How To Make The Ultimate Ice Pack!
How to Make a Homemade Ice Pack
A homemade ice pack is a good way to soothe a minor injury or cool down on a sweltering day. Making a flexible, ready-to-go ice pack using household items is quick and simple. Make a Ziploc ice pack with rubbing alcohol and water, dish soap, or corn syrup. Alternatively, make a rice-filled ice pack. Customize your new cold compress with touches like a homemade ice pack cover, food coloring, or scented oil.
Making a Ziploc Ice Pack
Fill the Ziploc bags.Pour a 2:1 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol into a Ziploc freezer bag until it is 3/4 full. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring to customize the color of your homemade ice pack. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag tightly; put it into a second Ziploc freezer bag to ensure that the liquid doesn’t leak out.
- If you do not have rubbing alcohol on hand, consider alternative ingredients to make an ice pack, such as dish soap (on its own, no water necessary) or corn syrup.
- Be careful to keep your materials and ingredients away from infants and small children. Rubbing alcohol is dangerous if consumed in large enough quantities and it can also cause irritation to the eyes. Plastic bags also pose a suffocation risk to babies and small children.
Freeze the package.Place the liquid-filled Ziploc bags into the freezer. Leave for two to three hours to freeze. Given the different freezing points of water and alcohol, the solution will develop into a gel.
- Gel icepacks can mold to the contours of your body, which may provide better relief than a traditional ice pack.
Make an ice pack cover.Before applying your homemade ice pack, you should cover it to avoid direct contact with your skin. Find some thick, comfortable material (e.g. from an old flannel shirt) and cut out a piece that is an inch (2.5 cm) wider than your ice pack, and twice the length of the ice pack, plus an inch. Fold the material by bringing the ends to meet (and overlap) in the middle. Sew together the top and bottom, lengthwise. Leave the middle part open to easily insert and remove the ice pack.
Making a Rice Ice Pack
Choose a cover.Customize your ice pack by choosing the material and dimensions. For an easy option, choose an old, clean sock; pillowcases and other material pouches are also good options, provided that the material is tightly knit and the sides are closed up. You can also purchase material and sew something yourself.
- A benefit of making a rice ice pack is that you can also use it as a moist heat pack by microwaving it for one to three minutes.
Fill up the pouch.Fill up your ice pack cover with raw rice. Fill it approximately ¾ full so that the filling will disperse evenly when applied to skin while maintaining its density. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired (e.g. lavender oil, to enhance relaxation).
- You can substitute dried beans for rice, if needed.
Seal and freeze.Sew up the end of the ice pack. Make sure that all of the edges are shut tightly, and that there are no small holes in the material where the rice might fall out. Freeze the ice pack for two to three hours, or until chilled.
Making a Sponge Ice Pack
Soak the sponge.Choose a clean, thick sponge large enough to cover the area you want to apply a cold compress to. Opt for a sponge without an abrasive side for scrubbing. To cover a greater area, use a second sponge as well. Run the sponge under water until it is soaked through.
Seal the pack.Place the wet sponge (or sponges) in a freezer bag to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the freezer. Remove excess air from the freezer bag. Seal the bag tightly and place it in the freezer.
Freeze and use.Freeze the pack for several hours. The pack will be stiff when you first remove it from the freezer, so thaw it for a few minutes if you want it to be flexible when used. The sponge will soften gradually as you use it.
To make a homemade ice pack, start by running a sponge under some water until it's completely soaked. Then, put it in a sealable freezer bag and freeze it for several hours. You can also make an ice pack by filling a sock or pillowcase with rice, sealing the opening, and then freezing the pack for 2-3 hours. For a simple ice pack, fill a sealable freezer bag with 2 parts water and 1 part rubbing alcohol and freeze it for several hours.
Video: DIY Homemade Gel Ice Pack
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