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How to Make a Reusable Ice Pack


Updated September 23, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Many injuries like sprains and strains require ice during the acute phase of injury. The R.I.C.E. principle is a good rule to follow when you first injure yourself.

The problem with homemade ice packs is that when you use them, the ice melts and then turns into a big block of ice when your put the pack back in the freezer. This makes it difficult to use again because the ice pack won't form to your body part that needs it.

There is a way to prevent the ice pack from turning into a frozen block so you can use it again and again.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 3 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Place several ice cubes into a large plastic bag. A one-gallon freezer bag works well.

  2. Place two to three tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into the bag. Then seal the bag and apply it to your injured body part. Be sure to use a towel around the bag to prevent the body part from getting too cold.

  3. When you put the bag into the freezer, the alcohol prevents the ice from turning into a giant block. That way, you can use the ice pack over and over.

What You Need

  • One plastic bag.
  • Several ice cubes.
  • Two to three tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.

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