130 High Street · San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 · Ph: 805-543-0785 · Fax: 805-543-0852

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Dry Ice

Want to keep your ice chest extra cold; ship perishables across the country; or create a dramatic smoking cauldron for your Halloween bash? Cuesta Springs Ice Company has the perfect solution -- Dry Ice  sold in 10 lb. blocks.

With a very cold temperature of -109.3°F (or -78.5°C),  Dry Ice offers advantages over traditional water ice, including a lower temperature that keeps perishables frozen longer, and no liquid residue other than incidental frost from moisture in the atmosphere. (Click the link or scroll down for Dry Ice Facts and Tips.)

Uses for Dry Ice

Practical uses: Flash freezing and preserving packaged frozen foods, ice cream, biological samples, medical supplies, or anything that needs to remain cold or frozen without the use of mechanical cooling. It's great in ice chests on extended camping or fishing trips, or to keep cold treats like popsicles frozen at kids' soccer tournaments on a hot day.

Industrial uses: Removal of in-ground fuel tanks, and sub-zero heat treating processing.

Special effects: When dry ice is placed in water, sublimation is accelerated, producing low-sitting dense clouds of smoke-like "fog" that hover near the ground or appear to "bubble" from liquid-filled containers like beverages and ponds. This chemical reaction offers a dramatic special effect for use in:

  • Theater Productions
  • Haunted House Attractions
  • Nightclubs and Concerts
  • The Motion Picture Industry
  • "Smoking" Specialty Drinks


Important instructions for handling Dry Ice: Warning: Dry Ice is extremely cold (-109 degrees Fahrenheit) and will quickly burn bare skin. Always handle with care, and wear heavy protective cloth or leather work gloves. Do not ingest. Keep dry ice away from children and pets. It is harmless if touched briefly. However prolonged contact with the skin will freeze cells (frostbite) and cause injury similar to a bad burn.

 More Dry Ice Facts and Tips:


What is Dry Ice?
Dry ice (sometimes referred to as "cardice" or "card ice") is the solid form of carbon dioxide. Used primarily as a cooling agent, it is called "dry" ice because it changes directly from a solid to a gas sublimation in normal atmospheric conditions without going through a wet liquid stage.

Camping with Dry Ice
Keep refrigerated items cool for 3 to 4 days by packing your cooler with dry ice. Place the dry ice on the bottom of your cooler, cover with cardboard or newspaper to insulate the dry ice. Completely cover with Cuesta Springs Ice Company packaged wet ice, then pack your cooler as normal with food and beverages. The dry ice freezes the ice and everything in your cooler stays chilled for days.

Backpacking with Dry Ice
Wrap a couple of pounds of dry ice in a towel and place in the bottom of your backpack. Put your beverages on top of the dry ice.

Hunting or Fishing with Dry Ice
Preserve your trophy with dry ice. Place dry ice in the bottom of a cooler, cover with cardboard or newspaper, and place your trophy on top to prevent spoilage. Do not allow direct contact of trophy with the dry ice, as this will cause superficial damage.

Flash Freezing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Place 7 to 10 lbs. of dry ice in the bottom of a cooler. Wash fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches etc., and place on a cookie sheet. Put cookie sheet in the cooler until fruit is frozen. Remove cookie sheet using potholders, and place fruit in freezer bags. Store fruit bags in freezer until ready to use. When thawed, it will taste like fresh picked fruit.

Little League Sports
It's 90 degrees outside and the team is hot and tired. How about popsicles on a sweltering day? Place popsicles on the bottom of the cooler and put the dry ice on the top. Watch your team's eyes light up at the frozen treat.

Halloween Dry Ice Uses and Recipes

Dry Ice Fog
Dry Ice combined with hot tap water produces vigorous bubbling water and voluminous flowing fog. To make smoke in your "cauldron," you will need to submerge the dry ice into hot water. (A Crockpot works well for keeping the water hot. If the water becomes cold, the smoke effect will stop.) Break off only a small amount of dry ice to put into the hot water. Increase the dry ice until you have your desired smoke effect. By consistently adding hot water and dry ice, you can keep the fog rolling.

Witches Brew
Looks like boiling stew with a mysterious bubbling effect in your punch bowl. Use one gallon of red grape juice and one gallon of pulpy orange juice. (Refrigerate both juices prior to use.) Mix together, and add a few small pieces of dry ice when ready for the bubbling effect.  Note: Do not ingest or serve the dry ice to your guests.

  • Witches Brew: 3 to 5 lbs. of dry ice lasts up to 30 minutes.
  • Witches Cauldron: 5 to 15-lbs. of dry ice lasts up to 30 minutes.
  • Fog for a small room: Using 2 pots, 15 to 30 lbs. of dry ice lasts up to 1 hour.
  • Fog for a large room: Using 3 to 4 pots, 50 lbs. of dry ice lasts up to 1 hour.
  • Fog for an unheated swimming pool: 50 lbs. of dry ice lasts between 1 and 2 hours.
  • Fog for a patio (no wind): 50 to 100 lbs. of dry ice lasts between 1 and 2 hours.