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Keeping Cool in Hot Weather

Woman Cooling Off in Front of Fan

When the temperatures rise, there are a number of ways to stay comfortable. This guide is about keeping cool in hot weather.


Solutions: Keeping Cool in Hot Weather

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Tip: Use Frozen Bottle to Help Keep Cool

This is a health tip for dangerous hot weather. If you do not have a working air conditioner or only a weak one, put water in empty liter pop bottles or empty Gatorade bottles to about 2/3 of the way, recap and put in freezer over night and freeze.

When weather is too hot, wrap a frozen bottle in a tee shirt or kitchen towel and put it next to your body as you sit, or next to a baby sitting or lying down, or next to an old person. It helps cool the core of the body, so heat stroke is prevented.

Check the feel for comfort level and cover bottle with cloth accordingly. It helps people sleep comfortably and more safely. When mostly thawed, refreeze and swap out with a frozen one.

It acts like a hot water bottle, only in reverse. This is for dangerously hot weather.

Source: Came up with idea one summer when our old air conditioner wasn't working well and we had a heat wave.

By pikka from Westminster, CO

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Article: Tips for Keeping Cool in the Summer

Tips for Keeping Cool in the Summer

Cool off with these 30 Fun and Easy Tips:

  1. Run through the sprinkler with your kids, get out the slip and slide, the super soaker or the kiddie pool (add ice cubes).

  2. Have a water balloon fight.

  3. Plug in the fans, add streamers. Mind your fingers! Put a bowl of ice in front of the fan for added cooling power.

  4. Place a wet sheet in the open window. As the breeze passes through, you'll cool the room a bit. Frugal wind chill!

  5. Go swimming. You don't sweat underwater!

  6. Take a cold shower.

  7. Freeze your shower gel before using.

  8. Have your spouse or your kids run an ice cube up and down your back.

  9. Stand in front of the freezer case at your local grocery.

  10. Re-visit your basement (clean it out while you are down there cooling off).

  11. Go ice skating.

  12. Visit an air conditioned mall, library, or museum.

  13. Head to a local cave where it is always about 54 degrees F.

  14. Buy lemonade from the kids in your neighborhood.

  15. Make your own sun tea, popsicles, or fruit smoothies.

  16. Drink your coffee iced.

  17. Think cool - tell yourself you are comfortable. Mind over matter really works!

  18. Visit your local ice-cream parlor.

  19. Wear linen, a straw hat, light colored clothing.

  20. Watch "Cool" Movies: Happy Feet, Cool Hand Luke, Ice Age.

  21. Listen to "Cool" Tunes: Ice-T, Vanilla Ice, Ice Cube.

  22. Read a "Cool" Book: Scott of the Antarctic by David Crane, Into Think Ari by Jon Krakauer.

  23. Put the top down ANYWAY!

  24. Eat a salad dinner, picnic style.

  25. Wash your car - Water hose fight!

  26. Stay hydrated.

  27. Sleep.

  28. Exercise in the very early morning.

  29. Close the damper on your fireplace to keep out hot air

  30. Adopt a Cooling yoga position-seated forward bends, roll your tongue into a tube, and breathe in and out through it; pressing your chin to your chest as you breathe in. Check and search for cooling breath for a video.

By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY

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Tip: Cooling Tips in the Summer

The dog days of summer are soon upon us and that air conditioner looks mighty tempting, but keep these ideas in mind:

Get a case of half or full liters of water and store a bunch in the freezer until they are frozen solid. While sitting around the house watching TV, reading, etc., place bottles on the the back of your neck, the small of your back, and your lap. You may not even want the fan on since you'll feel so much cooler! And at bedtime or when leaving the house, just pop them back in the freezer for next time.

When you really have to use the A/C, make sure you have a standing fan as well. Fans cost less to use than A/C, but don't quite do the job on the hottest nights. You can run the A/C at a lower cheaper strength and add the fan. It creates an artificial windchill so it FEELS cooler without the higher A/C bill.

By Don from Staten Island, NY

Editor's Note: Do you have any tips for keeping cool during the hot summer? Post them here!

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Tip: Wear Wet Baseball Cap in Hot Weather

If you have to go out in this heat and you wear a cloth ball cap. Take some cold water and put it in the hat; wring the hat out so you don't drip on anything and put it on your head. It works. I've done this forever.

By bentcrazy39 from Springfield, OH

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Tip: Use Facecloths to Keep Cool

We have had lots of posts about facecloths and we all love them, so here is just one more small benefit. The heat in Europe is fierce these days, and I had been suffering until I remembered a trick I learned in Africa, but is surely well known in the southern USA.

Put a damp face cloth on the back of your neck for a few minutes, then move it around your shoulders, and finally placed it on top of head. I even put it on my chest as I worked on my laptop.

When it became as hot as I was myself, I refreshed with ice cold water and started all over again. I had a comfortable afternoon, and actually forgot it was 100 degrees outside. I have no air conditioning.

Perhaps this would help people to save on energy during these torrid months of summer.

By joanfry from France

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Tip: Keep Wet Towel in Refrigerator to Cool Off

I keep a sopping-wet micro fiber towel in a sealed Ziploc baggie in my refrigerator. I use the towel to wet myself down when heat gets to be too much. I then rinse the towel, wet it again to level of "soppiness", and cool in the refrigerator. During really hot days I'm the cleanest dude in the country. Before I retired from construction work, I kept cool by wetting my hair and beard with hose water during hot summer days. It worked for me.

By tomatohanger from Canton, OH

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Tip: Use Damp Towel to Keep Neck Cool

One of the best ways of dealing with summer heat as you work outside your home is to wear a clean wet towel around your neck. If your face and neck become sweaty (if you are a fella, you ladies start to "glow"), the towel will serve as a great wipe and refresher. At the same time, it will help to cool off your face and neck temporarily.

When the towel gets warm, just remove it and wave it in the air for a few seconds and it'll be slightly cool again; enough so that it continues to work to keep you a little more comfortable. It seems that when your face and neck are just a little bit cooler, you are able to keep going until your job is done. It's a good way to avoid overheating or ending up with a heat stroke.

Hubby is very good at following this little rule now that we've gotten older especially. Every year, I think it has gotten just a little bit hotter in our Florida, so don't forget to wear your sun hat when you're out in it.

Source: A daughter once owned a nursery and landscaping business in Florida, and this is something she had all her employees do when they were out in the field planting or maintaining pretty landscapes.

By pookarina from Boca Raton, FL

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Tip: Use Parasol in Summer

I am really enjoying my parasol(s) this summer! Even with a hat and sunglasses, it's much nicer to have one's own shade at an outdoor party or event. And there are a lot of inexpensive options out there.

By pamphyila from L.A., CA

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Tip: Place Ice in Front Of Fan For Cool Air

Looking for a way for keeping cool without an air conditioner? Put a large bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan. Turn on the fan. The ice will cool the air from the fan and quickly cool you off. Replace ice cubes as needed.

By Anne from Green Bay, WI

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Tip: Keeping Cool in the Summer

Since I don't have air conditioning in either my home or car, I keep spray bottles of water around for a quick cool off. When it starts getting hot, I just give myself a quick fine spray. It isn't enough to get really wet. My dogs come and ask for a spray when they get hot. My nieces and nephews at first were a little put off by the notion, but soon learned to like it. I also keep a bottle in my vehicle for a quick spritz as I go down the road. If I want it really cold, I just put the bottles in the fridge over night.

I also have learned to fill the bath tub with water with a little baking soda in it. When I have time, I just strip and crawl in. The water is never too cold. and the baking soda softens the water so it is absorbed better.

Growing up, we kids always played in the water sprinkler, but now the price of water is too high to do that anymore.

    By Nightsong [37]

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    Tip: Feed Corn for Keeping Cool

    You know, if your feet hurt, everything hurts. Well, if your feet are cool, everything else is a lot cooler too. I keep a large shoe-box-sized plastic container in the freezer filled with feed corn. It's actually wide enough for both of my bare feet to fit side-by-side. On hot days, or if my feet hurt, I pull it out, stick my feet into plastic bags, then dig my toes deep into the feed corn! The plastic bags prevent the corn from smelling like feet after a while, besides keeping corn dust off my feet. And if they have some plastic bags for their own feet, I'm fine with sharing the joy with my friends!

      By Ruth C. [1]

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      Tip: Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

      Years ago when I worked in a nursing home, the halls were air conditioned, but not the individual rooms. We would take a hand towel, soak it in cold water, ring it out and wrap around our necks, repeating as necessary. I have done this frequently at home, too.

      By knitter926 from Bloomington, IL

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      Tip: Use Ice In Front Of A Fan

      To keep cool on a very hot day, turn on your fan and arrange a bowl of ice-cubes in front of it. Just like having an air-conditioner without the cost. Enjoy!

      By Irene from Pittsburgh, PA

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      Tip: Store Cans In Fridge For Hot Weather Meals

      Keep a few cans of tuna or chicken in the fridge, for in those times when you need a quick meal. They'll be great to either drain and toss on top of a green salad or a quickie dish of tuna or chicken salad. Also, other canned goods I keep in the fridge from time to time are: pork and beans, German style potato salad, pickled beats. Living here in the desert, anything cold is greatly appreciated, especially if it can shorten my time in the kitchen!

      By Terri from NV

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      Tip: Keeping Cool

      Water is an ideal drink to cool your body. If choosing other drinks, when perspiring, consider the caffeine and sugar content. The sugar draws fluids away from the muscles where it's needed, plus adds calories.

      You can regain fluids also, by eating these foods: lettuce, pears, tomatoes, corn, apples, oranges, green beans and bananas. Dress in light-weight and light clothing to stay cooler, as this type of clothing reflects the heat and sunlight. If you must be out in extreme heat, wear a hat, sunscreen and let someone know where you'll be and when you'll be home.

      By Terri

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      Here are questions related to Keeping Cool in Hot Weather.

      Question: Homemade Neck Coolers

      I am making a neck wrap to keep cool in hot weather. What does it get filled with?

      By Sandy from Uncasville, CT

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


      Most Recent Answer

      By Gram 8 08/21/2010

      If you are just making one or two, get a disposable diaper and cut it open. That's the stuff you use, but be careful. That stuff really expands and you only need a little.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Turning a Fan into an Air Conditioner

      Does anyone have any ideas on how to turn my fan into an air cooler? Inexpensively, obviously. I need them to do more than just blow the hot air around, I need them to blow cool air around. I've tried hanging Blue Ice in front of them but it didn't work.

      By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


      Most Recent Answer

      By Lynda 2 6 07/08/2010

      I found a site that has instructions on turning your fan into a swamp cooler using a large container with a tight fitting lid, and some hand towels. ... _without_air_conditioning.html?cat=6

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


      Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

      Archive: Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

      I would like to read about other peoples ideas for getting cool during hot weather.

      Archive: Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

      This tip is about keeping cool while being outside in triple digit temps. I wet my cotton sleeveless shirt in refrigerator cooled water and do the same with a kingsize cotton pillow case. I wrap it around my neck, then tuck inside (looks cool if you match them together). Wet your hair in cool water, I do a ponytail and a white material head visor from the .99 cent store. I have a small spray bottle with cool water at the ready. I also site outside in the shade and soak my feet in cool water. I like being outside and this makes a huge difference.

      By Pamela from Sun Lakes, AZ


      RE: Keeping Cool During Hot Weather

      I get those windshield sun screens from the $ store. It looks like a large piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and place them in every window of the house. i keep dark curtains also on the windows. The house is 10 degrees lower than the outside temp. (08/18/2009)

      By Julius T. Ocrey

      Archive: Homemade Neck Coolers

      I want to make some neck coolers to keep us cool from the heat. I plan to make them from material. I keep reading that most of them you can purchase online have some kind of gel beads that help to keep you cool. I'm not sure where to locate these gel beads to make them. If you have any ideas they would sure be appreciated.

      Thank you,
      April from Henderson, NV


      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      This is what you are looking for:


      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      I make hot/cool packs that are filled with regular rice (not Minute rice). They're very easy to make and you can warm them in the microwave to make a hot pad or put in the freezer for a cool pack. They last forever too!

      Rebekah (08/15/2005)

      By Madelynnsmama

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      I was told once that the material on the inside is the same stuff as inside disposable diapers. It sounds gross, but you can see how that would work. (08/15/2005)

      By misslily

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      I made them for my elderly parents who have no air conditioning. The polymer gel material can be found in the garden section of Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowes. One of the brand names is "Watersorb". It's about $7 a bottle, but you need very little. It's original use is to help houseplants retain water so you don't have to water so often.

      I took bandannas I bought at the Dollar store, sewed them into neckerchiefs, leaving one small opening where I poured in about 2 tsp of the polymer gel, then hand sewed the opening shut.

      Soak the completed neckerchief in cold water; it will puff up with the retained moisture. Store in the frig between uses. Easy and cheap way to keep cool. (08/16/2005)

      By Claudia

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      You can buy the gel beads in craft stores (Michael's, A J Moore, etc.) and in the plant dept. of Home Depot, etc. They are also used in plants to hold moisture when you can't water. The directions for making the neck coolers are available on the internet. (08/18/2005)

      By Ann

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      I made a few of these to use at an outdoor exhibit we attended this past summer:

      Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water. Pour carefully into the long skinny balloons that clowns make animals, hats, etc. out of, and tie it shut. Encase the filled balloon with a long terrycloth towel, carefully sewing the ends. Pop it into the freezer. It won't freeze hard, it will only gel. This alcohol and water mixture works great in gallon sized zipper bags for sprains as it stays cold and conforms to the injury site better than hard ice packs. (09/08/2005)

      By dimps

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      The chemical in the gel that everyone is talking about is potassium polyacrylate. That is a powder. The crystals I have are polyacrylamide. The potassium polyacrylate is the same or very similar to the powder in diapers. This substance can hold up to 500x its size in water. One brand is Aquagel and it also goes by the name Slush Powder. Magicians use it make water "dissapear".

      One can buy the crystals designed for usewith plants or you can harvest it from cheap diapers.
      You may choose to simply cut out the absorbent bottom of a diaper and use it whole, or you can carefully cut off the "fabric" liner of the inside to reveal the powder. You will definitely need to wrap the chemical in a water type bag.


      By Caticus

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      I purchase my gel beads at they work great and also very fast shipping. Hope this helps. (07/04/2006)

      By Lee

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      There is a difference between the gels. The gel in diapers breaks down a lot faster than the other meant for plants. The stuff for plants will cost more, but will last for 7-10 years. Polyacrylamide is what you want. (07/10/2007)

      RE: Homemade Neck Coolers

      It's called silica gel. Craft stores carry it. When you purchase new purses, etc. there is a small white packet to keep it smelling fresh. Thats silica gel. You don't need much to make a neck cooler. Good luck. (07/04/2008)