Dry ice is created when carbon dioxide is compressed and frozen. The ice is extremely cold and should not come into direct contact with human skin. The ice is a great tool for keeping other things cold and for creating a misty dry ice fog for a special event. If you need a large amount, your best bet is to buy some at the store. If you only need a small amount there are some things you can do at home to make dry ice if you follow these steps.
Dry Ice Equipment and Materials:
Carbon dioxide extinguisher
Small cloth bag
- Prepare for dry ice handling. Dry ice is dangerous and can cause harm to the skin. Be sure to avoid touching the dry ice once you’ve created it by having heavy duty work gloves and tongs on hand before you get started.
- Attach the cloth bag to the carbon dioxide extinguisher. Use the duct tape to secure the bag around the nozzle of the extinguisher.
- Press the handle to deploy the extinguisher. The compressed carbon dioxide will quickly spray into the cloth bag. You should notice the can of the extinguisher getting cold and mist coming out of the bag as the carbon dioxide evaporates.
- Open the bag to reveal your dry ice. Once you have expelled the extinguisher, open the bag and you should find a small amount of white powder that looks like snow. This is the dry ice powder. Remember that it will continue to evaporate so you should use it quickly.
Now you know how to make dry ice! To create quantities of dry ice you would need high pressure and extremely low temperatures, approximately -109 degrees Fahrenheit. The pressure needed to compress the solid form of carbon dioxide into dry ice is not something you will have at home. You can rent a dry ice maker or just by the ice directly from a commercial retailer.