Whether you’re two, or fifty-two years old, boo-boos happen. And when they do, an ice pack is a wonderful tool to help you feel better fast. But store bought ice packs can be expensive, and are filled with industrial chemicals. And filling a bag full of ice cubes just doesn’t really cut it sometimes. My Pinterest feed suggested that rubbing alcohol is the secret to the perfect DIY ice pack. Does it work?
- Better for you – while you have to be careful with rubbing alcohol, at least there are no other unknown toxic chemicals in your ice pack (what is that blue gel anyway?)
- Better for the Earth – making your own ice pack reduces the environmental strain of factory processing, transportation of goods, and packaging waste
- Saves Time – no fumbling with ice cubes while you’re hurting: you can prepare this pack ahead of time so it’s always ready
- Saves money – uses water and rubbing alcohol – super cheap compared to commercial ice packs which start in the range of $5 each
- Easy – super quick to make
- Shapeable – the frozen mixture stays slushy so you can shape it for full injury contact
- Supervision required for the kids as rubbing alcohol is flammable, poisonous, etc. Your curious toddler WILL open the zipper lock bag the second he/she feels better.
little monkeys active and highly mobile kiddos in the house, we have a lot of bumps and bruises. In my quest to be a creative, problem solving mama, I’ve learned the novelty of an ice pack can usually dry up the tears that come with big falls. I am quick to pull out an ice pack for even the smallest bumps so we can laugh about how chilly it is, and then move on with the day.
What I don’t like is the blue liquid filled ice packs. There are two options: (1) the brick shaped ones that don’t really form to the injury, and (2) the soft pliable ones just waiting to be pieced by a toddler’s little teeth. (Ice packs always seem to end up in someone’s mouth around here).
When I heard about the rubbing alcohol ice pack, I was excited to try it! It was cheap, easy, and looked soft and pliable too. I used the following recipe, and stashed it in the freezer.
- 1 part rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol)
- 3 parts tap water
- Mix together and double bag in zipper lock baggies
The liquid freezes to a nice slushy consistency. Depending on the amount of empty space you left in the bag, it can be wrapped or formed very easily around most any body part.
It didn’t take long before we had our first test subject
Just the novelty of having a new ice pack was enough to make the pain subside almost immediately! My toddler was thrilled that I had made an ice pack just for her. Then she waited until I wasn’t watching and opened it, spilling some of the alcohol slush out on the floor. Sigh.
I rolled the ice pack up and put it in a large tube sock for the next use. This is now our new favorite ice pack. The kids request it specifically for injuries. We like it because it is big, and formable for full injury contact. It provides quick pain relief. And it’s cheap so if we get a hole in the bag it’s not a big deal to toss it and make a new one. As soon as I get a chance, I’m planning to improve it by stitching a nifty flannel pouch to hold it in (like this).
I highly recommend going with this type of ice pack for pain relief! Make sure you double bag, and put it in a sock or pouch for the kids to make it harder to open.
What’s your quick trick to dry up the tears that come with bumps and bruises?