home made reusable ice packs

Sometimes you need an ice-pack.

Maybe your muscles are more sore than normal. Maybe you tweaked your hamstring or twisted your ankle. Maybe you have kids running around the house and want something on hand better than a bag of peas - just in case..

Here's the trick:

Mix 3 parts water with 1 part rubbing alcohol, and leave it in the freezer for when you need it.

The alcohol allows the bag to stay at very cold temperatures without freezing all the way. (or, if your freezer is super-cold and the bag freezes completely, it'll turn to slush pretty quickly at room temperature.) This lets the bag mold perfectly to your body, which makes it more effective than a bag of ice. (more surface area touching your body equals more cold.)

That's it. Simple as pie, and more effective than any other ice pack I've ever used.

Extra Tips

  • Triple-Bag - I poured the mixture into a zip lock bag, and then "triple bagged" it to avoid any potential leakage onto the couch. We bring the bags with us in a cooler to soccer practices and games, and they have yet to spring a leak. (double bonus - they keep our drinks cold in the cooler while they're waiting to be used.)
  • Multiple Sizes - I have a few sandwich bag sized ice packs, and a one-gallon sized monster ice pack. Any size ziplock bag is fair game for an ice-pack bag.
  • Works Great in a Cooler - Now that you have a super cold, leak-free, re-usable ice bag, why not use them in your cooler to keep your food fresh, cold, and dry?
  • Don't place ice packs directly on your skin - I'm not a doctor, but I've read that the extreme cold directly on your skin can do more harm than good. (google more details if you'd like.) Put the ice over your clothing, or place a towel between the ice pack and your skin.

Giving Credit - my wife picked this trick up from the internet about a year ago; I can't find the original source. (but I know I wasn't creative enough to think of this!)

Hopefully you won't need these anytime soon. But it doesn't hurt to have a couple good ice packs on hand for when you do...

- Chris Butterworth