Useful Tips

How to make dry ice


You've probably heard about stuff like dry ice. It is very actively used in a variety of areas, from cooking to tricks and special effects at parties.

But if you still haven't dealt with this thing, it may come as a surprise to you that it's not ice at all. The so-called dry ice has absolutely nothing to do with water. This is a solid state of carbon dioxide.

What is dry ice?

Today, this substance is quite popular. Why? Due to the two properties that distinguish the material from ordinary frozen water.

Firstly, the temperature of solid carbon dioxide is about minus eighty degrees Celsius. Therefore, when you deal with him, you can not hold him in his hands without gloves for a long time. You can easily get frostbite.

SecondlyCarbon dioxide never melts. The liquid state of carbon dioxide can only persist under very low pressure. Under normal environmental conditions, a substance from a solid state immediately turns into a gas or, otherwise, sublimates.

Dry ice in the drink will not melt, but also emit pleasant bubbles

Cold is very useful when you need to keep any frozen foods. Moreover, the situation when everything flows in the sun is completely impossible, because when exposed to heat, carbon dioxide will immediately become gas.

Do you like ice drinks? But at the same time, hate when the cubes melt in the process and tasteless water forms at the bottom? There is no such problem with this material. Moreover, it will also make your drink carbonated, as sublimation will produce gas bubbles.

Well and finally solid carbon dioxide - One of the most popular materials for various tricks, tricks and special effects. Using ordinary warm water, you can create artificial smoke. The substance can be burned, while the pieces remain intact. And with the help of metal and this material, you can create real music. In general, there are many ways to impress the public using the substance.

The question arises: where to get it? The easiest way to get a thing is to make it yourself. Moreover, you can cook it quite calmly at home. On the Internet you can find many videos where people make the substance without too much difficulty.

Making dry ice at home, see this video:

Cooking technology

The main thing you'll need is carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. Inside the cylinders of such fire extinguishers is carbon dioxide in a liquid state.

You will also need thick (preferably terry) towel. Instead of a towel, you can use a large dense sock, a bag, just a dense fabric. The main thing is that you can put on the bell of the fire extinguisher.

  1. You put a towel on the fire extinguisher, wind it up and pull the trigger. Due to the fact that carbon dioxide is released too quickly, the substance does not have time to completely pass into the gas.
  2. After some time, something like snow will turn out inside the towel. And now your material is ready.

It is better to put a fire extinguisher on the floor and keep it very neat. Press the lever not sharply, but smoothly, in small portions.

Important! As mentioned above - the temperature of the material is very low. So when you do this operation, be sure to wear gloves. And keep your hands as far from the bell as possible. Otherwise, you can freeze your hands.

Useful Tips

The substance is better not to do in advance.

  • In the solid state, carbon dioxide is retained only at a temperature close to intrinsic (-80). A freezer can only slow down the sublimation process a little. So it is better not to store the material for more than a day.
  • And in no case do not keep in sealed packaging. When it enters a gas, the substance expands, and an explosion can occur.

Using a fire extinguisher you get something more like snow. To make beautiful cubes, you need a press. As a press, you can use a container with a flat bottom and a glass.

how Alternative optionDry ice is sold in some special stores where it can be bought for a reasonable price. But to buy, or cook yourself - you decide. As well as what to do with it later. And here it all depends on your imagination.

DIY dry ice making

Practice shows that you can make dry ice at home without expensive equipment and the involvement of specialists in this industry.
The most popular way is to make dry ice from a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher with compressed gas (CO2).

1. You will need a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, an ordinary pillowcase, scotch tape, a container for finished products and personal protective equipment (gloves, glasses, a lab coat, long-sleeved clothing and closed shoes).

2. You need to collect all the edges of the pillowcase and wrap it tightly around the bell of the fire extinguisher. To prevent the fabric from flying off, firmly fix it with adhesive tape.

3. Start the fire extinguisher (be sure to remove the safety pin) and release the gas for 2-3 seconds. Dry ice will form inside the pillowcase. The fabric must be removed very carefully, without touching the resulting substance, so as not to freeze your fingers.

4. Place dry ice in a sturdy container, thermos, or strong plastic bag. Try to make such a volume of substance that will be fully used in the process of performing the task.

Do not use metal containers, porcelain, glass or ceramic utensils, or unreliable plastic containers.

Ice making with spray can

In order to make dry ice yourself without a fire extinguisher, a balloon with compressed CO2 is a good alternative to a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. The principle of manufacturing finished products in this case is no different from the above method, with the use of a fire extinguisher. The main condition for the successful implementation of the task is to use a spray can with a special immersion tube. Without it, gas will flow outside, which is in the upper part of the container, but it will not form the necessary dry ice.

If you often have to make carbon dioxide in solid state, buy a nozzle with a fabric bag at specialized retail outlets (or order in the online store) that can be easily fastened / unfastened, which greatly simplifies the process of producing dry ice. In this case, you will have to purchase carbon dioxide cylinders, and you will be able to make "ice" as soon as the need for this substance arises.

Precautions and advice from experienced professionals

In addition to the application of the above personal protective equipment, for the safe production of dry ice it is necessary to adhere to certain rules:

• Considering the fact that carbon dioxide discharged from a fire extinguisher or spray can not completely become solid, this procedure should only be carried out in rooms with good ventilation or in the fresh air.
• Work only with tight gloves and avoid skin contact with “ice”. Such carelessness can cause severe frostbite.
• Do not store finished products in closed containers. This is due to the fact that the resulting dry ice will gradually turn into a gaseous state, which can cause the explosion of sealed dishes or a thermos.

Dry ice production should be rational. If you need to produce this substance on a daily basis in decent volumes, it may make sense to buy special equipment and build a profitable business on this idea.

Interesting uses for dry ice

Solid carbon dioxide can be used not only to solve the issues that were considered at the beginning of the article, but also to implement the following tasks:

• Dry ice will help get rid of pests such as moles or shrews who decide to settle in your area or garden.
• The substance is used to remove floor tiles.
• CO2 during the transition from solid to gaseous will help even out dents on the vehicle body.

But the main advantage of dry ice is that it does not adversely affect the environment and human health.

Making ice with a fire extinguisher

To get dry ice with your own hands, you will need:

  • a fire extinguisher, which includes carbon dioxide (OS marking on the label),
  • cloth bag or thick pillowcase,
  • Scotch,
  • protective equipment (insulated gloves, respirator, goggles).

Perform the procedure outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

  1. Wear gloves, protect your respiratory system and eyes.
  2. Wrap a pillowcase around the nozzle of the fire extinguisher, fix it with tape.
  3. Remove the safety pin, press the release lever. Hold it in position for 3-5 seconds.
  4. White haze begins to seep through the fabric. These are carbon dioxide vapors. They are harmless to humans.
  5. Squeeze the bag tightly. Remove the fire extinguisher.
  6. White, foam-like granules that fill a bag or pillowcase - this is dry ice. Pour it carefully into the prepared container.
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be careful. The temperature of the substance is -80 degrees. Do not touch it with bare hands, the risk of getting severe frostbite is high.

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Similarly, you can get frozen granules from a carbon dioxide cylinder (sold in hardware stores or online).

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From vinegar, soda and salt

You can make dry ice at home without a fire extinguisher, using ordinary baking soda and 70% acetic acid:

  1. Take the ingredients in equal amounts (per 200 g of sodium bicarbonate 200 ml of vinegar).
  2. Put them together in an enamel bowl. Stir until a thick slurry is obtained.
  3. Warm the mixture lightly, pour ½ teaspoon of vinegar. If the mixture hisses and gas is actively released, add a little more acid. Pour in small portions until the composition stabilizes.
  4. A thick solution, continue to heat. It is necessary to evaporate excess water.
  5. As soon as a thick crust begins to form on the surface, remove the container with the substance from the fire.
  6. Leave at room temperature for 5–7 minutes. The surface will begin to draw in ice.
  7. Add a little boiling water. Shuffle. There should not be ice and lumps.
  8. Pour the composition into a plastic container, put in the refrigerator until it cools down to a temperature of 10-15 degrees.
  9. Add a pinch of table salt. If everything is done correctly, a rapid crystallization process will begin.

The resulting dry ice is safe, you can take it by hand without the risk of frostbite.

Important! If proportions are not observed, crystallization will not occur. For an accurate measurement, use a measuring cup and a home electronic scale.

From soda and vinegar

The cooking method is similar to the previous one:

  1. Combine baking soda and acetic acid (1: 1). There should be no reaction (foam formation).
  2. Heat the composition until the liquid has evaporated and a dense crust begins to form on the surface.
  3. Cool to room temperature. Do not mix. After 15–20 minutes, you will get a monolithic piece of crystalline sodium hydrate.
  4. The liquid remaining after the “freezing” is acetic sodium. Drain it into a separate container.
  5. Melt the recrystallized substance. Pour into a clean dish, cover with a napkin, cool.
  6. Drop a little previously drained acetic sodium. The liquid will freeze instantly.
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The solution can be used repeatedly.

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For disposal, leave the substance at room temperature. Do not discharge waste into the sewer, wait for the natural evaporation of the substance.

From sodium acetate

The substance is used in the food industry. Known as preservative E262.

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To make dry ice at home from ready-made sodium acetate:

  1. Pour 5 tbsp. l granules 3 tsp water.
  2. Microwave for 10 seconds. Check the reaction. Granules should completely dissolve, and the composition should become transparent. If large particles are visible, continue heating.
  3. Pour liquid into a clean container. No granules should remain on the walls.
  4. Put in the refrigerator. Cool to a temperature of +15 degrees.
  5. Gently use a pair of tweezers to lower the dry acetate pellet into a liquid substance.

Pour ice into a cardboard or plastic container. Use as needed.

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What to store

An ideal option for reliable, long-term storage is a special insulated container. It provides favorable conditions for maintaining the desired temperature, safe to use.

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If there is no such container, use:

  • ordinary thermos
  • a cardboard box sewn inside with a thick layer of polystyrene,
  • containers made of durable (thick) plastic or metal.

A simple foam box is also suitable for storage.

Glass, ceramic, porcelain ware cannot be used. It easily bursts under the influence of low temperatures.

Important! Evaporating, the substance releases a lot of carbon dioxide. Do not keep it in tightly closed packaging. This could cause an explosion.

How much is stored

The storage period is affected by conditions, ambient temperature and the capacity where the granules are filled:

  • at room temperature, a cube weighing 1 kg will evaporate in less than 1 hour,
  • in an ordinary freezer in cardboard packaging - 2-3 days,
  • a special container will provide thermal protection of the substance for about a month,
  • when stored in an industrial freezer at a temperature of -80 degrees - the period is unlimited.
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Home-made substances are associated with a high risk of frostbite. In addition, it is difficult to obtain dry ice from a fire extinguisher, cylinder or soda-vinegar mixture. If you need a large amount of substance (for example, for regular cooling of products), order the finished substance at the nearest cold store or via the Internet.