Dry ice shipping

Dry ice shipping instructions

Dry Ice normally comes in 10-inch squares, 2 inches thick weighing about 10 pounds each square. If you can get crushed or cubed dry ice in order to surround the sample with ice, that's ideal: http://dryiceinfo.com/shipping.htm
Never touch dry ice with your bare skin as it will burn. Always use gloves. Use 5 to 10 pounds of dry ice for each 24-hour period depending upon the quality of the insulated shipping container. A foam box inside a shipping box like this should work well:

Options for insulated shipping boxes:


Permacool Insulated Foam Shipper Boxed Kit 1.5″ Thick Wall – 11.5″ x 10″ x 9.25″ https://www.amazon.com/Permacool-Insulated-Shipper-Boxed-Thick/dp/B00OD7ROQE

Insulated Foam Shipper Boxed Kit 1.5″ Thick Wall -11.5″ x 10″ x 9.25″ https://www.ebay.com/itm/Insulated-Foam-Shipper-Boxed-Kit-1-5-Thick-Wall-11-5-x-10-x-9-25-Inner-Dim-/272375409913

There are two main options, for which the prices may vary:

  • Overnight shipping with less dry ice. 
  • 3-day-shipping with more dry ice. 

Make sure to avoid shipping near weekends & holidays.

Fresh > Flash freeze (dry ice) > Slow freeze (freezer)

Air exposure will also kill many microbes in the stool. Do not let the stool come into contact with the toilet or any other non-sterile surfaces. The best way to do it is to go directly into a plastic ziplock bag like the one in this picture.

Various squatting positions should be adequate

You can also lean on a wall for support and balance. Flatten the air out before zipping it shut. If you are shipping only 1 sample, either bring it right away to buy dry ice and put it in the dry ice (should be fine at room temp or a insulated lunch bag for 1/2 an hour), or refrigerate (not freeze) until the dry ice is purchased. If you’re shipping multiple samples they’ll probably have to be slow frozen in the regular fridge.

Some recipients may request for the sample to be mixed with saline (salt water – do not use iodized salt) and/or glycerol (anti-freeze that protects the microbes from freezing damage). In these cases you could add those to the ziplock bag, zip shut, then mash/mix with your hand from the outside of the bag.

For dry ice:

You can try various web searches for “buy dry ice [your city]”. Example results:
There  are some local grocery stores that have it.

This directory could work too to find a close provider:  http://www.dryicedirectory.com/world.htm


To create saline:

Add 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt to 2 cups of filtered or distilled water. Or 1/4th teaspoon of salt for 1 cup of water.



Glycerol is a laxative and thus may be problematic for some people. If the recipient decides they want you to use glycerol it should make up 10-15% of the total volume of added liquid. About 1 tablespoon of glycerol for every 9 tablespoons of saline.

Glycerol and glycerin are the same thing. Many department/grocery stores should carry it. Read the label and make sure the only ingredient is glycerol. It is also available online: