July 21, 2013

Flexible, Homemade Ice Packs

Andrea and I have a lot of those flexible/gel-style ice packs (like these)... our freezer is full of them, and we use them all the time. With my hamstring being my primary issue over the past couple months, I've really wanted something a little bit bigger to cover the entire upper leg. Last week I read Lou Dawson's post about homemade ice packs and realized how simple it would be to make my own.

A two second web search revealed lots of bloggers out there have already done this little science experiment, and there were several "recipes" to try. Being cheap, I headed to the dollar store / Big Lots and picked up some supplies.

I read that dish soap worked well, but it froze a little too hard... so I modified the formula a bit and added some extra rubbing alcohol. Here's what I came up with...

-30 ounces of dish soap
-2-3 ounces (approximately) of rubbing alcohol
-Double bag in gallon sized ziploc freezer bags
-Freeze laying flat so the liquids spreads out as much as possible. Freeze overnight the first time.

This recipe works really well. When you take them out of freezer, they are hard, but you can easily mold it to the shape you want (in my case, around the hamstring). I just wrap an Ace bandage around it to hold the pack in place (see below). The packs are quite cold, so to avoid frostbite it is wise to have a thin layer of some fabric between your skin and the pack (like an old thin pillow case).

Total cost is probably $1.75 per pack. Not too bad. The formula might need some tweaking for perfection (and might vary a bit depending on how cold your freezer is), but this gets the job done.

My supplies
Always label so no one thinks its a big, rectangular, popsicle
The finished product, wrapped on my hamstring, keeping me healthy and running strong!

1 comment:

  1. The Merkel family will definitely be using this recipe!! Thanks Jake!!