Packing Coolers with Dry Ice

in Around the Home

Where do I buy Penguin Brand™ Dry Ice?

Check out our Store Locator to find the closest retailer to you.

How much dry ice do I need?

This will vary depending on the type of food (frozen or refrigerated), the size of your cooler, the ambient conditions and the length of your event. Please reference the chart below for a breakdown of recommended dry ice amounts. For a standard 25 quart cooler, 10 pounds will last up to 24 hours. Avoid placing the cooler in direct sunlight and keep it insulated during the day to extend the life of the dry ice. Remember, dry ice sublimates upon contact with air, so opening the cooler frequently may cause the dry ice to sublimate faster.
Cooler Size 4 Hours 12 Hours 24 Hours 48 Hours
25 qts. 10 lbs. 10 lbs. 10 lbs. 15 lbs.
50 qts. 10 lbs. 15 lbs. 15 lbs. 20 lbs.
100 qts. 15 lbs. 20 lbs. 25 lbs. 35 lbs.
* Listed dry ice weights are estimated starting points only ** Cooler design, payload size, and ambient conditions may effect results

What is the safest way to handle dry ice?

Avoid direct contact with skin by using gloves, tongs or a towel when handling dry ice. Wrap the dry ice in a towel and use a hammer to break it into smaller pieces.

How do I pack my cooler with dry ice?

Separate frozen and refrigerated food and drinks into two coolers. For the refrigerated cooler, we suggest placing the dry ice at the bottom and your items on top with a sufficient layer of insulation in-between. For keeping food frozen, place your items at the bottom of your cooler with the dry ice on top and a layer of insulation in-between. (Here’s a helpful hint: To help keep food frozen for longer, put a layer of dry ice at the bottom of the cooler and a layer of dry ice at the top of the cooler with your items and insulation in between.) For more safety and handling tips, check out our Safe Uses and Handling Guide.

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