Why You Should Never Put Leftover Dry Ice In The Sink

Dry ice creates billowing fog that makes for the perfect Halloween party backdrop. But you might have some left over and are seeking a way to dispose of it. The toilet or sink might come to mind. After all, dry ice has ice in the name. So, it should melt, right?

Unfortunately, no. Dry ice does not melt. 

Dry Ice Corp cautions against such disposal methods because the dry ice will actually freeze the water in your pipes. That's right. Dry ice is so cold it will freeze your running water rather than melt. This could effectively lead to burst pipes and an extensive amount of damage. If you accidentally drop some dry ice into your sink, you should immediately pour hot water over it. If you plopped it into your toilet, however, you need to put on some safety gloves and goggles so you can retrieve it before it ends up cracking your entire toilet. Alternatively, you can pour boiling water into the bowl.

Fortunately, safely disposing of dry ice is rather simple. Greener Choices says that all you really need is a well-ventilated space that is away from day-to-day activities. Once you found the spot, place the dry ice in a tray and wait for it to sublimate.

Do not throw dry ice into a trash bin

The ventilation aspect is vitally important. You cannot simply chuck dry ice into a trash bin after your Halloween bash has finished because it can explode. According to Thought Co., a dry ice bomb is nothing more than some dry ice inside a sealed container. As the ice warms and begins to sublimate into carbon dioxide, the gas builds up until the container explodes. Other spaces that can unintentionally create dry ice bombs are coolers, plastic bottles, and your freezer. The resulting explosion can damage your hearing and even pierce you with fragments of the container or shards of dry ice that can then cause frostbite.

The most famous examples of dry ice bombs include an explosion at Los Angeles International Airport, a student who lost an eye during a presentation, and one placed in a Disneyland garbage can, as reported by National Geographic. Unless you are a trained professional, the only thing you should do with dry ice is let it sublimate in controlled areas either for a spooky effect or for disposal purposes. Doing anything more will likely lead to some serious problems.