How to Use Dry Ice to Cool a Refrigerator

When a refrigerator stops cooling, you must take action to prevent the contents from spoiling.

You can use dry ice to help keep your food fresh.
Dry ice chills the interior of your refrigerator faster than traditional ice, and you won't have a puddle in the bottom of your refrigerator, since dry ice turns to carbon dioxide gas as it sublimes. Only use this technique if you know that your refrigerator will not have power for more than six hours. Always handle dry ice with heavy gloves as it can freeze your skin. .

Seal all containers in the refrigerator as the dry ice will cause contents of open containers to become carbonated, making milk taste like soda.

Line the bottom-most shelf of the refrigerator with newspaper or a towel.

Empty the drawers or remove contents below the bottom shelf to prevent them from freezing.

Place a single 10 lb. block of dry ice onto the newspaper or towel. Handle the dry ice with heavy gloves to prevent frostbite.

Store extra blocks of dry ice in a spare ice chest if you need cooling for more than one day.

Replace the dry ice every 12 to 24 hours, or when the initial block disappears.

Keep the refrigerator closed as much as possible to retain the cold air.

Things You Will Need

  • Newspaper or towel
  • 10 lb. blocks of dry ice
  • Gloves
  • Ice chest


  • Never handle dry ice with your bare hands as prolonged exposure might cause frostbite.