When someone is injured, it’s nice to have an ice pack handy. These easy homemade reusable ice pack recipes using easy ingredients are just what the doctor ordered!
Easy Homemade Reusable Ice Packs Recipe
Since I have Fibromyalgia, homemade ice packs always come in handy after I come back from the chiropractor or getting a massage. Sometimes the pain is worse after I have a treatment and I keep begging someone to come with a full body BenGay or a full body ice pack!
We have all heard to use a bag of frozen peas as an improvised ice pack but it really does a number on the poor peas and half the time I don’t have them on hand. Here are 3 simple homemade ice packs you can keep in the freezer and reuse over and over. They all use ingredients you have at home so you probably won’t even need to make a trip to the store to make your homemade ice packs.
Mini Ice Pack
For those little spots, especially on kids, keep a ketchup packet you had left from your last burger at a fast food place and freeze it. We all have a thousand of these it seems and even though we do eventually use them up, a few in the freezer will save the day when one of the kids is screaming!
Large Homemade Ice Pack
2 cups water
1 cup rubbing alcohol
Mix in a ziptop bag. I suggest double bagging it. Freeze. You can use it over and over. The heavy duty freezer bags seem to work best for this homemade ice pack.
*When filling a bag with liquid or anything, place the bag in a bowl and fold the bag edges down over the bowl top then pour the liquid in.
Dish Soap Ice Pack
Fill a ziptop bag 1/2-3/4 full with dish soap. Double bag. Then freeze. You will be able to mold it around your injury. Once again, heavy duty freezer bags last the longest.
Can the large ice pack be used when you want to keep food cold in a picnic basket? That would be a cheap, in the pinch kind of cooler idea. Maybe it would make a mess. I don’t know.
I’m not sure why they wouldn’t work in a pinch although they wouldn’t last as long as say water frozen in a milk jug but to keep things cool for a bit they might work.
We boat camp several months every year. I freeze water bottles (8 oz or so), clean quart plastic milk jugs, etc. and put on the cooler with our food depending on how many days, food type, etc.. I usually end up putting the bottles on the bottom, food on top for ease of picking the foods I need, but actually putting the bottles on top of the food is recommended. If we go to Yellowstone, or are planning a fairly long stay, the iced bottles go on top.
You never drown your food in melted ice water by accident this way.
These are great! I can’t even begin to count all the spilled peas from bags that got holes in them over the last 20 years! Thanks so much for these :)
The milk jug idea sounds good. Thanks.
I have made the ice pack with alcohol and water. They work great! I do suggest that you use the name brand baggies. I used a store brand and they leaked. I also double bagged them. Then I made some fabric covers for them with a flap, just tucked them into the pocket. Put them in the freezer that way and they are ready to go! Made two each for my girls and their families. They love them.
The water in the jugs is good ice water when it starts melting or when you take it out of the cooler *after you take out the food*
My physical therapist told me about the alcohol and water one, because it doesn’t freeze solid and will mold to your body. Make sure to use the Freezer zip bags, not the regular sandwich bags, and be sure to label them.
Please be certain to double or triple the FREEZER BAG for the ice packs with alcohol. Following surgery a few years ago, I used the alcohol/water packs on my leg. When I got up in the middle of the night and walked through my bedroom and the hallway to the bath, I didn’t notice that the pack was leaking. The next morning, I found a trail of spots where the finish had been removed from my hardwood floors and a soaked matress.
I tried the dish soap recipe this week and it is frozen solid. I will try the alcohol and water one instead. I like the idea of making a cover for it!I am using my vacuum food sealer for the bags – figured there is less likelyhood for leakage.
For those of you who have a vacuum sealer, I place ice cubes or a chunk of ice in a vacuum seal bag and seal it. I then use it in my small cooler and when it melts I don’t have to worry about it leaking and just toss it back in the freezer and have it ready for the next time I need an ice pack. You can make all kinds of sizes for example make smaller ones to pop in your lunch if you take your lunch to work or school.
For a small ice pack to put in a picnic lunch, my mother-in-law taught me this one. Clean out an empty pint or half pint milk or whipping cream cardboard carton. Fill with water and freeze. Pinch shut and staple, paper clip or butterfly clip the top. Slip into a ziplock bag to prevent it from leaking all over.
It uses something one more time before being thrown out. Doesn’t take up much space. And two or three of them can be strategically placed in a picnic basket, to keep just what you want cool.
When I have an empty carton this size, I wash it out and just toss it in the freezer to fill later. I sometimes will use these for freezer storage of single servings of soup as well.
frozen drink boxes/pouches are wonderful for lunches and smaller booboos as well !
I had an injury to my lower back and was suggested to do this. It works.! It is now in my arsonel of things that actually work!
Hair gel works good too. My son plays baseball and is always in need of an ice pack. These you don’t have to freeze, just stick in the fridge!!
I did the homemade ice pack with the rubbing alcohol. One problem, it’s still not frozen, not even slushy. What am I doing wrong?
Different rubbing alcohol have different % of alcohol so you might try adding more and see if that works.
I wonder if 3 cups of water to 1 cup alcohol would work better (mixed very well)? I might try that first because I like the idea of it being slushy. I can always defrost it and add more of either later.
If you have a “daisy seal-a-meal” seal the ziploc bag up in one of those. I find even the heavy duty Ziploc Brand double zip freezer bags leak…..so now I seal them up in one of those “shrink wrap” type bags….love it!
Grizzly Bear Mom
I’m a single with a large stand alone freezer. I fill milk jugs and 2 liter bottles with water to take up the excess room in the freezer. If power outages threat, I turn down the temperature and know that my “ice box” will stay cold for 3-4 days if I don’t open it.
Reusing bottles like this as ice packs in coolers works well too. After the food is consumed you can drink the cool water.
Thanks! Ice packs are expensive and I’m constantly using them — they even get rid of bruises fast! To cover the packs, I just use a dirty T-shirt or a pillow case. You could also just put them in the fridge. I keep one in both places.
…I wonder if the rice-in-a-sock thing works for cold packs too. Anyone tried?
Saves money too. Storing more in the freezer-refrigerator insulates it so it takes less energy to stay cold.
*Store cold drinking water
*Make a gallon or 2 of sweet tea. You’ll be happy on hot summer day! You can even use these on those camping trips people spoke about above.
Use Vodka instead of rubbing alcohol to make a ice pack.
You could use anything with alcohol in it. Alcohol does not freeze like water. The thing is usually rubbing alcohol is cheaper and easier to obtain for most.
Make ice pack with 1 c vodka and 2 c. water.
fill a Ziploc bag with dry beans and keep in the freezer.