Dry ice is more than just a cooling agent; it’s a versatile and powerful substance that serves a wide range of purposes. 

Whether you’re planning to transport perishable goods or simply want to create a captivating display for an event, dry ice can do it all. But with great power comes great responsibility, and proper storage is key to ensuring dry ice’s effectiveness and safety. 

At Grabbit & Run, we understand the unique nature of dry ice and the knowledge and guidance required to use it safely and efficiently.

We’ll explore the basics of dry ice, essential safety precautions, choosing the right containers, and the importance of proper ventilation. Whether you need short-term or long-term storage or you’re planning to transport dry ice internationally, we’ve got you covered by providing our insights on safe handling and answering your burning questions.

 

The Basics of Dry Ice

Dry ice, also known as solid carbon dioxide (CO2), is a unique and incredibly cold substance that sublimates, meaning it transforms directly from a solid to a gas without going through the liquid phase. Unlike traditional ice, which melts into water, dry ice vanishes into carbon dioxide gas. This remarkable property makes it ideal for various applications, from refrigeration and freezing to creating dramatic special effects.

Dry ice is typically produced by compressing and cooling CO2 gas, which results in the formation of dry ice pellets or blocks. These blocks are incredibly cold, with temperatures plummeting to a bone-chilling -78.5°C (-109.3°F).

However, such extreme cold comes with unique storage and handling requirements to ensure the highest level of safety and effectiveness of the product.

 

Safety Precautions

While dry ice is a useful tool for various applications, its extreme properties demand careful handling and close adherence to safety precautions. Grabbit & Run places safety at the forefront of our dry ice services, and we want to ensure that you do too.

 

Protective Gear

When handling dry ice, always wear appropriate protective gear, including insulated gloves or oven mitts, as dry ice can cause severe frostbite upon direct contact with the skin.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial when storing or using dry ice. Dry ice sublimates into carbon dioxide gas, which is heavier than air and can displace oxygen, creating a risk of asphyxiation.

Storage Containers

Select containers specifically designed for dry ice storage that are insulated and have a vent to release gas. Never use airtight containers as the pressure build up can lead to an explosion.

Labelling

Clearly label containers that contain dry ice to inform others about the contents and potential hazards. 

Avoid Ingestion

Never ingest dry ice or allow it to come into contact with food or beverages intended for consumption. 

Children and Pets

Keep dry ice out of the reach of children and pets and ensure children understand the need for caution.

Emergency Procedures

Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures in case of accidental exposure or ingestion of dry ice. If you come into direct contact with dry ice, seek immediate medical attention.

 

Choosing the Right Container

Selecting the right container for storing dry ice is critical to ensure both its longevity and safety. It is important you make the right choice to preserve your dry ice effectively. Your container should have the following features:

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Insulating Properties

When storing dry ice short-term, opt for insulated containers designed to maintain extremely low temperatures. These containers help slow down the sublimation process and keep your dry ice solid for a more extended period.

Ventilation

As we mentioned above, when dry ice sublimates, it releases carbon dioxide gas. Proper ventilation prevents the buildup of this gas, making it safer to handle and store dry ice.

Durability

The container material should be durable and able to withstand the extreme cold temperatures of dry ice. Polyurethane or foam-insulated containers work well for this purpose.

Secure Lid

Select containers with secure, tight-fitting, but not airtight, lids to allow for a little bit of gas release whilst maintaining the cold temperature inside. 

Appropriately Sized

Choose a container size that suits your storage needs. Smaller containers are suitable for short-term storage, while larger ones work well for more extended periods or when you require bulk dry ice.

Labelling

Ensure that your container is labelled correctly and clearly indicates that it contains dry ice to protect those who may come into contact with it.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Storage

The duration for which you plan to store dry ice plays a crucial role in determining the most suitable storage method. Whether you need short-term or long-term storage, Grabbit & Run offers solutions tailored to your specific requirements.

 

Short-Term Storage (1-2 days):

Short-term storage is typically for immediate or near-future use. For optimum short-term storage, you will need:

 

Insulated Coolers

Insulated coolers or containers work well for keeping dry ice solid for 24-48 hours. These containers are portable and easy to handle, making them ideal for short-term storage.

Minimal Ventilation

Whilst ventilation is important, for short-term storage, you can manage with containers that provide minimal ventilation. Just ensure there’s some airflow to prevent gas build up.

 

Long-Term Storage (Longer than 2 days):

Long-term storage may be required for scientific experiments, extended transport, or businesses that regularly use dry ice. For extended storage periods:

 

Choose Larger Containers

Opt for larger containers or storage solutions that can accommodate the quantity of dry ice you need for an extended duration.

Maximum Ventilation

Since long-term storage spans several days, good ventilation is essential to ensure safety and prevent excessive gas buildup. Ensure your containers have suitable vents.

Temperature Control

Maintain a consistently cold environment for long-term storage. This includes keeping the storage area at the appropriate temperature to minimise sublimation.

 

Dry Ice in Transit

Transporting dry ice requires special care and attention to maintain its effectiveness and ensure safety during the journey. Whether you’re sending perishable goods across the country or taking dry ice for an event, Grabbit & Run has the expertise to guide you through this process.

 

Packaging for Shipping

When shipping dry ice, proper packaging is essential to prevent its premature sublimation and ensure it arrives in excellent condition. Utilise insulated boxes or containers to keep the dry ice as cold as possible during transit. These containers are designed to slow down the sublimation process, preserving the dry ice for the duration of the journey. As with storage, it’s also crucial to provide proper ventilation in shipping containers. This prevents the build up of carbon dioxide gas, ensuring the safety of those handling the package.

Labelling and Documentation

Proper labelling and documentation are key aspects of shipping dry ice. You should always clearly label packages as “dry ice” to alert carriers and handlers to the potential hazards. This helps ensure that everyone involved in the shipping process takes the necessary precautions. You must also include documentation with the package indicating the amount of dry ice and the proper handling instructions. This information is crucial for the safety of those handling the shipment.

Safety in Transit

When shipping dry ice, it’s essential to be aware of potential safety hazards. Proper protective gear, such as insulated gloves, should be used when interacting with dry ice during transit. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your dry ice arrives at its destination in top condition, ready for use. 

 

Handling Dry Ice Safely

When it comes to handling dry ice, safety is paramount. Grabbit & Run is dedicated to ensuring that you can use dry ice effectively while minimising risks.

 

Wear Protective Gear

Always wear protective gear when handling dry ice. This includes insulated gloves or oven mitts. Dry ice is exceptionally cold, and direct contact with the skin can lead to frostbite.

Maintain Good Ventilation

Work in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of carbon dioxide gas. Proper ventilation is essential for safety. Ensure there is fresh air circulation, especially in enclosed spaces.

Avoid Ingestion

Dry ice should never be ingested. Do not allow it to come into contact with food or beverages meant for consumption.

Labelling and Communication

Clearly label containers and areas where dry ice is present. Ensure that everyone in the vicinity is aware of its presence and potential hazards.

Know Emergency Procedures

Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures in case of accidental exposure or ingestion of dry ice. Seek immediate medical attention if needed.

 

Dry Ice Storage FAQs

 

Can dry ice be stored in a refrigerator or freezer?

Dry ice should not be stored in a standard refrigerator or freezer. Its extremely low temperature can affect the operation of these appliances. Use a dedicated insulated container for dry ice storage.

How long can dry ice be stored before it sublimates completely?

The sublimation rate of dry ice varies depending on factors like temperature and container quality. In a well-insulated cooler, it can last 18-24 hours. For longer storage, consider using a dry ice chest with better insulation.

Can I dispose of dry ice in the sink or toilet?

Do not dispose of dry ice in sinks or toilets. Sublimation in a confined space can cause pressure build up, leading to blockages or damage. Instead, allow it to sublimate in a well-ventilated area.

Is it safe to touch dry ice with bare hands briefly?

Dry ice should never be touched with bare hands. Even brief contact can lead to frostbite. Always wear protective gloves when handling dry ice.

 

Get Cool and Safe Dry Ice Deliveries with Grabbit & Run

At Grabbit & Run, we’re more than just a dry ice supplier. We’re your trusted partner in ensuring that your dry ice experience is both efficient and secure. Our commitment to quality, safety, and expertise extends to all aspects of dry ice usage, from production to storage and transportation.

By following our storage guidelines, you can harness the power of dry ice while minimising risks. We offer an array of dry ice solutions tailored to your needs, whether you require short-term or long-term storage or you’re shipping dry ice across the country. Let Grabbit & Run be your go-to source for all your dry ice needs. Contact us today to discuss your specific dry ice requirements. 

 

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