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DIY Ice Packs

It's surprisingly easy to make a homemade gel-pack when injuries arise. It only takes a few house hold items!

Freeze a drink bottle

One of the oldest methods, and makes for an extra cold beverage

Soak a sponge

Soak a clean sponge in cold water and let the excess water drip off. Put the sponge in a bag. Try to remove all excess air, and store it in the freezer overnight.When it comes out, the sponge will be firm and hard with no flexibility but as it warms up it becomes soft and moist again. This is also a good method for a lunch boxes, as it’s just water with no other possibly harmful substances.

Pour in the vodka

A frozen block of ice can be great for lunch boxes but for an injury, something more flexible is better. In a Ziploc bag, try one part vodka or rubbing alcohol to roughly three parts water (1½ cups water to ½ cup of alcohol). Then add two tablespoons of salt to which will make the pack super-cold but not frozen-solid. Seal and put in the freezer for several hours or overnight.

Soap it up

Squirt dish soap into a bag, remove the excess air, and put it in the freezer. You may want to double bag this, just in case it leaks. Depending on how long you leave it in the freezer, it can be more gel-like and flexible or firm and icy.

Corn syrup

Corn syrup makes a great gel type of ice pack. It stays flexible and doesn’t change in texture or colour in the freezer. It contains nothing harmful if it accidentally leaks. Simply pour some corn syrup into the bag, seal, and put in the freezer for several hours. It’s especially good for injuries because it stays flexible and can be moulded around ankles, knees, wrists or other sore areas.


Loosely fill a tightly-closed freezer bag with rice, and place it in the freezer until needed. The rice will retain the cold for about 20 minutes which is the perfect amount of time for icing an injury. It has the added benefit of moulding to the injured or sore area, which can help to relieve inflammation and swelling—just the thing to ease your pain.

Make these super fun by adding food dye or glitter into the mix!

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