How to Make a Gel Ice Pack

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Introduction: How to Make a Gel Ice Pack

Have you ever got injured, and prefered not to a bag of peas of piece of uncooked meat to soothe your pain? Fear no more, this instructable for creating a gel ice pack at home will solve all of your problems!

You will need:

2 Ziploc Freezer Bags
Rubbing Alcohol
Water

Disclaimer: Rubbing Alcohol can be dangerous if consumed in large quantities, and can cause irritation to your eyes. Infants and toddlers can pull a bag over their heads and suffocate when they are unable to get them off. Take careful caution when creating your ice pack, and keep the supplies away from children.

Also, I have found that Ziploc bags work best for the ice pack, sometimes the generic brands are not as strong.

Step 1: Add Water and Rubbing Alcohol

Fill the plastic freezer bag with one cup of rubbing alcohol and 2 cups of water. For a less dense gel, reduce the amount of water to 1 cup.

Step 2: Remove Air

Try to get as much air out of the freezer bag before sealing it shut, then put it inside a second freezer bag – this way there is less chance of a leak.

Step 3: Freezing the Ice Pack

Let the gel pack freeze for  about 2 to three hours. The differences in the freezing points of the rubbing alcohol and water will prevent the solution from freezing and instead give a gel texture. 

Step 4: Additional Notes

If rubbing alcohol is not available, dish washer detergent,  hair gel, corn syrup or salt can also be used in the same proportions.

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    11 Discussions

    I have several sizes made. They are great. They are so pliable so easy to get them in the position you need them in. Like curved, etc. I will never buy one.

    1 reply

    Can i ask which additional substance you used that they are very flexible? Rubbing alcohol?

    Hello,
    Thank you for your great instructions to make an ice pack.

    You said the same amount for other substances, so i was wondering how much salt should be in a cup ?

    And which of substances you recommended makes my ice pack to be most flexible?

    Why you need to put the alcohol? when you put the alcohol with it takes longer to thaw ?

    1 reply

    Rubbing alcohol keeps pack from freezing solid. Sometimes for my cooler I do this process with water alone, but if you want an ice pack that is flexible, add the rubbing alcohol.

    Might give this a try for my dickie knee. Any tips re getting the first zip-lock bag to fit in the second?

    1 reply

    Yes, put the small filled bag into a larger sized bag.

    I made mine in a quart sized bag, cut an old towel to fit so it would completely wrap, then put the whole thing in a gallon bag. I have a Seal a Meal type thing, so I was able to cut/seal the outer bag pretty snugly, so the towel won't come unwrapped

    the dawn is just a subittude if you couldn't get your hands on any rubbing alcohol

    You can get a lot of air out of the bags by slowly immersing them in a sink full of water. Start with the bag mostly closed, lower it in, the water pressure uniformly squeezes the bag.