Homemade Ice Packs Using Alcohol

My husband and I were on holiday when he had a brutal accident whilst playing football with our nieces and nephews, tearing all the ligaments in his ankle. We were lucky enough that we were able to find medical attention in a vast area overseas, but we needed quick comfort for his swelling, without it being a bag of frozen veggies with sharp angles.


Combine equal parts vodka and water, then soak it up with a piece of cloth. Throw the whole thing into a plastic bag, then place it in the freezer to set up. You can also use rubbing alcohol, but we were on holiday and vodka seemed to be more readily available! The mixture will freeze soft-set due to the alcohol content inside, changing the freezing point, making it more comfortable on your body. You can keep popping this into the freezer to use over and over again.

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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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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I know there is a way to make gel, aka boo boo, packs, but I do not remember the recipe. Do any of you know it?

By McCollonough from TN

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10 Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 4, 2011

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.

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August 17, 2010

How do you make water-alcohol ice packs?

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January 28, 2010

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

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August 24, 2009

Yesterday, my 7 year old daughter fell and hurt her knee. Since she had already destroyed my "good" squishy ice pack by trying to see what was in it, we made our own.

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August 24, 2009

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.

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August 24, 2009

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?

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April 29, 2005

)I recently had shoulder surgery and am using lots of ice. I would like to make my own ice packs. I know that you can put rubbing alcohol and water in a zip lock bag and freeze it. The alcohol prevents it from freezing solid.

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