Image courtesy of Illinois Poison Center Control.

Dry ice is compressed, chilled, carbon dioxide. When exposed to room conditions, it sublimates , turning directly from a solid state to a gaseous state. This creates a dense fog effect useful for Halloween decorations.


The most common use of dry ice is to place it in a bowl with water, creating a bubbling fog effect. 

It can also be used to chill liquid.

Safety concerns

Dry ice is much, much colder than water ice. Handling without proper safety gear can result in frostbite. Some tips for handling dry ice:

  • Always wear thick gloves.
  • If breaking or crushing dry ice, always wear protective eye gear.
  • Never consume dry ice. 
  • Always use in a well-ventilated area.

Tips on using dry ice

For a general fog effect, place dry ice in a bowl of hot water.

Float a small bowl in a larger punch bowl and place the dry ice in the smaller bowl. This prevents dry ice from getting into the beverage. This also works well with a beverage dispenser with a spout at the bottom.

Do not use all the dry ice at once. Add more to the water as the fog effect starts to diminish. Store the reserve in a cooler and place in the freezer so it lasts longer.

External links

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