Dry ice is another name for frozen carbon dioxide or CO2. It's often used in the food industry, where it can preserve perishable items and carbonate liquids. Dry ice can also be used to preserve medical specimens, freeze off warts, and even to get rid of some bugs.
Adding dry ice to any fruit juices or water will result in a sparkling drink. It's possible to prepare homemade root beer by adding it to root beer extract mixed with water. Dry ice also prevents the growth of bacteria, so it can be used to preserve dry seeds, grains, and flour and to retard baking yeast growth. Fruits frozen with this type of ice will thaw firm, not soggy. Campers have another use for it: they can keep food fresh for a longer period of time without having to worry about sogginess.
Another use for dry ice has to do with medicine, where it's commonly used to preserve and ship biological samples. Cosmetic surgeons use it to freeze warts for easy removal.
The "fog" used in entertainment special effects is made with dry ice. When it comes in contact with water, it condenses and forms a thick white fog. This can be effected with a fog machine or a simple deep metal plate. Because the substance can shrink metal, it's often used to pop out small dents and to shrink machine parts before assembly.
A lesser known use for dry ice has to do with keeping mosquitoes and wood beetles away. Mosquitoes are attracted to CO2 and naturally move towards the ice. Some pieces can be placed around a trap to keep mosquitoes away. Wood beetles can be eliminated from furniture by placing the piece inside a sealed freezer with several pounds of dry ice. The insects and eggs will suffocate within 24 hours.
Dry ice can be dangerous if not handled properly. With a temperature of -109.3°F (-78.5°C), it can severely burn the skin and cause suffocation if inhaled. The use of special gloves is highly recommended when handling this substance and, if working with it indoors, people should make sure the space is well ventilated.