Whether you’re floating bubbles on carbon dioxide, making a cloud chamber or wanting to keep the contents of your freezer frozen during a power outage, you are going to need dry ice. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about where to get dry ice. We found our local dealer by stumbling on a flyer at the grocery store, which isn’t the most reliable method. Luckily, we’ve found a fantastic resource for you (if you’re in the US): Airgas has a dry ice retailer locator on their website.
We have had mixed luck just showing up at the store (and one long dry ice dry spell during the period after a fire at the local plant) so we recommend calling ahead to check availability. Conveniently, Airgas includes phone numbers in their retailer listings.
Here’s your obligatory warning: dry ice is cold. Dangerously cold. Don’t allow prolonged (and by prolonged, we mean anything more than momentary) contact with skin. We don’t recommend using a hard plastic cooler for transporting dry ice as the very low temperature can make it brittle and prone to cracking. A styrofoam cooler is a better option, but a nice thick towel will do nicely for insulation in transit as well.
For an added bonus, here’s the Airgas page of Cool Uses for Dry Ice. You’ve got to love an industrial supplier that has a recipe for “Witch’s Brew” on their website!
[Related: Floating Bubbles on CO2, AirGas, Retailer Locator, Cool Uses ]
5 thoughts on “How to Find Dry Ice for Your Projects”
The Alberton’s and Safeways in the area usually sell dry ice. I get mine at Diddam’s though. It’s a party store.
Diddams is really incredible, of course, but we’re somewhat spoiled to have that option!
In our experience, you *can* sometimes get dry ice at the major grocery stores, but it’s hit and miss– only a few of the Albertson’s in our area carry it, for example. Rather like calling around to find out which ones have it, the tool linked above seems like a real time saver.
Windell H. Oskay
My local ice cream shop (take your pick) usually is happy to sell me dry ice.
y’know, i can’t find a decent electronics store in the whole state, but they sell dry ice in every supermarket in the midwest…
It’s just the opposite here– lots of electronics stores, but maybe one in ten groceries carries dry ice. ;)
Windell H. Oskay
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