Add Spooky Smoke to Your Pumpkin Lantern With Dry Ice
To get the most spooky effect from pumpkin lanterns this year, you need some smoke coming out of their cold, dead mouths. However, candles don’t produce enough to be useful, and it wouldn’t be easy to fit tiny smoke machines into all your carved gourds: that’s where dry ice comes in handy.
Here’s how you can use dry ice to create a smoky effect without putting yourself or others at risk.
How to Use Dry Ice Safely
Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide. It is usually used to keep groceries or other perishables cold during long journeys, but it can also be used as a decorative item, as combining it with hot salt water creates a misty effect. It’s interesting and useful, but it’s also dangerous: the average dry ice temperature is -109°F. This means that he can burn you – badly. Once I tried to take the cake out of the box, not realizing that it was packed in dry ice, stuck my forearm under the cake and burned the entire length from elbow to wrist. The wound was there for several days and it hurt terribly and my skin probably only touched the material for a second.
According to Dry Ice Corp. To avoid frostbite or other skin damage, you should always wear protective gloves or use a fabric barrier when handling it. You should also use it in a well ventilated area because it can suffocate you as the solid carbon dioxide sublimates into a gas, raising the carbon dioxide levels in the breathable air around you.
Store dry ice in heavy insulated containers to keep it from sublimating, but do not use airtight containers that could explode due to gas buildup inside.
How to Use Dry Ice This Halloween
With all that in mind, you can start using dry ice to decorate the spookiest holiday of the year. It works best in a gourd lantern, as it is much harder to accidentally touch if hidden in a gourd shell. Dry Ice Corp. recommends filling a large glass about halfway with hot water and a cup of salt, placing it in the gourd, and tossing two or three large pieces of dry ice into the water before closing the gourd.
Remember to use gloves or another barrier when handling dry ice, and also remember that carbon dioxide sinks, so it will leak more from the bottom of your gourd lantern. You can make some mist float out of the top holes by using a taller glass. Continue adding hot water as the water in the glass cools to keep the mist flowing.
HGTV also suggests putting the smaller serving bowl inside the larger punch bowl and adding dry ice in between. Place your punch in the smaller inner bowl, pour some hot water over dry ice, and let the mist decorate your dinner party.
You may also see cocktail recipes that call for adding a small amount of dry ice to each glass, but this is not recommended. too much of a risk, especially when it comes to alcohol and your guests feel the effects. Store dry ice only in decor.