We have all stopped in a gas station for a block of ice or dumped the bin of ice from the ice maker in our cooler or drink. However, ice produced by water is far different from dry ice. In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, dry ice is used for similar purposes except for a few, but the two solids are vastly different its formation and dangers. Here are 6 facts to answer what is dry ice. 

How Is Dry Ice Formed

We understand the simplicity in forming ice from water. Simply place liquid water in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and out comes a frozen cube, block, or ball of ice. 

The formation of dry ice is vastly different in comparison. One of the most striking differences is that dry ice is not composed of water. Water is not an ingredient in the formation of this type of ice. 

Instead of water, the primary component to the formation of dry ice is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide becomes liquified when placed under pressure between specified temperature ranges. 

Once carbon dioxide is liquified, it is transferred to a freezer capable of reaching temperatures at or below 109 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid carbon dioxide is frozen into pellets or blocks depending on the mold.  

What Is Dry Ice Used For 

Dry ice is used for a significant number of applications. It is essential to use the ice with caution because of the dangerous characteristics unfamiliar to the majority of the population. 

In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, carbon dioxide ice is most common for the following reasons.


A day of fishing requires a cooler full of ice to keep the drinks, food, and of course, the fresh catch cold to prevent spoiling. 

It is essential to create a barrier between the food, drink, or fish when using the ice. The barrier prevents the fish from freezing as this type of ice turns unfrozen things to frozen rapidly. 

Check out these ten best fishing coolers the next time you’re headed out fishing. 


When you’re packing up the car to head to a coastal, lake, or mountain vacation in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, dry ice goes the distance. 

Avoid using ice made from water as you will need to refill consistently. Regular ice melts and saturates foods and other items in the cooler, rendering them inedible. 


Like anglers, we suggest carbon dioxide-based ice for hunters headed out for wild game, whether birds, deer, bears, hogs, or other animals. 

Once the wildlife is field-dressed, place it in a cooler packed with ice to ensure it remains fresh until returning home. 

How Long Will Dry Ice Last

The duration in which the ice holds form depends on the cooler. A foam cooler holds the ice for a twenty-four-hour time period.

When utilizing bigger coolers and increased pounds of ice, expect the cooler to remain cold for three to four days. The better the insulation, the longer the ice lasts. 

Is Dry Ice Safe To Put In Drinks

Unlike ice from the freezer in your kitchen, you must never consume dry ice. The vapor becomes airborne when dry ice is placed in liquids such as an alcoholic beverage or other refreshments.

As the ice evaporates, it emits CO2 compared to water. The CO2, when inhaled, leads to carbon dioxide poising and must be avoided. Never consume carbon dioxide-based ice. 

What Happens If I Touch Dry Ice

Talk about entering a polar zone. Never touch this type of ice with bare hands. The carbon dioxide-based ice is frigid, dropping to 109 degrees below zero.

When handling the ice, wear gloves or another protective measure to avoid direct contact with the skin when handling the ice. The person touching the ice with bare hands becomes at risk of frostbite. 

How Do You Dispose Of Dry Ice

Let’s not make this complicated. Understanding where to dispose of the ice is serious business or putting yourself and others at risk. 

Once you have finished with the ice, allow it to evaporate outside of enclosed spaces. Never let the ice to remain indoors when converting from a solid to a gas. Remember, carbon dioxide ice is not formed from a liquid but rather a gas compared to the other which comes from the ice maker. 

Allowing the ice to evaporate with a confined space puts people at risk of CO2 poisoning. 

Use These 6 Facts When Using Dry Ice

One of the most widely used brands for gas formed ice is Penguin Brand. The brand is found in stores across the southern portions of the United States and will benefit you the next time you require keeping a cooler cold for extended periods. Remember to be cautious when the ice turns from a solid into a gas.