Ice Packs – How To Create Your Own Do-It-Yourself Ice Pack

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Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup works great in a pinch for making a quick ice pack. It stays flexible and squishy. Simply pour some corn syrup in a Ziploc bag and stick in the freezer until it is cool enough to use. You might want to double Ziploc bag this one however, because while it does not contain anything harmful, even a small leak can cause a sticky situation.

Dishwashing Liquid

Another quick and easy way to make a do-it-yourself ice pack is to use a liquid dishwashing soap such as Dawn. Simply pour some of the liquid into a sandwich bag or gallon Ziploc bag (depending on the size you need) and pop it into the freezer for a few hours. The color helps distinguish what it is and it stays cold for quite awhile but also remains squishy so it can be shaped around the needed area. This is a temporary solution however because it tends to get firmer if left in the freezer for longer than a day, so you might want to make a fresh pack each time you need it.


Using Jell-O is another quick and inexpensive way to make an effective ice pack. Prepare the Jell-O according to the instructions on the package and wait until it is cool enough to pour into a plastic Ziploc bag. Fill the bag ¾ of the way, then securely seal and freeze it for a few hours. When the jell-o warms up and starts to melt, simply throw back in the freezer for a few more hours.

Ketchup Packs

Finally a great use for all of those little extra Ketchup packs you’ve been collecting for a year in the fridge. Simply throw a bunch of the ketchup packs in a sandwich size or gallon size ziploc bag and place them in the freezer for a few hours. Before you know it you will have an easy, shape-shifting ice pack that can be easily molded around the swollen area.


An oldie but a goodie. Due to the way frozen peas shift in the bag, they can easily be molded around any injured area that needs soothing. It is important however to wrap the frozen bag of peas in a towel or cloth so the bag does not create any kind of skin burns. Also be sure to clearly label the peas as an ice pack because it isn’t safe to eat peas that have been repeatedly frozen and unfrozen a few times.

Plastic Playtex Gloves

Simply fill a plastic glove (such as Playtex) with ice, then tie it securely to prevent leaks and place in freezer. If you find the cold plastic is too tough on skin – wrap the glove in a dish towel or cloth before placing on injured area.

Popping Corn

Another unique, but easy and inexpensive way to create an ice pack is to freeze unpopped popcorn kernels. Simply pour one cup of unpopped kernels into a sandwich sized Ziploc bag and place into the freezer to make an ice pack that will easily conform to your body.


Who knew? Rice is another great way to create an ice pack because it holds onto the coolness created by the freezer for quite awhile. (Be sure to use regular rice however, not the short cooking type.) You don’t even need a Ziploc for this remedy, as a plain old sock will do. Simply fill the sock about 2/3 of the way full, tie it securely and stick it in the freezer. The rice will easily shift so you can shape around the needed area.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol combined with water in a freezer bag also works great as an ice pack because the alcohol keeps the water from freezing. Simply mix one cup of rubbing alcohol with three cups of water in a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze.


Another quick and easy way to make a do-it-yourself ice pack is to simply add 2 tablespoons of salt to 2 cups of water and zip securely in a zip top freezer bag.


This type of ice pack works great for keeping food cold in lunch boxes and coolers because even when it melts the water gets reabsorbed by the sponge ensuring there will be no leaks. Simply soak a sponge in water then seal it in a Ziploc bag. Can be reused again and again.


Another great way to make an ice pack that won’t freeze solid is to combine 2 cups of water with 1/3 cup of Vodka and seal well in a gallon size freezer bag. You might want to add a little bit of blue or green food coloring so family members can find it easily and it will not be mistaken for something that can be consumed.

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