what you can do:
Use Online Directories or Search Engines
If you are unsure where to find dry ice in your area, online directories or search engines can be a helpful resource. Simply enter your location and search for dry ice suppliers near you. The results will give you a list of options, allowing you to choose the most convenient one.
Contact Local Ice Companies or Distributors
As mentioned earlier, local companies or distributors often offer dry ice as a product. Contact these companies or distributors directly to inquire about their availability and dry ice delivery. They will give you all the information you need and help you make a purchase.
Take Recommendations From Friends or Colleagues
Word of mouth is the quickest way to find a reliable dry ice location. Ask your friends or colleagues about their go-to places to buy dry ice. They may have firsthand experience with certain suppliers and can provide valuable advice.
Which Places Sell Dry Ice Near You
If you’re looking for a convenient way of getting dry ice, there may be several places near you that sell dry ice blocks. You can try contacting local ice cream shops to see if they can offer some of their excess dry ice for sale. You can also try party supply stores or even welding supply stores, as they often carry dry ice for various purposes.
It’s always a good idea to call ahead and inquire about availability, as the demand for dry ice can vary. Still, your best bet to locate dry ice is:
Local Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
You are almost always guaranteed to find dry ice at large retailers. Some of the most convenient places to buy this type of ice near you are larger grocery stores and supermarket chains like Walmart, Kroger, and Publix. Many of these establishments offer dry ice as a product in the frozen foods or ice section. Simply head to the store and look for signs or ask the store associates for assistance in locating the dry ice.
Ice Companies and Distributors
Another great option for purchasing dry ice is through ice companies and distributors. They specialize in providing various types of ice, like bagged ice, dry ice slabs, and pellets of dry ice. Contact the companies or distributors in your area to inquire about their availability and prices for dry ice.
Online Dry Ice Suppliers
If you prefer the convenience of shopping online, there are several dry ice suppliers that offer delivery services. Simply go to their websites, browse the available dry ice options, and place an order. The dry ice will be delivered right to your doorstep – as hassle-free as it gets!
How to Store and Handle Dry Ice Safely
When it comes to storing and using dry ice, it is essential to follow best practices to ensure safety and avoid the dangers of CO2. Therefore, it is crucial to find a place to store it properly away from children and pets. If you want your dry ice to last as much as possible and be safe for use, follow these safety guidelines:
Store the Ice Container in a Well-Ventilated Area
When you bring your dry ice home, it is important to store it in a well-ventilated area. Make sure to place the ice in a container or cooler that allows for proper air circulation and decreases the sublimation rate of the dry ice. This is important in case the container is leaking carbon dioxide.
Use Gloves or Tongs to Handle dry ice
Never touch it with your bare hands, as dry ice can burn the skin and can cause frostbite. Always use gloves or tongs to handle dry ice to protect your skin from the extreme cold and keep the dry ice away from your face. Safety should always be a priority when working with carbonic ice.
Avoid Keeping Dry Ice in a Tightly Sealed Container
The ice needs to be kept cold, so remember to store it in a styrofoam cooler or container to slow down the sublimation process. This type of ice sublimates, meaning it turns directly from a solid to a gas and releases CO2, which can build up and cause an explosion. Keep the container lid closed as much as possible, but leave it slightly open to allow the gas to escape safely.
Do Not Ingest It!
It is crucial to prevent any ingestion of carbon dioxide leaks caused by dry ice, as it can burn the esophagus and internal organs and cause serious damage. Ingesting dry ice can be extremely harmful, leading to respiratory issues and even death.
Safely Transport Dry Ice in Your Vehicle
Transporting dry ice in your personal vehicle is possible but requires certain precautions. It is recommended to transport dry ice in a well-insulated container to prevent it from melting too quickly. This will help to maintain its cooling properties for a longer period of time.
Another important precaution when transporting dry ice is to ensure proper ventilation in the vehicle and to ensure the container is not leaking carbon. Crack open a window or use the vehicle’s ventilation system to provide fresh air circulation.
Frequently Asked Question
Where can I find retailers that sell dry ice near me?
You can find the top-rated places to purchase dry ice by checking online directories, reading customer reviews, or asking for recommendations from local businesses that deal with cold storage or shipping.
What factors should I consider when choosing the best place to purchase dry ice?
When choosing the best place to get dry ice, consider factors like proximity to your location, product quality, pricing, availability, customer service, and any additional services they may offer, such as delivery or packaging options.
Are there national chains or online retailers that have this type of ice?
Yes, there are several national chains and online retailers that offer reliable purchasing options. Some popular options that have dry ice include grocery stores, specialized companies, industrial gas suppliers, and online platforms that cater specifically to dry ice sales.
Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.