Q:

What's the best way to clean a dry ice machine?

A:

Quick Answer

The best way to clean a dry ice machine is to wipe the surfaces inside the machine with a clean, damp cloth, then dry them with a second clean cloth. Dry ice must be removed from the machine and the surfaces allowed to return to room temperature before cleaning.

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Full Answer

Because dry ice has a temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit, touching it for more than a very brief period of time causes frostbite on the skin. This initially takes the form of red skin but quickly turns into scarring and burning. When removing dry ice from a machine or touching the machine's interior during and after use, insulated gloves are recommended, and exposure should be limited because of the presence of carbon dioxide. Using tongs to handle dry ice is not recommended, because dry ice vaporizes when contacted, making the metal grip unreliable.

Spraying an all-purpose household cleaner onto the damp cloth before cleaning provides all of the cleansing action necessary, as the machines only hold carbon dioxide. It is important to follow the cleaning with a dry cloth to ensure that all moisture is out of the machine. The surfaces should be completely dry before using the machine to make more dry ice.

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