Introduction: Unusual Uses for Ice Cubes

Ice cubes can be found in nearly every kitchen. Turns out they have loads of unusual uses you might not know about!

From cleaning to cooking to beauty - there are so many uses! I've only included uses for ice cubes that I've personally tested or used before, but I know there has to be more uses out there. :D

Have an unusual use for ice cubes that I don't mention here? Tell us about it in the comments!

Step 1: Remove Gum From Clothing, Carpet and Hair

Ice cubes are great at removing gum from all sorts of surfaces. The ice cubes freeze the gum, which will allow you to chip the gum away. :)

If the gum is on a piece of clothing, put the clothing in the sink and cover it with ice cubes. Let the clothing and ice cubes hang out for a bit and chip away the gum once it's frozen! Check out this instructable for more in-depth information.

If the gum is on carpet, put ice cubes right onto and let them sit there until the gum is nice and frozen. Then you can chip the gum away with a butter knife.

Removing gum from hair is a little more hit and miss. Wrap the hair with the gum in it and some ice cubes up in a washcloth until the gum is frozen. At that point, you should be able to use your fingers to break apart the gum and free your hair.

If ice cubes fail for getting gum out of hair, try oil, peanut butter or mayo - those work really well but are definitely messier. :D

Step 2: Perfectly Reheated Rice

Just place an ice cube on top before microwaving! The ice will melt and then steam as the rice reheats. :)

I've also had luck doing this with pasta!

Step 3: Numb Your Tongue Before Taking Medicine

This is so so useful for choking down terrible tasting liquid medicine. I don't know about you guys, but I'd rather take 8 million horse-sized pills before taking liquid cough syrup or painkillers. BLECH

Holding your nose definitely helps, but an ice cube will seal the deal.

Suck on a ice cube just until your tongue gets numb. Once it's numb, take the medicine immediately! When your tongue is numb you won't be able to taste the bitterness very much at all. :)

Step 4: Relief for Eyebrow Tweezing and Epilation

Ice cubes are a great way to numb your skin! If you hate tweezing your eyebrows (or epilating anywhere!), ice can really help out.

Wrap an ice cube in a wash cloth and hold it on the area you'll be removing hair from. Hold it there just until it's nice and numb and then get to plucking. Keep extra ice cubes nearby for when the numbness wears off. :)

You can also use ice after hair removal if the skin there is really sensitive to get some pain relief.

Step 5: First Aid for Bruising

If you're like me and bruise crazy easy (yay blood diseases!!!), ice cubes may be able to put a stop to it before it starts!

Bruising occurs when you damage the skin via blunt force and capillaries under the skin burst. These capillaries release small amounts of blood under your skin since it has no where else to go.

To help prevent and lessen the severity of bruises, apply ice right after an injury. Wrap ice cubes in a towel or wash cloth and hold the ice over the place the bruise is sure to form. The cold from the ice will close up the capillaries so you don't end up with extra bleeding and seeping, meaning you'll wind up with a smaller and less pronounced bruise. :)

Step 6: Less Painful Splinter Removal

Splinters are the worst. THE WORST

But ice cubes can help!

Next time you get a splinter, use an ice cube to numb the area before you start picking at it. This even works for the terrible ones you get under your fingernails. :)

Step 7: Skim Fat From Soups and Stews

If you have a metal ladle or a small metal container to put some ice cubes in, you can speed up the process of removing excess fat from a soup or stew. :D

Fill up the ladle or container with ice, and drag it across the surface of soup or stew. The drop in temperature will cause the fat to harden and stick to the outside metal. Use a paper towel to wipe the fat from the ladle and keep going until you're happy with how much fat you've removed.

Step 8: Help Fight Pimples

Ice cubes can help fight combat pimples because the cold lessens the swelling, irritation and redness that occurs!

I've also read using ice on a pimple can shrink it, but I'm not totally sure on that. I think what folks are really seeing is the swelling going down because the ice is reducing the inflammation in that spot - not the pimple being "cured." ;)

Wrap an ice cube in a washcloth or paper towel and hold it over the pimple for a minute or so. The cold will cause a temporary redness on the spot, but it will go away once your skin warms up a bit. You can repeat this as needed, just don't leave the ice on your skin so long that it starts to burn or hurt.

It's especially nice if you get deep cystic acne - I had a few years where I got cystic acne on my cheeks all the time and this really helped with the pressure and pain.

Step 9: Remove Dents From Carpeting

Note: This one can be a little hit and miss, but it can't hurt to give it a go!

This tip works best on higher pile carpeting - the lower the pile, the less it will be able to expand as it dries and fix the dents. :)

Place the ice cubes along the dent and leave them to melt. As they melt and the carpet begins to dry, it'll fluff back up and look normal again.

P.S. I could have sworn there was an instructable over this, but I can't find it anywhere! I think it has a weird title. If you know it, put a link in the comments! I'd love to give the original author credit.

Step 10: Makeup Primer for Smaller Pores

This is a great trick to use before you put makeup on. Wrap up an ice cube in a paper towel or thin washcloth and rub it all over your face.

The ice cube will reduce redness and shrink your pores so it's great for priming your face for makeup! Plus, it'll cool down your skin, which is perfect for putting makeup on during the summer. :D

This honestly feels so nice I might just start doing this all the time. Ha!

Comments

author
jessyratfink (author)2016-01-05

Here's another one from LaurelR3 regarding cold sores! I have a feeling I'll be using this one for the rest of the winter:

"For those of us who suffer from cold sores, rubbing an ice-cube on the spot the moment it starts tingling until the ice-cube completely melts will actually prevent the cold-sore from breaking out! Even if it starts appearing, you can ice it to prevent it from getting larger."

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ooohlaa (author)jessyratfink2017-04-27

wow thanx nothing works so i will try this if I ever get one again ....

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jonhodg16 (author)ooohlaa2017-04-27

I used to get cold sores every winter without fail but since using Daktarin cream it's never came back. And it's been over 25 years now! This isn't what Daktarin is meant for but it was recommended by a friend and I had nothing to lose so I tried it, so glad I did. Hope this helps :)

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ooohlaa (author)jonhodg162017-04-27

not clear, do you use it ongoing or you used it 25 years ago?

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jonhodg16 (author)ooohlaa2017-04-28

I used Daktarin cream one time only and I've not had a cold sore since. Amazing stuff :)

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Jarun (author)jonhodg162017-04-28

Was your sore on the outside of your lips or somewhere on the inside of your mouth? If it was on the inside then you were getting canker sores ulcers. In which case this would make sense. It is looking like canker sores may be, in fact, a type of oral thrush infection but more of an allergic reaction to sub-infection levels of yeast vs infection. It is extremely rare, cut canker sores can be on the outside of the lips.

Go get a herpes test or if you have already had one. If it was negative, then what I described above was indeed the case.

author
jonhodg16 (author)Jarun2017-04-28

Thank you Jarun, I appreciate your heartfelt concern, but it was most definitely a cold sore. And I haven't had a reinfection for well over 20 years now so no need for a check up :)

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Jesusandme (author)jonhodg162017-04-27

So just dab the Daktarin as soon as you feel the tingling and continue dabbing or is once enough?

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jonhodg16 (author)Jesusandme2017-04-28

You can apply Daktarin at any stage of a cold sore and then just keep applying it until the cold sore's completely gone, which shouldn't take long. I was amazed that it worked so quickly but then I was absolutely stunned that it never came back (not even a tingle in the 25 years since!). I was young at the time so a cold sore was a big deal for me and it used to knock my confidence quite a bit, so finding a cure changed my life :)

author

you beat me to it, I was going to post this. I had no idea anyone else knew this trick. It's a lifesaver!

author
wabpita (author)jessyratfink2017-02-21

I discovered this a while ago myself. it does work!

author

Hi i have'nt heard the ice trick for cold sores but this works for my hubby, as soon as he gets that tingle he dabs aftershave or perfume on it at regular intervals and this dries it out and most times it comes to nothing.

author

I would think the scent and taste of those would be horrible if he licked his lips. (I can't *stand* the taste of perfume!) Why doesn't he just use a q-tip or a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol instead? It's the same thing, and it doesn't have a lingering scent. :)

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hippiechk (author)jessyratfink2016-01-05

Please, just a friendly reminder...ice for no longer than 10 minutes on & then off... repeat in intervals...also just place it, don't rub. Don't want frost burns to complicate things. My mom used to send me out for an icicle so she could spot treat hers! ✌

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macwiley (author)2016-01-05

Cool ideas! (sorry)

Using bulk ice in your concrete mix will slow down its cure speed on a hot day. Just don't use too much because the extra water will weaken the cured concrete.

author
AlbertaDoc (author)macwiley2017-04-27

Actually, the ice would aid in control of the heat caused by the chemical processes taking place during curing. Also the ice adds water to the mix which needs to be accounted for when calculating the mix ratios of the ingredients (how much cement, water, gravel and sand is needed to meet a certain PSI strength). Concrete mixes typically get "designed" as per the required PSI strength needed. Generally more cement is need if more water is added or the actual strength will be lowered below the intended design strength. Also concrete will continue to strengthen over time as long as there is water and un-hydrated cement available. So if you don't provide enough water in the concrete mix, the process of cement hydration will continue only until the water is used up.

author
Phil_S (author)macwiley2016-01-05

Some concrete expert months ago reckoned that cooling concrete wasn't necessary in hot weather.

Nice to see someone who agrees, as well as the folks who poured the Hoover dam, which I beieve had cooling pipes built in and was cooled for months if not years.

Good job that wasn't a fast weak cure.

author
yeti bear (author)Phil_S2016-01-05

the dam had cooling pipes in with the pour to remove heat from the concrete, this is true. However it was not to prevent the premature curing, it was to speed up the process. Curing concrete is an exothermic reaction, and without a way for the heat from the poured concrete to excape (imagine the whole dam done as one big pour) it would not set properly. Thats also why they poured blocks in place. If it had not been for the cooling pipes the dam would still be in the curing process (150 years was the estimate I heard)

author
oliver90owner (author)yeti bear2016-01-05

Cooling in large masses of concrete is simply to prevent cracking during te curing process. The exothermic reaction is particularly pronounced in the early part of the strength gain - from the tri-calcium silicate content reactions. The di-calcium silicates are slower in curing, but all the heat of reaction will expand the curing mass and cause cracks - outer skin would cool and crack shortly after the initial setting process. Most concrete continues to cure over a period of years, but for building purposes, the structure needs early strength (removal of shuttering, placement of more concrete above, etc). Modern day dam structures would be using fly ash (coal ash from electricity generation) as part of the cementitious mix, to slow the strength gain, while giving more than adequate final strength. Of course, there is also the extra problem that chemical reaction rates increase with temperature, so the expansion problem is further exacerbated in huge structures such as dams.

author

The engineering company my son works for did a project to renovate a massive 100 year old concrete grain elevator into something usable. They planned to put an elevator in the centre, only to discover how incredibly hard the old concrete floor was where they wanted to dig a pit for a below grade-level equipment room. They jack hammered for days and tried all other modern equipment available, without success; eventually they gave up and built the elevator up the outside of the building...!

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FlorinJ (author)dragon fllyer2016-01-06

Reminds me of a rather small but more than half a century old building they tried to take down in the place I live. It had concrete walls poured in place for strength, and inner dividing walls made of brick and mortar. They calculated the explosive charges to standards, put everything in place, and then blasted everything. All that they achieved was the roof partially flying off (all tiles were blown away, but the wooden structure only broke up partially) and the building leaning sideways. Most of the walls didn't even crack - neither the concrete nor brick and mortar ones. After a second blast they gave up and brought in the kind of equipment used to break up old roads.

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zindar (author)oliver90owner2016-01-05

Nice detail here. In addition and in case anyone missed the message, the Hoover Dam is still curing and (I think) hardening. Makes you wonder what happens when it is done with that process?

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manicmonday (author)yeti bear2016-01-05

The also mixed ice into the concrete.

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manicmonday (author)macwiley2016-01-05

Sure of course the ice would have to be considered as part of the mix to come out correct.

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jessyratfink (author)macwiley2016-01-05

That's smart. Bumping this one to the top of the comments. :D

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Xriva (author)2016-01-05

Silver is the best conductor of heat. An ice cube placed on a 100% true silver coin will rapidly melt. When buying used silver coins from the public, the buyer will often place an ice cube on the coin in question and another on a known real silver coin.

If the ice cube on the coin in question melt MUCH slower than the known real coin, then it's a fake !

author
SeanB10 (author)Xriva2016-01-05

Neato! FYI diamond is a phenomenal heat conductor. Cubic zirconium is more like an insulator. Hence diamonds are very easy to identify by touching them to say, a light bulb or other mild heat source.

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Yonatan24 (author)SeanB102016-04-15

Diamond is a phenomenal heat conduct, Just do't heat it up too much :)

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Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242016-04-15

*Conductor

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Xriva (author)SeanB102016-01-05

Sean - that's a great tip - could really help a buyer avoid a scam.

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paqrat (author)Xriva2016-01-05

There was, some years ago and possibly still is, a diamond tester that used a probe that heated up then measured how fast the probe cooled. The only problem I heard of with it was if you were not careful in placing the probe on the table of the stone you might hit one of the ring's prongs instead and gold is an excellent conductor of heat so would give a false reading on stones other than the diamond as a diamond.

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jessyratfink (author)Xriva2016-01-05

This is crazy awesome. Not sure I'll ever use it, but I love learning new stuff. :D

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KathyB57 (author)2016-01-05

Clean handkerchefs (and I do use them) with ice cubes in the water to remove snot. I use an old gelato jar, put the hankie in with some soap and ice cubes and shake. Then rinse. All clean with no mucous. I like hankies and they look alot better than crumpled tissue. I actually have 3 silk hankies and I die and embrioider men's hankies to make my own.

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spark master (author)KathyB572016-01-05

I use tissues, more hygenic

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jessyratfink (author)KathyB572016-01-05

Oh that's an excellent one! Thanks for sharing. :D

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Jobar007 (author)2015-12-23

If I don't have any citrus around, I like to drop a couple of cubes down in the garbage disposer and run it. Them rattling around knocks junk lose and the ice shavings help to scrub it clean. The only thing that citrus rinds have over ice is odor (helps the drain smell better) and that it is mildly antiseptic.

I'm going to have to give the soup and rug thing. I've never seen those before!

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greenfeet33 (author)Jobar0072016-01-05

Use ice and salt in disposal. It does the same as cleaning a coffee pot. Could also do baking soda and vinegar.

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ludionis (author)2016-01-05

The best way to clean a coffee pot you don't have a brush to reach inside of is to add a handful of ice and a liberal dose of salt. The salt will adhere to the ice making miniature sandpaper cubes. Swirl vigorously around the pot, rinse well, done.

author
Glitterng (author)ludionis2016-01-05

I forgot about this! A very long time ago I was a waitress, and this is the way we would clean the coffee pots. Thanks for the reminder!

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jessyratfink (author)ludionis2016-01-05

That's a great one! Thanks :D

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RavenclawWaffle (author)2017-08-25

I love the refluffing carpet one!

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SteveB23 (author)2017-04-27

I really don't know exactly why, but when my wife waters her houseplants, instead of water in an orchid, she places one ice cube.

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Cueball21 (author)SteveB232017-04-27

Mine too

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Yonatan24 (author)Cueball212017-05-11

It helps cool down the soil a bit, and waters them slowly.

If your house is pretty cold, they can last hours!

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amariller (author)2017-04-29

For 30 yrs I've successfully avoided have anymore of those painful cold sores using L-lycine tablets which you can buy anywhere. Walmart. Anywhere.
It's a simple nutrition suppliement and is cheap. I first heard about it from a pediatrician when our kids were young to protect them from catching it from us.
So when you feel that first tingle that one is coming on, gobble down a few tablets. So the same thing 2-3 times a day for several days amd you'll never have a sore again. The key is to start the nutrient AS SOON as you feel it. If it becomes a sore and breaks the skin it's too late. Gotta get it AS SOON as you first feel the tingle burn thing before it becomes a sore.
This does it every time. My siblings and I got them as kids but not for me anymore. Thank you Mr. L-lycine.

author
ClareBS (author)2017-04-27

A few ice cubes in the clothes dryer will take the wrinkles out of clothes.

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Podbod18 (author)ClareBS2017-04-28

best tip EVER!! Thank you x

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thundrepance (author)2017-04-27

what are cold sores?? do you get them when you have a cold, or are they cold areas of the skin? i sometimes get cold spots on my thighs, i think from lack of circulation. the skin looks no diff than the rest, but i can actually feel where it is if i touch a cold spot. ⛄

author
Podbod18 (author)thundrepance2017-04-28

cold sores are an infection of the lip by herpes labialis (a form of the herpes simplex virus HSV). This produces a blistered painful sore usually lasting 2-3 weeks. The HSV lies dormant in the facial nerve and recurs from time to time, often when the person is ill or run down, e.g. When they have a bad cold (think this is where the name originates).

I not sure, but I believe in America they call them canker sores?

author
joppenheimer (author)2016-05-17

Fantastic hints! Ice cube on a flattened rug-who knew? I get lots of splinter in the yard and I plan to save myself some pain next time. Thanks for another great Instructable.

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