Learn How to Safely Use Dry Ice This Halloween

Dry ice is a great way to kick up the fear factor for Halloween. Learn how to safely handle it and cool ways to use it.

Dry ice adds an extra spooky element to your Halloween decor. The gentle drift of chilly fog gives the feeling that something very scary is just around the corner — but using dry ice doesn’t have to be scary. With the right tools and careful handling, you can safely create Halloween magic.

For safe handling of dry ice, use:

  • hammer
  • screwdriver or chisel
  • tongs
  • tray
  • safety goggles (recommended)
Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Learn what you need to know for using dry ice for Halloween.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Use the hammer and chisel or screwdriver to break the block of dry ice into workable pieces. Break it up on a tray with a rim to stop the pieces from scattering too far. Keep the broken pieces in the freezer until ready to use.

Things to consider:

  • Dry ice is actually the solid form of carbon dioxide. It's called 'dry ice' because it doesn't melt like frozen water; instead, it converts into carbon dioxide gas as it breaks down.
  • Much colder than water ice, contact with dry ice will, within seconds, cause burns at the site of contact.
  • Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air, causing it to sink to the floor. A high concentration of this gas reduces the available oxygen in the air and can cause breathing problems for pets and small children so only use dry ice in a well-ventilated area. When in doubt, keep pets safely away from the area.
  • Before handling, cover yourself appropriately with long sleeves and long pants.
  • NEVER touch dry ice with bare hands, always use tongs.
  • NEVER ingest dry ice or let it touch your lips or the interior of your mouth.

Fun Dry Ice Ideas

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Learn what you need to know for using dry ice for Halloween.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Keep It Cool: Add a smaller serving bowl to a larger serving bowl with about an inch of space between the two. Fill the inside bowl with punch. Place small pieces of dry ice between the two bowls. Just before serving pour warm water between the two bowls to activate the dry ice.

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Learn what you need to know for using dry ice for Halloween.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Creepy Cocktails: Drop a small piece of dry ice into a cocktail before serving. The dry ice cannot be ingested, but it sinks to the bottom so small sips are okay while it's still present. However, guests should be cautioned to not drink the dry ice or wait until it has melted fully before drinking.

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Learn what you need to know for using dry ice for Halloween.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Spooky Jack-O'-Lanterns: Place a small, shallow bowl or dish inside a carved pumpkin. Add warm water to the dish to activate the dry ice.

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Dry Ice Tips for Halloween Use

Learn what you need to know for using dry ice for Halloween.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Double, Double Toil and Trouble: Make a mound of small sticks and orange mini-lights. Place a black kettle or cauldron on the sticks. Place a bowl inside the kettle and several pieces of dry ice. Pour warm water over the dry ice to activate it.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Using a Pumpkin-Carving Template

Our top tips for carving a Halloween pumpkin using a printed template, plus HGTV-exclusive pumpkin-carving templates.

Halloween Decor: Turn a Peaceful Plant Into a Man-Eating Monster

Plant lovers, beware! This carnivorous craft is a fun way to add a little unexpected spookiness to a humble houseplant this Halloween.

How to Make a Pumpkin Candy Dish

An artificial pumpkin and fall-themed fabric make a great container for Halloween treats.

Halloween Party Magic: Make a Wicked Wine Cauldron + Ghostly Garnishes

Channel your inner spellcaster to magic up a wine-dispensing cauldron along with tastefully terrifying (and delicious!) liqueur-soaked fruit garnishes.

How to Mummify Your Front Door for Halloween

Get your home ready for trick-or-treaters or Halloween guests with a decorated front door that's easy and quick.

Giant Raven Outdoor Halloween Decoration

Create a foreboding larger-than-life raven cut-out for your front yard to give trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests a fright.

Make a Headless Horseman Figure for Halloween

Give trick-or-treaters a scare by constructing a near lifesize headless horseman door greeter who points the way to the candy.

How to Make a Candy Corn Pinata for Halloween

Halloween swings into action with this candy corn piñata. Party guests large and small will enjoy taking a shot at this treat-filled decoration.

41 Printable (and Free!) Halloween Templates

From printable party invites to cute cupcake, gift bag and party favor embellishments plus pumpkin-carving templates and props for a photo booth, we'll help you get your spook on this Halloween.

How to Make a Ghostly Antiqued Mirror

Transform a modern mirror into a spooky, antiqued looking glass with this simple technique. In a Gothic black frame, it's perfect for Halloween, but this look can work year round if you use a warm wood, silver leaf or gilt frame.
More from:

Halloween Ideas

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.