How Long Does Dry Ice Last?
You’re probably starting to get the idea that there are a lot of great uses for dry ice. Aside from the fun stuff, dry ice is actually extremely practical for use in shipping and storage of items that need to stay cold. In fact, you can ship just about anything, from frozen food to temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals safely with the help of dry ice, but how long does dry ice last?
Especially when you’re shipping something, though, the weight and size of your package is of real importance. You don’t want to pay for more than is necessary, but you also want to make sure that whatever you’re shipping will arrive safely so that all that hard work didn’t go to waste.
So how do you know how much dry ice to use in your package? Fortunately dry ice behaves extremely predictably. That fact makes it much easier to calculate exactly how much dry ice you will need for a particular task.
There are a couple of factors you need to take into account when you’re shipping something with dry ice. First, you need to know how much your frozen goods weigh. The larger the product, the more dry ice you’ll need to keep it cold.
Secondly, you’ll need to have at least a general idea of how long it will take for your package to reach its destination. If you’re packing something to take with you on a trip, this is a little bit easier than if you’re packing something to ship through the mail.
If you stop in to explain your situation at the local post office, you should be able to get at least a reasonable estimate, though. You can also choose a shipping method with a guaranteed delivery date so you don’t have to worry about estimates.
Once you know how long your package will be in transit, you can pretty easily estimate how much dry ice you will need. There are also some other steps you can take to increase the life of your dry ice during shipping as well.
For one, it’s a good idea to fill all of the available space. The more air there is inside your package, the faster your dry ice will sublimate. Also, keep in mind that the more dry ice you have in your container, the longer it will last, so adding just a little more can make a big difference.
Of course, there are certainly variables that you can’t account for. Packing and shipping with dry ice is necessarily an inexact science because you simply don’t know what types of conditions your package will encounter along the way. A package shipped by plane will encounter a very different environment than will one that travels by truck across the country.
You can eliminate some of the effects of this variation by making sure your shipping container is properly insulated. Also, keep in mind that, because dry ice is so cold, the items you are shipping won’t thaw immediately when the last of the dry ice is gone. This gives you a little bit of leeway in your calculations so you don’t have to worry too much about your shipment surviving the trip.
I hope this information has helped you to know how long does dry ice last.