Maybe you’ve had an injury or a sprain, perhaps a hurt child needs to soothe a boo boo, someone might be recovering from surgery… When you find yourself needing an ice pack, why not make your own? Here are five easy methods using common household items:
Corn syrup makes an excellent gel type of ice pack. It stays nice and squishy and flexible and doesn’t change texture or color in the freezer. It also contains nothing harmful if it would accidentally puncture or leak in a lunch, aside from things getting a little sticky. It can be made using any size ziploc bag. Simply pour some corn syrup into the bag, seal, and put in the freezer for several hours.
Dish soap can also be used to make a gel type of ice pack. I used Dawn dish soap when I tested this out and found that after only a couple of hours it was still much like the corn syrup and had not changed color or consistency and was nice and squishy. However the next day it was no longer like a gel and was much more icy and firm. Either way, it doesn’t freeze up solid and if you use a colorful soap (like the blue color of Dawn) it will signal that it is not an edible substance. It also can be used in any size ziploc bag by pouring in some dish soap, sealing, and putting in the freezer for several hours.
Rubbing Alcohol. The addition of alcohol to water will keep it from freezing completely which makes it an easy way to create a homemade ice pack. Use a sandwich size or quart size ziploc bag and combine 1 1/2 cups of water with a 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol. Seal and put in the freezer for several hours or overnight.
Salt. For a really cheap and easy ice pack, simply add some ordinary table salt to water. Use a sandwich size or quart size ziploc bag and add 2 tablespoons of salt to 2 cups of water. Seal and put in the freezer for several hours or overnight.
Bonus idea: Ketchup packet! For the little ones bumps and bruises 😉