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How to Stop Ice Cream From Melting During Transport

How to Stop Ice Cream From Melting During Transport

Have you ever had your ice cream arrive melted? It’s heartbreaking, especially when it’s been a long day and you were looking forward to that sweet, creamy treat.

If you’ve ever wondered how to stop ice cream from melting during transport, the simplest trick is to thoroughly insulate the ice cream container and then provide additional cooling with dry ice, crushed ice, or gel packs.

Let’s look at how to transport significant amounts of ice cream over a long period and then learn other things about effectively keeping your treats nice and cold.

1. Use an Insulated Container

The best way to keep ice cream cold is to use an insulated container that keeps it cold while in transit. The container should be clean, sanitized, and free of odors and contaminants so that the ice cream doesn’t pick up any bad smells or flavors from the container.

To keep ice cream as cold as possible, choose insulated shipping containers with thick walls made of a material that insulates well to prevent heat from getting in or out. You can also select containers with cooling gels that keep the cold inside.

Cold containers keep your ice cream from melting quickly so you can ship it farther away from the source. You can also choose specialized containers designed to hold and keep ice cream in a frozen state for more extended periods.

Icecream insulator container

2. Use Restaurant Supplier Transportation Boxes

First, you need to ensure that your ice cream is cold and solid upon leaving your place of origin. Then, grab a restaurant supplier transportation box. These boxes are made of polystyrene so they are lightweight and highly insulating.

They are commonly used in the food industry, especially for transporting fresh seafood. The downside is that they are extremely fragile, so wrapping the outside with packaging tape is a good idea.

Here’s how to prep the box:

  1. Clean the entire box. Inspect all sides for any damage to the polystyrene.
  2. Lay down a layer of crushed ice.
  3. Wrap your ice cream tubs in an insulating blanket or newspaper, and then place them in a resealable plastic bag. This should keep any melted water from entering the bag. Ensure that there is little air inside the bag.
  4. Place the ice cream onto the first layer and then pour in more ice along the sides and gaps.
  5. Cover the box with the lid. It should fit snuggly to keep air from entering the cold chamber.
  6. Seal the gaps with packaging tape.

Following these steps should keep your ice cream solid and cold even on a blazing hot day. Keep the box away from direct sunlight. You can also cover the sealed box with a thick blanket for good measure.

Icecream transport

3. Add Dry ice to an Insulated Container

If you have a substantial amount of ice cream to transport, you can use dry ice to keep it cool for an extended period. Dry ice sublimates at -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is so cold, it keeps everything around it icy.

You can place dry ice in an insulated container with your ice cream to keep it frozen for as long as possible.

Keep in mind that dry ice is freezing and can cause burns, so be sure to wear gloves when handling the dry ice and be careful not to touch the container directly. Dry ice sublimates directly into carbon dioxide, so be smart about handling this substance.

4. Keep Your Ice Cream in a Cold Storage Location

Blue and White Simple Photo Milk Photo Collage

One of the effective ways to keep ice cream cold is to store it in a cold freezer or cooler before placing it in your transporting container. You can use a commercial walk-in freezer to store your ice cream or a smaller cooler in your shop or kitchen.

If you use a cooler, make sure that it has a secure lid to minimize the amount of warm air that gets inside. Besides keeping your product cold, storing your ice cream in the freezer before moving it helps keep it from becoming damaged.

Damaged ice cream containers can melt faster, so this is a great way to keep your product in the best condition possible.

5. Wrapping and Insulation are Key

In addition to storing your product in the freezer, you should also wrap it in a thick layer of plastic wrap or another kind of insulation. Wrapping and insulating keep the ice cream from getting warm or wet from the outside environment.

You can also wrap the container in several layers of plastic wrap and include a layer of insulation on top. If you can vacuum seal your ice cream, it will be even better to keep it cold.

6. Add Salt to the ice Surrounding the Ice Cream

Contrary to popular belief, melted ice is colder than solid ice. Adding salt into the mix will cause the ice to melt and stay in that form for longer without increasing the temperature.

Mixing salt with water takes advantage of a concept called freezing point depression, which means lowering the freezing point of a substance by dissolving another substance into it.

Since the freezing point is lower, the cold salt water stays cold longer without it freezing. This results in the effective cooling of your ice cream for longer.

You can also try putting saltwater into bottles, freezing them, and using them as ice packs in your insulated container. Fill in the gaps with normal ice.

Melting Ice cream

7. Keep Your Car Cool

Assuming you don’t have access to a freezer, the best way to transport ice cream without melting is to keep your car as cool as possible. Park in the shade if possible, and close all the windows and vents to ensure no heat gets in.

You can also put a cooler with ice in the car to help keep things cold. Put the ice cream in an insulated container, and put that inside the cooler. When you’re ready to eat, take the ice cream out of the cooler and let it sit for a few minutes to soften up enough to scoop.

With some planning, you can enjoy your ice cream even on a hot day.

Delivering Ice Cream – FAQs

Ice cream is a finicky product, so people are always coming up with new ways how to stop ice cream from melting during transport. Here are some top FAQs about transporting ice cream manageably.

How Do You Keep Ice Cream From Melting Fast?

There are several quick ways to do this.

One simple tip is to keep ice cream in the freezer until you are ready to eat it. The freezer will help keep it cold and prevent it from melting too fast.

Another way to keep ice cream from melting too fast is to choose a flavor that is not as susceptible to melting. For example, ice cream with a higher fat content is less likely to melt than those made with lower fat content.

Finally, if you are eating ice cream outdoors on a hot day, try to find a shady spot to enjoy it. The shade will keep the ice cream from melting too quickly. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your ice cream without having to deal with a messy meltdown.

How Long Does Ice Cream Last in the Car?

car freezer

The answer depends on many variables, including the outside temperature, the type of ice cream, and where in the car you put the ice cream. Putting ice cream in the trunk on a hot day will melt the outside portion within the tub but keeps the inner portion unmelted.

Put the AC on the lowest setting at full blast to keep the cabin cool while enjoying your ice cream.

So, if you’re planning on eating your ice cream right away, it’s best to keep it in a cooler until you’re ready to eat it. Otherwise, enjoy your melting treat!

How to Transport Ice Cream Without Dry Ice for Two Hours?

Dry ice is overkill for transporting ice cream over short distances. Given how dangerous dry ice can be if you’re not careful, it’s fortunate that you don’t need to use dry ice if transit time is only two hours.

All you need is regular ice and a good cooler. Do ensure that the ice cream tub is sealed well against any water ingress.

If you decide to use the substance, make sure to keep the container well-sealed, keep it at the lowest elevation in the cabin, and open the vents in your car to prevent carbon dioxide poisoning from any leaking sublimation.

What Temperature Is Ice Cream Transported At?

Blue and White Simple Photo Milk Photo Collage

The recommended air temperature for storing and transporting ice cream is -13°F. This low temperature helps keep the ice cream firm and slows the growth of bacteria. When you transport ice cream at too high of a temperature, it will melt rapidly and become soupy. Ice cream should never be transported at a temperature higher than -4°F.

In addition, bacteria can start to grow in ice cream that is not sufficiently chilled, leading to foodborne illness.


As you can see, there are many ways how to stop ice cream from melting during transport. If you see yourself buying ice cream quite often, consider investing in a high-quality cooler and ice packs. If not, you can try to be resourceful and use any plastic wrapping, towels, or other types of insulating materials laying around in the kitchen.

Transporting ice cream can be challenging, but with these tips, you can make sure your treats stay cold and delicious.