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?
Kathy from New London, CT
I would be wary of the homemade ice packs--the alcohol could play havoc with fabrics and furniture if it springs a leak.
I would suggest buying 3 or 4 bags of frozen peas (yup, regular green peas) and keep those in the freezer--label them "not for eating" if you have others in your family who might be doing some cooking.
Use the bags of peas (you can wrap in a cloth, if you like) for an ice pack. When one thaws, put it back in the freezer, and grab another. I've found that 3 or four bags will allow the first to refreeze by the time the others are used. (07/28/2006)
Hi Kathy! I'm a physical therapist and for years have told my patients about the alcohol/water ice pack method. Not any more! An easier method is the following: depending on the size ice pack you need, get 1 or 2 bottles of Palmolive dishwashing detergent. Pour into a ziplock bag. Place that in another ziplock bag in case of leaks. Throw into the freezer, and, once cold, it's ready to go! The question I always get is, does it have to be Palmolive? I can't answer that - I've never tried any other brand - but I know the Palmolive works - I have one in my own freezer right now in the event of injury! It doesn't get too hard, and that's good 'cause then it will mold to any body part needed. By the way, a wet washcloth between any kind of ice pack and your skin is preferable to placing ice directly on the skin. Hope this helps! (07/28/2006)
A cold pack is a plastic envelope filled with gel that remains flexible at very cold temperatures. Buy 2 cold packs and keep them in the freezer. Use them for bumps, bruises, back sprains, turned ankles, sore joints, or any other health problem that calls for ice. A cold pack is more convenient than ice and may become the self-care tool you use the most.
You can make your own cold pack: Put 1 pint of rubbing alcohol and 3 pints of water in a 1-gallon, heavy-duty, plastic freezer bag. Seal the bag, and then seal it in a second bag. Mark it "Cold pack: Do not eat," and place it in the freezer.
A bag of frozen vegetables will also work as a cold pack
Here's another "recipe" from a bodybuilding website with a slightly different formula.
A quick and easy recipe to make a reusable slushy ice pack is to combine 4 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water and ice cubes in a plastic seal up baggie (freezer bag) Place this in the freezer for a few hours and when it is ready you will have an inexpensive ice pack.
The reason this works is that the specific temperature of the rubbing alcohol is low enough that it will not freeze in a normal freezer, allowing the contents of the bag to form a slush rather than a solid.
However, you will want to make sure you mark this bag as poisonous so that the contents don't end up in someone's drink the next time you have company. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables which will work just as well.
For a 1 Gallon Zip Lock, use 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water. (07/31/2006)
Feedback to comment by bbb (Guest Post) 07/28/2006:
I've been icing my knee (softball injury), but I left my ice bag at work last night. I knew there were ways to make your own ice bags, but I'd only heard about the rubbing alcohol/water mixtures.
Instead of the Palmolive "bbb" mentioned, I had a 90 oz. bottle of Dove Advanced Power. I poured about 20 ounces each into two 1-gallon bags, which I then double-bagged in case the first bag leaked.
With two ice bags, I could ice both the front (anterior) and back (posterior) sides of my knee, which was far superior to just icing one side.
Cost - about $5, but really almost zero. Why? I can pour the liquid soap back into the bottle when I no longer need the ice bags, and re-use the four 1-gallon ziplock bags.
Thanks for the recipe. I was needing it again and couldn't remember the amount of alcohol. Peas, rice and the blue bags work great but the alcohol ice bags are a lifesaver when you need a continual supply. They also stay cold longer and form to the knee. They worked great when my husband had knee surgery. I just had knee surgery and the blue bags aren't cutting it.
Use 2-3 cups of water to 1 cup of alcohol. pour into a freezer bag and insert that bag into another one. I used this on my grandmother's knee after her surgery. the physical therapist gave us this remedy. (11/02/2006)
In response to the rice cold pack: I've noticed that the rice packs do not get as cold as regular ice cubes do, so I would try the alcohol, dishwashing liquid type of packs if you are looking for really cold. (02/15/2007)
These work great. I have had one in my freezer for a couple of years until just recently it sprang a leak, so am making a new one. Yes, they conform to the site easily. (10/14/2007)
After testing several different combination, I found the best ice pack is 4 parts dish soap to 1 part alcohol. (10/18/2007)
In Australia, "Methylated Spirits" is Ethanol with a vomiting agent in it, so you could use this as it would be a cheaper alternative than rubbing alcohol. (11/04/2007)
Fill a ziplock bag half water which will be 70% water and 30% alcohol. put one bag into another bag so in case it leaks and put it in the freezer. (01/17/2008)
I'm surprised no one suggested this. Instead of using a ziploc, bag use a hotwater bottle. They are a lot less likely to break. I've had mine for 5+ years. I use it every morning before work to ice my back. (03/07/2008)
Good article (05/08/2008)
Still another idea:
Make the alcohol recipe and then place in a rubber glove to freeze. It conforms wonderfully to the jaw line after wisdom teeth are removed or any other area that is curved. (07/16/2008)
I've read about two different methods of making your own ice pack. One sugested soaking a diaper in water and freezing for a hard ice pack, and for a gel pack fill a freezer bag with two parts water and one part rubbing alcohol. I combined both methods and poured the alcohol and water mixture into a diaper, inserted the diaper into a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. It worked and should last for a long time. (10/30/2008)
I believe the ratio is 1/4 cup alcohol to 3/4 cup water. My physical therapy assistant was telling me that a nurse patient had come up with this idea for those who don't have an ice pack. (11/30/2008)
By Dee - Imperial PA
Just heard of this great idea from my PT. Wonder if putting it in seal a meal bag would work better then ziplock? Just a thought! (02/12/2009)
Put three parts water and one part isopropyl alcohol in a one gallon freezer bag. Seal it tight and then double bag it. Its also a good idea to put blue food dye in it and label caution not food if you have kids around (be sure and use 90% isopropyl for best results). (03/31/2009)
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