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In this post, you’ll get to know where to buy dry ice, how to buy dry ice, how to use it, and how to handle and store it.

Dry ice is the quickest and most effective way to keep material frozen. It is basically solidified Carbon Dioxide. Dry Ice is kept at 109.3º F. Once dry ice is exposed to warmer air, it will sublimate or begin reverting back to its original gaseous state.

That means once you purchase dry ice, use it immediately or placed in a cooler with robust insulation.

Dry ice is easy to purchase and you can use it to do a variety of things ranging from flash-freezing food to creating instant fog.

Where to buy Dry Ice

You can get dry ice is almost all grocery stores like Costco, Walmart, Safeway, Kroger, etc, and can even purchase them online in sites like Amazon.

You can even buy dry ice directly from the manufacturing company as these companies supply both internationally and local customers.

Before visiting any grocery store to buy dry ice, make sure you call ahead to know if they have it and if they don’t ask if they know who does or when it’ll be available.

Where to buy dry ice in South Africa

Here are four top companies that manufactures and distributes dry ice in South Africa.

1. Dry Ice International

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice international is a leading dry ice manufacturing and distributing company that has been serving South Africa since 1994.

They specialize in the manufacturing and distribution of dry ice in different shapes and sizes.

Also, this company has over fifteen years of experience in the area of dry ice blast cleaning in various industries such as mining, car and tyre manufacturing, plastic production, rail, printing, and many more.

They deliver nationwide and even to neigboring countries.

2. Dry Ice Africa

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice Africa is a leading dry ice supplier and manufacturer located in Gauteng, South Africa. They manufacture and supply large range of dry ice blocks, dry ice pellets, polystyrene ice boxes and coolers.

All their dry ice products are delivered to their clients in almost all the cities and towns in South Africa.

3. Dry Ice Solutions South Africa

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice Solutions South Africa also manufactures dry ice pellets & blocks and supplies to the industrial, medical, manufacturing, and public sector in the country.

Aside from manufacturing and supplying dry ice, they also offer services like dry ice blasting and supply dry ice equipment.

4. Sidewinder Dry Ice & Gas (Pty) Ltd

where to buy dry ice

This is one of the first dry ice manufacturing company in South Africa and for over 20 years has been manufacturing and distributing dry ice in the nation.

Where to buy dry ice in the United Kingdom

1. Dry Ice Supply UK

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice Supply UK is a leading dry ice manufacturing and distributing company in the United Kingdom. They offer cost-effective, flexible delivery solutions and are very reliable.

Dry Ice Supply UK cater for a wide range of companies across different industries, from Pharmaceutical to event management.

2. Chillistick

where to buy dry ice

Chillistick is also a leader in the dry ice industry in the United Kingdom. For over 10 years, Chillistick has been manufacturing and supplying dry ice in the nation.

Chillistick is one of the biggest independent dry ice supplier in the UK with a production capacity of 60,000 kg per week. 

They only supply food grade dry ice and offer free delivery services to mainland UK.

3. Dry Ice UK Ltd

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice UK caters to every dry ice needs in the United Kingdom i.e. they supply big brands as well as private customers with high-quality products.

Dry Ice UK is UK’s leading supplying of dry ice products and related services (blast cleaning).

4. Dry Ice Network

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice Network manufactures and supplies dry ice, sells and rents out dry ice blasting equipment, and offers in-house and on-site industrial cleaning.

They supply dry ice to many different industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, schools, bars and night clubs, etc, for a range of applications.

5. My Dry Ice

where to get dry ice

MY DRY ICE is a dry ice supply company located in Preston Lancashire. They provide dry ice along with equipment, training, and staff within the hospitality industry.

They supply only food grade dry ice for use in food and drinks as well as dry ice equipment designed to cage dry ice for food and drinks such as ice cage, champagne bucket kits, shot glass, and a whole lot of others.

6. Dry Ice Scotland Ltd

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice Scotland Ltd is a top dry ice manufacturing and supply company in Scotland that also offers dry ice blast cleaning services.

They supply high-quality, high-density dry ice pellets in different sizes and quantities.

7. Dry Ice Nationwide Limited

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice Nationwide Limited is a leading manufacturer and distributor of dry ice in the United Kingdom especially in England and Wales.

This company has products like dry ice pellets of different sizes, dry ice slices of different sizes, and gel packs (blue ice).

8. Dry Ice Ireland Ltd

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice Ireland Ltd is one of the first dry ice supply and service company in Ireland.

9. Polar Ice Ltd

where to buy dry ice

Polar Ice Ltd is the leading dry ice supplier in Ireland. They manufacture and supply only food-grade dry ice.

Where to buy dry ice in Canada

1. Calgary Dry Ice

where to buy dry ice

Calgary Dry Ice is the only dry ice manufacturer and supplier of dry ice in Calgary Alberta.

You can order for dry ice and expect fast delivery or can even pick it up yourself.

2. Dry Ice & Gases Co

where to buy dry ice

Dry Ice & Gases Co is a dry ice supplier in Toronto, Canada. This company has been distributing and supplying dry ice and compressed gas since 1982.

They sell dry ice blocks, dry ice slabs, dry ice pellets, and dry ice blasting pellets.

3. Continental Carbonic Products, Inc

where to buy dry ice

Continental Carbonic Products, Inc. is one of the leading manufacturing and distributing dry ice and liquid carbon dioxide company in Canada. They are also Canada’s largest distributor of dry ice blasting equipment.

4. Ice-ASAP Canada

where to buy dry ice

ICE-ASAP Canada delivers package ice and dry ice for any occasion or event anywhere in the GTA, Hamilton, and throughout the Niagara region in Canada.

How much dry ice can I buy?

where to buy dry ice

Dry ice comes in blocks usually 1-5 pounds. People are always asked how much they want when buying but if using it for punch, you can buy a 1-pound block which costs between $1-$3.

To pack a cooler box for the weekend, you’ll need at least 10kg of dry ice.

To keep drinks cold, you’ll need at least 7.5kg of dry ice.  

When buying dry ice, ensure to pick it up close to the time you’ll need it as it is constantly changing from solid to gas. It has a very short shelf-life.

Supplies to take when buying dry ice

When buying dry ice, take an ice chest or an insulated container and towel to wrap it in. This will hold it and slow the sublimation rate. You will also need work gloves.

Do not store dry ice in glass or metal containers. Do not also store dry ice in your freezer because your freezer’s thermostat will shut off the freezer due to the extreme cold of the dry ice.

Transporting Dry Ice

When transporting dry ice, don’t keep the cooler in the car for a very long time as sublimation begins immediately you purchase it, and the cooler will not contain all the carbon dioxide.

Keep windows open for ventilation if you’re traveling for more than 15 minutes.

Do not leave a pet or person in a closed car with dry ice as the carbon dioxide sublimating from the dry ice could displace the oxygen and asphyxiate them.

How does dry ice work?

Dry Ice works in different ways depending on the usage and application. For example, when you add dry ice to liquids, i.e. water or drinks, it causes the chemical reaction to make smoke.

How long does dry ice last?

When you add dry ice in liquid, it starts to smoke immediately and the smoking can last for about 10-15 minutes. But if left unused, it will sublimate within 24 hours.

How to break up a block of dry ice for use

where to buy dry ice

Dry ice comes in round and square blocks. Depending on what you are using it for, it may be necessary to break a block to obtain smaller pieces. Especially when you want to use the dry ice to pack breast milk or create fog.  

Always handle dry ice with care and wear gloves whenever you’re touching it. A towel or an oven mitt will also work if gloves are not handy.

Always put on safety goggles and a face shield when breaking dry ice blocks.

Follow the steps below to break up dry ice block:

Step 1

Put the dry ice block inside of a plastic bag then, from around waist height, drop the bagged block onto the ground (hard surface like concrete or wood).

With just one drop, the block will break but you can repeat the process as many times as you want until the dry ice pieces are the size you need.

Step 2

Wrap the dry ice with a towel (while wearing gloves) and use a hammer to hit it until it becomes the size you need.

Can I use dry ice for camping and the outdoor?

Absolutely! Dry ice is the best solution for all your cooling needs as it is safe, affordable, as well as long-lasting.  

Dry ice is ideal for fishing, hunting, safaris, or weekend trips. Using it makes it possible to keep meat fresh until you reach your holiday destination, and continuously while you are there too.

Here are some reasons to use dry ice for camping and outdoor adventures:

  1. It is reliable: It is best to keep meat and food frozen for periods of four days and longer without electricity.
  2. It is affordable: With it, you don’t need to buy expensive bulky freezers
  3. It is powerful: Dry ice is 7x more effective than water ice when it comes to cooling
  4. It is clean: Dry ice leaves no residual dirty water in the container after the ice has melted
  5. It is easy to use: Very easy to handle
  6. It is safe: If handled correctly, it’s perfectly safe for personal leisure use.

What is dry ice used for?

  • Camping / Hiking / Hunting / Fishing / 4×4 trips
  • Instant cooling
  • Power cuts, load shedding or refrigeration failure
  • Preserving perishable food
  • Dent removal on cars
  • Shrinking of bearings in the engineering industry
  • Flash freezing
  • Dry ice blasting for cleaning dirty surfaces
    Cold storage

Storing Dry Ice

where to buy dry ice

Dry ice is ideal for chilling beverages and making special effects so it is important that you store it properly when you are not using it.

Storing dry ice the right way will help it last longer and prevent any safety hazards.

Here are some tips in storing dry ice:

1. Buy the dry ice close to when you want to use it – Even though you can slow down the sublimation process, you can’t stop it. So, it is best you buy dry ice as close to when you want to use it because you will lose 5-10 pounds of dry ice in a day, even when the dry ice is stored well.

2. When storing dry ice, put on insulated gloves and protect your arms Dry ice burn the skin because of the extreme temperature so, insulated gloves will protect your hands from frostbite when handling dry ice. Also wear long sleeves when using dry ice.

3. Keep the dry ice in a well-insulated container – A thick Styrofoam cooler is ideal to keep dry ice for a long period. You can also use a standard cooler like the one you use to hold drinks.

4. Add crumpled paper to the container – After keeping the dry ice in an insulated container, fill the container with crumpled paper. This will help slow down the sublimation.

5. Keep the container closed often – The more you open the container, the more warm air gets inside. Warm air increases the sublimation process

6. Place the container in a cold area – If it’s cold outside, set the container outside but if it’s warm, keep the container in a cool place inside.

Things to keep in mind when storing dry ice

1. Always keep dry ice in a ventilated area – Since dry ice releases carbon dioxide, it can be hazardous to humans in a closed-off area.

So, ensure plenty of air is getting into the room where it is stored otherwise, it can cause asphyxiation in humans and animals.

Note: Don’t leave dry ice in a parked, closed car especially if the windows are not open.

2. Do not use an airtight container – Dry ice releases carbon dioxide and as carbon dioxide changes to gas, it needs room to escape.

That means if you use an airtight container, the gas cannot escape. In extreme cases, the gas can expand too much and might cause an explosion.

3. Do not put dry ice in the freezer – A freezer is airtight and might cause the dry ice to explode. Also, you could destroy the freezer’s system if you put dry ice in it as the thermostats are not made to handle those kinds of temperatures.

4. Stay away from low areas – Carbon dioxide tends to sink in a room since it is heavier than the air you breathe. Therefore, dry ice will collect in low areas and don’t intentionally put your head in those areas.

5. Be careful what surfaces you put dry ice on – Dry ice can destroy many surfaces due to its extreme temperatures. For example, you can crack tile or other countertop surfaces by places dry ice on it.

6. Dispose of dry ice properly – The right way to get rid of unused dry ice is to let the unused portion continue to sublimate. Ensure the area is well ventilated (like your backyard) while dry ice continues to evaporate.

Note: Do not dispose dry ice in a sink or in a toilet as you may destroy them. Also, do not dispose dry ice in a trash can or leave it where it can accidentally be picked up or touched by someone who doesn’t know its dry ice as it can burn them.

Summary

By now I’m certain you now know where to buy dry ice, how to use it, and how to handle and store it.  

Various industries like hospitality, pharmaceutical, engineering, education, etc, use dry ice for different purposes.

Dry ice is also safe to use to store food and drinks as well as used in food and drinks.

To easily buy dry ice, visit the grocery store near you or better still, call first to confirm if they have before visiting.

You can also buy dry ice directly from the manufacturing company and it will be delivered to you safe and secured.

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