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Dry ice has a surprisingly wide variety of uses, from carbonating beverages to refrigerating food in transit to spook-ifying Halloween parties.
As useful as it is strange, the smoky substance is not always easy to find in stores.
Naturally, one of the first places that most people will look is Walmart. But does Walmart sell dry ice along with their other wares?
What is Dry Ice?
Dry Ice is frozen carbon dioxide gas. It can be found in the same grocery store freezer as “regular” ice cubes.
This form of ice is safe and simple to use, however it is also expensive and may be more difficult to find than you think. It can easily be purchased online or at a local party store. You may even have access to it at your local grocery store as a way to cool your food in the freezer.
Dry Ice can be found in either plastic or metal cylinders. The cylinder may also be filled with liquid CO2 gas. The cylinder is designed to keep the CO2 gas frozen at all times, even when in the presence of liquid water. This means that the airgas is frozen in a solid state, which allows it to remain very cold without becoming water-saturated or melting.
Dry ice products are a fun addition to any party. The use of dry ice can create a great effect, whether it's to freeze an entire cooler full of ice or just to add a cool, minty feeling to the air. Fog effects are another fun way to make dry ice feel cooler. This can be done by placing a metal or plastic cylinder in a bowl of water and then placing the bowl in the freezer. When the dry ice is frozen, it will create a fog that is both cool and fun to watch.
When used properly, Dry Ice can easily keep food cold for hours, even days! If your goal is to make ice cubes, it's best to use a metal cylinder rather than a plastic one. Plastic will melt from contact with water and can leave behind traces of odor or color from its manufacturing process.
While ice cream or frozen drinks can be kept cold in the freezer for hours or even days, keeping food hot can be a little trickier. If you have ever used ice to keep food warm in the oven, you know that it can take a long time for your food to heat up. Dry ice is able to keep your food at its optimum temperature, even in the absence of a heating source.
Dry ice is very cold and can be dangerous if handled improperly. The most common danger of dry ice is frostbite. Dry ice freezes at a much lower temperature than water, which is why it can be so dangerous. If you are not careful, the frozen water on your skin can easily turn into a painful frostbite injury.
When using dry ice, be sure to always wear thick gloves when handling it and never touch the liquid or solid dry ice with bare hands. If the dry ice is exposed to any moisture at all, it will start to melt and will become contaminated with moisture that could ruin your food. Also, do not attempt to clean dry ice by submerging it in water or by wiping it with a wet cloth as this will only make the dry ice soggy and cause more problems than you were originally trying to solve.
A much safer way to clean dry ice is by using warm water. Simply soak the ice in a bowl of warm water for several minutes and then drain out any excess liquid that may have accumulated on top of the ice cube. Once you have removed as much of the liquid as possible, place the dry ice back into your freezer and wait for it to freeze again before using again.
An airtight container can be used to store dry ice in your freezer. This is a good idea because it will keep the CO2 gas frozen, but you should be careful not to let the container become too full as this can create a seal that will prevent air from circulating inside the container. If your container becomes too full, there is a risk of carbon dioxide poisoning and this could lead to severe health problems. Always use caution when storing dry ice in your freezer and always keep it in an airtight container.
A pound of dry ice is enough to freeze about 12 pounds of water. The dry ice will create a lot of heat when it is exposed to the cold air in your freezer, so you may need to turn the freezer on to keep the temperature down.
When using dry ice for cooking or keeping food warm, you should be careful while handling dry ice not to burn yourself or anything else around you with the dry ice's extreme cold. Make sure that your hands are not exposed to the dry ice and that there is no excess moisture present in the area where you are working with it.
The solid form of carbon dioxide is a non-toxic gas. However, CO2 gas is heavier than air and so it can fall or settle on you, creating an asphyxiation hazard. Dry ice should be handled with extreme caution and respect for the cold temperature it produces. It is a very useful tool for many of your projects, but its potential for causing injury or death is something to keep in mind when using dry ice.
You can find dry ice at many supermarkets, grocery stores and party stores. Amazon.com also has dry ice available for purchase online. In addition, some stores sell dry ice in small plastic containers and ice packs using styrofoam or metal lids. Ice delivery trucks can also carry dry ice in metal cylinders.
Does Walmart Sell Dry Ice?
Yes, Walmart does indeed sell dry ice at their supercenters. That said, not all Walmarts are identical. Some stores might carry it, while others might not. Furthermore, those that do may not always have it in stock, particularly around October (dry ice serves as a popular mist effect during Halloween).
To avoid getting out for nothing, I recommend calling your local Walmart and seeing whether they currently have dry ice available in-store. If so, all you’ll have to do is swing by your local Wally World and pick it up.
Where Can I Find Dry Ice at Walmart?
Assuming dry ice is one of the many products sold at your local Walmart, it will be housed in a small self-service case along the store’s front wall, just behind the checkout area. At most stores, the dry ice case is situated right next to the regular ice cases.
Walmart contracts with the Penguin Brand Dry Ice company, so just look for the case with the cartoon penguin on it—it should be pretty tough to miss.
How Much Does Dry Ice Cost at Walmart?
Currently, Walmart sells dry ice at $1.44 per pound.
Some shoppers however have reported that their neighborhood Walmart sells dry ice for even less—as low as $1 per pound. That being the case, it’s safe to say that buying dry ice by the pound will cost you somewhere between $1 and $1.50 at Walmart.
If you need to buy in bulk and you want to save a little money, it could be worth your time to scope out a few different stores to sniff out the best price of dry ice.
Can I Buy Dry Ice From Walmart Online?
No, you cannot purchase dry ice from Walmart online.
The reason most likely has to do with the dry ice’s ephemeral nature. If allowed to sit for too long, dry ice, which is made purely of frozen carbon dioxide, goes through a process known as “sublimation.” This is just a fancy scientific way of saying that it breaks down into CO2 gas and disappears.
Sublimation happens fast. Under normal conditions, the amount of dry ice lost through sublimation is around five to ten pounds in 24 hours. At this rate, a single pound could vanish in as little two-and-a-half to five hours.
You can see why this would make selling dry ice over the web virtually impossible. Imagine getting your package only to open it up and discover that there’s nothing inside!
Conclusion: Can you buy dry ice at Walmart?
Yes, you can purchase bags of dry ice at Walmart. It costs just $1.44 per pound, with reports of even cheaper pricing at some locations. During Halloween is the most in-demand time of the year for dry ice, so check with your local Walmart if they have dry ice in stock before you head out to the store.