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Picture of How to Make Dry Ice - With a Fire Extinguisher!
Here's how to make dry-ice at home, or wherever you feel like it!  All you need is a pillow case, and a CO2 fire extinguisher.

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This project was inspired by: Theo Gray (Mad Science)

Step 1: Watch the Video!

WARNING: Dry Ice is extremely cold! (-78C/-109F) and can cause instant frost-bite to exposed skin.  This project should not be attempted without adult supervision and adequate training. Misuse, or careless use, of tools or projects may result in serious injury.  Use of this video content is at your own risk.

Will any fire extinguisher work.

delonzo6 years ago
I think it will work for fireworks
paqrat6 years ago
I think dry ice might be used to eliminate ant nests. I think by placing a chunk of dry ice on the ant mound then covering with something like a garbage bag then weighting the sides of the bag well the carbon dioxide would work its way into the nest, displacing the oxyygen as it sank to the bottom most part of the nest. Because it doesn't poison, so much as axphysiates the ants, it would be completely safe. The soldier ants,, by attacking the chunk would die simply by coming into contact with the cold chunk of co2. I haven't had the opportunity to try this but I think it would work.
The King of Random (author)  paqrat6 years ago
Wow, what a great suggestion! I think you're right!! Thanks for sharing such a great project idea! :)
I think it might also work to rid one's carpet of a flea infestation. I'm a bit hesitant to use the sprays. Seems like if it dissapated enough oxygen it might kill the eggs too. Wouldn't want to lay it on too thick though if you had small pets or rugrats.
nixiadel paqrat6 years ago
Try Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) instead. It works as a non-toxic pesticide and is so safe that many people take it as a supplement in water. It is great for killing internal parasites without making you sick to get rid of them. External Usage: it has microscopic edges that scratch up the bodies of the insects. When this happens they dry out internally and die. Just poof the dust around the areas where you have crawlies and take off for half an hour while it settles. Then leave it for a few days. In out of the way areas like besides and behind the refrigerator leave it indefinitely. Dead bug. No poison to make any person or pet in your home sick. . It’s perfectly safe but don’t breathe it. Sneeze city (it is a powder after all). It is already in use in the food industry in bulk storage facilities.

Just so you know, D.E. is a fossilized form of a single cell algae, so completely natural. Try sprinkling it on an ant hill and leaving it. You can also rub it into your pets fur. Put it in a sock and rub away. Then comb them and reapply every so often.
DGerman6 years ago
Sounds like a BAD idea! I am sure some people reading this will waste a piece of emergency equipment.
Master978656 years ago
Did you know if you blow bubbles over dry ice, the bubbles will float over top and change color?
The King of Random (author)  Master978656 years ago
I didn't know that. I wish I had tried it :)
Maybe next time, I have never seen or tried it either, but it's worth trying. Nice ible, by the way
The King of Random (author)  Master978656 years ago
Beergnome6 years ago
neat instructable!
being a brewer by trade, I have ready access to Compressed CO2, fabricating some sort of expansion device could make this interesting, if anything, just for giggles and stupid brewer tricks ! :D

But, a CO2 canister equiped with a fire nozzle should be readily refillable at any commercial, or industrial gas/ welding supply shop. could be something interesting for if one wants or needs dry ice there and now and on demand.

as others have stated in the comments, dry ice is usually available through various grocery stores for $1 a pound.. I get mine at all the krogers around town. I usually get some when I'm playing around with cloudchambers to observe radioactive and cosmic particles.

because why not? :D

BUT!.. every year at Halloween, the brewery I work for turns the place into a haunted house for the night, and this might be a way to negate the Dry Ice bill for the event.
The King of Random (author)  Beergnome6 years ago
I discharged a full 15lb tank and got 5 lbs dry ice. It seems to be a 3:1 ratio liquid CO2 to Dry Ice. I'm sure there are more efficient ways to get more, but that's what I got with the pillowcase method.
The King of Random (author)  Beergnome6 years ago
Thanks for your comment! Do you get your compressed CO2 at a good price? I plan to completely discharge my extinguisher in one go to see how much ice I get, but I doubt it will be anywhere near 28 lbs worth. It costs me $28 to fill up the tank, so it may not negate your dry ice bill after all?

I'm intrigued by your cloud chamber talk. Do you have videos?
onrust6 years ago
Oh my! This is just patch worthy.
The King of Random (author)  onrust6 years ago
Excellent .. I got it. Thanks so much!!
No worries. I try to make them worth having. Thanks for the killer post. Trust me, it will be used!
The King of Random (author)  onrust6 years ago
I can't wait to hear what you do with it :)
I doubt your close enough to "hear it" >:)
The King of Random (author)  onrust6 years ago
I understand what you're saying :)
james.m.k6 years ago
Nice. But wouldn't it be more accurate to say you're collecting C02, rather than making it?
The King of Random (author)  james.m.k6 years ago
The CO2 is already collected in the extinguisher. The claim is how to make dry ice, and I believe it is still accurate.
dphillips6 years ago
Get a piece of plastic tube 1-2" and make a wooden dowel plunger to fit.
Add in your snow and hammer it down, then push out your dry ice plug!
The King of Random (author)  dphillips6 years ago
Perfect! I may actually do that!
d1no6 years ago
I have not seen dry ice at the local Wal-Mart but I did see it at Publix. I thought it was expensive. But I admit, I don't have experience with how to use it, much is needed or how lonh it lasts.
The King of Random (author)  d1no6 years ago
In my experience it should be about $1 per lb of dry ice. Very cheap. If you're paying more than that, keep looking around.
The King of Random (author)  onrust6 years ago
Thanks again!
BudBump6 years ago
A fireman can help real good with making the ice, getting the fire extinguisher (the right kind too) AND with setting you up with some hot girls for a weekend at the MOOOOOVIES!
The King of Random (author)  BudBump6 years ago
Great idea. If you have the money to blow on fire extinguishers. Dry ice is a dollar or two per pound if you can find a grocery store that carries it.
shannonlove6 years ago
In addition to being dangerously cold, concentrated CO2 poises an asphyxiation hazard in closed environments.  The expanding CO2 can literally push all the normal atmosphere out of small room. That is one of the reasons CO2 extinguishers are fairly rare these days. Best to perform these types of experiments outside.
The King of Random (author)  shannonlove6 years ago
It's true. That's why it's a little harder to breathe when you set them off. Thanks for your advice :)
Dustin Bess6 years ago
like lnxusr posted dry ice is sold every where now days cheaply no need to risk harm or waste a fire extinguisher .
You mean everywhere in the world .... not just the US? Wow, I didn't know that!
The King of Random (author)  dnaman6 years ago
The King of Random (author)  Dustin Bess6 years ago
bajablue6 years ago
omgosh!  This is the coolest (haha!) thing ever!!! ;-D
The King of Random (author)  bajablue6 years ago
Thank you! :D
d1no6 years ago
Could this possibly be done in a cost effective way?
I am in Florida where keeping food cold in coolers for picnics is a challenge.
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