How To Make Homemade Ice Packs

How To Make Homemade Ice Packs

Ice packs are used on injuries where swelling has occurred, because the ice packs numb the pain while bringing the swelling down. They are used for 20 minutes at a time. If you don’t have the time to run to the store to purchase an ice pack, you can make one at home. Homemade ice packs work just as well as store-bought ice packs.

Also if you are outside of civilization you can use these methods to create an expedient ice pack for your needs!

Reuseable Gel Type

Method #1

2 cups water
1/3 cup vodka (80 proof)
Food coloring (any color you like)
Ziploc Freezer Bag

  • Pour liquids into ziploc freezer bag, add food coloring (you’ll know at a glance that it’s your ice pack and not something to consume) then freeze.

Method #2

1 cup rubbing alcohol
2 cups water
Ziploc Freezer Bag (1 quart size)

  • Pour liquids into freezer bag, remove air and seal bag. Place bag seal side down into another ziploc freezer bag, remove air and seal that bag. Place in freezer and use (and reuse) as needed (nice and slushy!).

Liquid Soap Ice Pack
Method #3

Liquid Dish Detergent
Ziploc Freezer Bag

  • Squirt liquid dish detergent in a double zip ziploc bag until the bag is about 3/4 full, seal and then freeze.


When taking them from the freezer to use, wrap in towel first before applying to body. If they freeze too hard and aren’t slushy, simply allow them to melt and then add more alcohol.

Single use method:

  • Prepare jello as usual, pour liquid into double zip ziploc freezer bag and put in freezer. Wait till the jello gets really cold and gels, then use.

Lunchbox ideas:

  • Just freeze juice boxes the night before and toss in the lunch bag, or buy reuseable plastic drink boxes, fill with juice and freeze overnight (make sure to leave room when frozen juice expands).
  • Fill small ziploc freezer bags with water, freeze and use as needed (solid block).

Camping cooler ideas:

  • Clean empty plastic pop bottles, fill 3/4 full with water, twist cap back on and place in freezer. Take out and use as needed.
  • Large double zip ziploc freezer bags, fill with water and seal. Freeze til needed (this will be a solid block).
  • Wash empty milk cartons, fill with water, close carton and freeze (leave room for expansion).

No time to freeze and need something in a jiffy? Here are some ideas:

  • You can use a bag of frozen vegetables (bags of peas or corn work best)
  • Fill a double zip ziploc freezer bag with some ice (crushed or cubed), add cold water, seal bag, insert seal side down in another double zip ziploc bag, seal that bag, then apply.

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