How to Safely Dispose of Dry Ice

updated Oct 13, 2023
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Dry ice can bring an air of mystery to your Halloween party, elevating the spooky vibes with billows of chilly fog that hang around or come straight out of a cauldron of punch (aka witches brew). But once the night is over, getting rid of dry ice isn’t as straightforward as you may think. In fact, it can even be dangerous to handle. Luckily, there’s a “spell” (method) to do this safely. Below, the best way to safely dispose of dry ice. 

Quick Overview

How to Safely Dispose of Dry Ice

The best way to dispose of dry ice is to leave it outside — out of reach from children and pets — in the container it came in to allow it to sublimate. Then, throw out the container. 

How to Dispose of Dry Ice

Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide. As the -109°F substance absorbs heat, it turns directly into a gas, releasing carbon dioxide into the air. So if you receive dry ice in any packages this season, please don’t leave it in your home to evaporate.

The best thing to do is leave it outside, in a place that is out of the reach of children, pets, and the general public. A good idea is to leave the dry ice in the container it came in and set it outside, allowing it to sublimate, then dispose of the container.

What Not to Do With Dry Ice

  • Do not attempt to dump dry ice in a sink or toilet. The extreme cold will harm sink and toilet parts and pipes.
  • Do not dispose of dry ice in garbage receptacles or garbage chutes.
  • Do not leave dry ice in an unventilated room to evaporate. It will release a build-up of carbon dioxide into the air that can cause rapid suffocation.
  • Do not place dry ice on a tile or laminate countertop. Instead, use a solid surface – a wood cutting board or piece of plywood is best. Dry ice is sometimes used in tile removal and may destroy the bonding agent holding the tile or laminated material in place.
  • Do not store dry ice in a glass or air-tight container. Pressure will build up inside and could cause the container to explode.