Dry ice normally comes in a flake, a pellet, or in block form. It is has several uses such as for transportation of temperature-sensitive items, for fog effects, or for scientific experiments. Getting rid of it is best done when your to let the ice return to its gaseous form in an open space with good ventilation. Do not make the mistake of leaving dry ice in a confined space, because it can cause an explosion or carbon dioxide poisoning. Below are some of the most effective ways to get rid of dry ice.
Break The Ice Into Tiny Pieces
The first thing you need to do in order to melt your ice is to break it into small pieces. Breaking ice into smaller pieces will make it much easier to melt the dry ice. By breaking up the ice into small pieces you increase the surface area. If the surface area is increased the dry ice will be exposed to the warmer outside air and it will melt faster. Just make sure that you use gloves and wear safety goggles when breaking down the ice. You need to protect yourself because the dry ice is cold and it can burn your skin or worse a piece getting inside your eye can actually blind you. Simply wear your safety gear, grab a hammer, and break up the bits of dry ice into small pieces. The smaller the bits the better. The crushed dry ice should melt much faster than larger chunks of dry ice so if you want to get rid of it quickly break it into tiny small pieces.
Put It In Hot Water
Another way to melt dry ice is to put it in hot water. Making the dry ice melt as quickly as possible is just the same as making regular ice melt as fast as possible. Take a big pot of water and bring it to boil on the stove top. Place the dry ice in, and leave the stove on so that heat is continually added. The hot boiling water will quickly melt the dry ice and it will turn from a solid into a gas and evaporate. As you do this make sure that you have windows open and that there is good airflow and circulation in the room. If you do not have proper air circulation then the carbon dioxide that the dry ice gives off can be dangerous and lead to not enough oxygen in the room.
Put It In a Bucket of Warm Water
Melting dry ice over the stove top can be a dangerous method. If you want to go the less risker route you can melt your dry ice inside a bucket of hot water. That way you can easily dissolve the ice and throw it away once it has melted. In fact, putting dry ice inside a bucket of hot water to melt it is 32 times more effective than just leaving the ice to melt outside with air at transferring heat. So placing the dry ice in warm water will make it melt much quicker than simply leaving it outside to melt. Keep in mind that overtime the dry ice will cool down the water and it might completely freeze the water which will slow down the melting process. So you should discard the water as it gets cold and top up with warm water frequently or as needed. Placing the dry ice into a bucket of warm water will also give off a cool fog effect for 10 or so minutes. Thus, placing ice in a bucket of hot water can be a fun way to get rid of dry ice.
Throw It In The Pool
Another simple and effective way to melt your ice is throwing it in a swimming pool. This is effective if you have large amounts of dry ice and you don’t have a bowl or bucket large enough then you can consider throwing your ice inside your swimming pool. Also, water transfers heat much more effectively than air so even though your pool may feel cold know that it is still extremely hot compared to the dry ice. Throwing dry ice inside your pool will also make your pool fog up and look really nice.
Leave It Outside In The Sun
Although a bit slow, leaving your dry ice to melt outside can be just as effective. Leaving it outside is an easy way to get rid of dry ice fairly quickly. You can simply leave it outside in direct sunlight and ideally in the wind for it to melt. The heat from the sun will cause the dry ice to sublimate much quicker and the windier it is the faster the dry ice will melt. Throwing away dry ice outside is also safer because doing it in an enclosed space can be dangerous because of the build up of carbon dioxide. However, disposing it outside will cause the carbon dioxide to simply blow away. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to leave dry ice unattended outside especially if there are children around. If you plan on leaving dry ice unattended then it is best to put it inside a box that will allow the gas to escape but protect people from touching it and burning themselves.
Tips For Getting Rid of Dry Ice
- Make sure you wear protective gear when getting rid of dry ice such as insulated gloves to handle dry ice
- Ensure that you place the dry ice in an open well ventilated place for it to sublimate.
- You can consider leaving the dry ice for a day or so for it to completely sublimate, but this will depend on the amount of dry ice you have
- Do not get rid of dry ice in areas that can be easily accessed by the general public especially children
- Never dispose dry ice in the trash or garbage
- Never try to flush dry ice or wash it down the drain