Homemade Ice Packs

Make your own ice packs to use for minor injuries. This is a guide about homemade ice packs.

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I re-purposed an empty Jif Lemon juice container for a handy ice-pack. I suffered for a long time with nose bleeds due to a perforation and I found the shape of the Jif bottle was ergonomically shaped to keep the bridge of my nose cold thus stopping the bleeding.

It's also handy for other uses such as on bruises and 'boo-boo's'! Just refill the container with water and keep in your freezer. If you collect a few of them, you can also pop them into pitchers without watering down your drinks (as ice does) and they look appealing too!

Lemon Juice Ice Pack

    Source: My own

    Lemon Juice Ice Pack
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    This is a simple and quick project. We keep ours in the freezer and they are always ready for the large amount of boo-boos in our house. They always seem to make the kids feel better. You can use scraps of material, since you don't need too much. For this pack, I used an old t-shirt. You can make them any size you would like.

    Approximate Time: About 15 minutes.

    Yield: 1filled channels

    Supplies:

    • fabric
    • rice
    • sewing machine (unless you want to sew it all by hand)
    • funnel

    Steps:

    1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric the same size. I just fold over the fabric, so that there are 2 pieces on top of each other. This one was 10 1/2 inches by 8 inches. They can be as big or small as you want.
    2. measuring fabricmeasuring width
    3. Make sure that the side of the fabric you want to see is facing the inside. You are going to sew around the fabric, then turn it inside out. Sew only 3 sides.
    4. pin edgesfold with right sides together
    5. Turn inside out. Make sure you push against the inside of the corners with your finger so that it's not bunched up.
    6. Measure where you would like to sew the dividers. The rice stays better evenly distributed this way. I just made 2 dividers, for a total of 3 sections. Try to make it as even as you can, but it doesn't need to be perfect.
    7. Sew straight lines for the dividers. Leave about a centimeter not sewn at the ends, where you will close it up. This is so that you can fold it in and hand sew it closed. My thread really matched this fabric well. If you look closely, you can see the 3 different sections.
    8. sew channels
    9. Take your funnel and fill each section with rice. My funnel is too small and the rice bunches up in there. So, I cut the end off a soda bottle and use that as my funnel. Fill each section about 3/4 of the way.
    10. soda bottle funnelend of bottle funnel in pack sectionrice filled pack
    11. Fold over the ends, into the inside. Hand stitch the ends to seal the ice pack. Make the stitches close enough that rice won't leak out.
    12. closeup of hand sewn opening
    13. Put in the freezer, so it will be ready when needed.
    14. three examples
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    I've been trying to think of ways to defeat heat stroke. I'm thinking about buying these jell packs filled with Phase change material. They are expensive. Would any one have ideas on making some thing similar? To elaborate, phase change material aren't freezing cold. They just pump out a nice pleasant 60 degrees or so over a long period to help you avoid heat stroke in the absence of air conditioning. any one got any ideas on creating a cheap, cost effective version of this stuff?

    Quizzelbuck from Toledo, OH

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Making homemade phase change cold packs should be relatively easy to implement as they are by definition not freezing cold but instead delivering a more constant and stable 60 degrees F. for a much lower period of time.

    The recipe calls for the use of something called Sodium polyacrylate it is the stuff that also happens to be in baby diapers.

    One can get Sodium polyacrylate from, http://www.watersorb.com/prices.htm

    The unique thing about Sodium polyacrylate is that it has the ability to absorb 30 gallons of water per pound of sodium polyacrylate granules.

    A little sodium polyacrylate medium sized granules goes a long way. One should only use 1 teaspoon of sodium polyacrylate granules per quart of water. So for example when using a gallon sized ziploc bag use no more than 4 teaspoons of the sodium polyacrylate granules with four quarts of water.

    By using the sodium polyacrylate granules when mixed in the proper recommended above ratio one can make a suitable homemade phase change ice pack that can by design parameters have a much higher and not freezing cold 32 degrees F but instead delivering a more constant and stable 60 degrees F. for a much lower period of time.

    This is the way to go as far as customizing ones own homemade phase change ice pack for different desired objective temperature points for different chilling objective applications.

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    I always keep some of those Capri Sun juice packs on hand for the neighborhood kids. We live on a lake and there's always children going by.

    I recently had back surgery and needed ice packs to help with pain and swelling. I asked my husband to freeze some of the juice packs to use. They were the perfect size and didn't leak or thaw quickly. I didn't realize the muscles on my chest would be sore too. Each pack fit just right in my top over chest. I guess they would be good too for hot flashes, just slip it in your bra. LOL

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      For boo-boos, swelling or high fevers, slip a freezer-sized zipper bag into a tube sock THEN fill it with ice and zip. Tie a knot in the top of the sock, and you have an easy-to-manage ice pack that won't leak and easily conforms around knees, elbows, and foreheads.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Materials

        • new disposable diaper
        • 45x3 1/4 inch fabric
        • sewing machine
        • 2 cups water
        • 1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide

        Instructions

        Take a diaper and take apart the layers. In the middle is cotton type material, it contains microscopic crystals, that holds moisture.

        Take a piece of fabric, 45 by 3 1/4 inches, fold in half to wrong sides together with 1/2 inch seam allowance stitch the full length of the fabric to construct a long tube. Turn right side out 6 inches from 1 end and stitch across to seal. Stuff in the cotton from the diaper, trying to distribute evenly, then stitch across 6 inches from the opposite end.

        To hydrate the material inside the tube: In a large Ziploc bag, pour 2 cups cool distilled water and 1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide. Place your diaper cotton stuffed tube in this bag, the cotton will expand holding the liquid, it will stay cool. Place this on the back of your neck. As it draws the heat from your body it starts to warm. Just turn it over to the cooler side. This will eventually dry out. Each time you need to rehydrate, add 1/3 cup of hydrogen peroxide to distilled water before rehydrating. This will foam up, it's killing any bacteria that has transferred to the cool tube (if you do not use the peroxide it will start to smell.) Don't worry, it will not bleach clothing. At the end of the hot season, just hang it out to dry completely or just make a new one next year. I suggest making 1 for dirty jobs, gardening or washing the car. You can keep them in the refrigerator to get them really cool.

        By Babbie from Lemon Grove, CA

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        Can I make a homemade "cooling" bandanna or similar product?

        By Denise from Duluth, MN

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Thanks! I am going to try using the ice packs that come with my medication first. This is my plan. Open the ice pack and fill a snack sized baggie with the cooling material and follow the instructions to add to a bandanna. Any ideas or suggestions?

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        For a gel ice pack, place 2 cups water and 1/3 cup (80 proof) vodka in a ziploc freezer bag. Seal and enclose in a second ziploc freezer bag. Place in freezer. When frozen, wrap with a cloth before applying to skin.

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        How do you make a homemade ice pack?

        By Clementine from Burlington, NV


        Homemade Ice Pack

        You can take a wet wash cloth, hand towel, or larger and roll it up and place it in a ziplock baggie and freeze it. Whenever you need an ice pack, just unroll and fit to area. You may want to have more than one on hand. Just roll back up and refreeze. (10/19/2010)

        By Lorelei

        Homemade Ice Pack

        I usually have left over socks that don't have mates. I put them over a cup and push the inside down into the cup, and then fill it up with rice as much as you like. I then tie a knot and then place it in a Ziplock bag in the freezer, also you can put this in the microwave to heat it up, I usually heat it for less than a minute, but it gets really hot.
        Blessings,

        Robyn (10/19/2010)

        By Robyn Fed

        Homemade Ice Pack

        I have seen people put beanie babies in the freezer and use them for ice packs. Just put the bean bag dolls in a zip lock bag, and they are ready to go. (10/19/2010)

        By Robyn Fed

        Homemade Ice Pack

        I use a bag of peas; marked with an X with a sharpie so it doesn't get used for anything else! Can be frozen and reused over & over; it molds itself to the area. extremely handy to have! (10/19/2010)

        By MzScarlett

        Homemade Ice Pack

        Fill empty water bottles to within an inch from the top. Freeze. These can be used over and over again. No mess, no fuss. Just fill them once. (10/20/2010)

        By a4a42316

        Homemade Ice Pack

        What fantastic suggestions, they would all work! I logged on to suggest a packet of peas, which was of course already mentioned. I'm off to fill a sock with rice! (10/20/2010)

        By LTK

        Homemade Ice Pack

        Mix 1 to 1 rubbing alcohol and water. Pour it inside a sturdy (brand name) plastic zip lock baggie. Then insert that one inside another one (at a different angle). Freeze. The alcohol keeps the water from completely freezing. This is very, very cold. So do not put it directly on your skin, put a washcloth or something in between it and your skin. I used it for my kids. (10/20/2010)

        By thriftyvicki

        Homemade Ice Pack

        The best thing is to buy a package or two of frozen peas and use the package as a pack. You can alternate two packages so they don't thaw and eat them later! Cheap, easy and earth-friendly. (10/20/2010)

        By janetc

        Homemade Ice Pack

        You can use a frozen bag of peas. (10/21/2010)

        By K9cats

        Homemade Ice Pack

        I read somewhere how to make a homemade ice pack for a girl child. They kept the child's doll in the freezer and when she got a boo boo, she was given the doll to put on it. (10/23/2010)

        By tanyamichalski

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        I have been dealing with back pain for years. And the most helpful and cheap thing I have found to help me tremendously is this great ice pack. You make it using Glad freezer bags (Ziploc has leaked on me before). Mix 2 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol. And to be safe, I always put a few extra bags over the one, so if it was to leak. What is so great is that they are very cold but not hard. The alcohol in the water keep the ice pack from freezing hard like a rock.

        For a ankle or elbow, I use a quart bag and put in 2 cups water and 1 cup alcohol. For my back, I use a gallon bag and put in 4 cups water 2 cups alcohol. I wrap a dish towel around mine to get as much cold as I can. For the back you can wedge them in between you and a pillow.

        This also helps with strains and other injuries of the body.

        Source: My doctor told me about making these ice packs.

        By carla j g from Kevil, KY


        Homemade Ice Packs

        I love these! I've been using them for many,many years for my kids! I usually put a little food coloring in it so it looks like a gel pack and to make it easier to see if it's leaking (of course my daughter always had to have a bit of red in her's so it looked pink!). Thanks for the tip about the Glad bags, the one thing I really hate about these packs is how much they tend to leak, but I've never tried it with Glad bags, just ziplock and generic. (01/06/2011)

        By lyonpridej

        Homemade Ice Packs

        I've never tried the Palmolive before but I had the same trouble with the alcohol/water mixture leaking out, and I got up to 4 freezer packs each sealed inside the other. My therapist told me that Karo syrup worked great, and it does. I use one bottle to a quart-sized ZipLoc Freezer bag, make sure it's sealed, and it doesn't leak or anything. It stays thick so it molds to the area, knee, neck, etc. Just don't use the sugar-free kind; it freezes as hard as ice, so it does last longer, but it isn't as malleable until it thaws a bit. (01/17/2011)

        By Nanamadre

        Homemade Ice Packs

        I have never heard of using Karo, but I think I am gonna try it. I did want to give the idea of using a seal-a-meal because the bags are strong and by sealing it (just seal...don't use the vacuum), it should prove to be leak proof. (01/26/2011)

        By Jmoyer235

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        I tried making the homemade gel packs with alcohol, and I kept having issues with the stuff leaking out. I had it triple bagged, and it still leaked out.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        I just had surgery for a broken femur bone and am going through ice without an ending. Does anyone have the recipe for homemade ice pack gel?

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Last summer I had some eye surgery. My surgeon's nurse recommended I use a bag of frozen peas as an ice pack after the surgery.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        How do you make water-alcohol ice packs?

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Yesterday, my 7 year old daughter fell and hurt her knee.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        I am looking for instructions for a homemade ice bag with alcohol.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        I can't remember where I heard this, but I've done it and it works.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Another great homemade cold pack is to add regular rubbing alcohol to water - about 1 part alcohol to 3 parts water - in a freezer type zip top bag. I keep a couple of these in my freezer at all times.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        I find those store bought ice packs ineffective. There are 2 kinds. The big bulky ones that take up too much space or the thin kind that don't reach everything.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        I recently heard that you can make your own ice pack by putting water and alcohol in a zip lock bag and freezing. does anyone know what the formula is?

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Yesterday, my 7 year old daughter fell and hurt her knee.

        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
        CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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        Health & Beauty First AidAugust 23, 2012
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