DIY Gel Ice Pack

Learn how to make gel ice packs and craft a DIY gel ice pack at home!

By: Chris Hammond for
DIY Gel Ice Pack
DIY Gel Ice Pack
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Sometimes after a long day all you need is an ice pack to put on your aches an pains. This DIY Gel Ice Pack is the perfect recipe for relaxation. This is an easy and handy craft that you can make with just a few supplies. Check out this craft video to see how easy it is to make this useful DIY ice pack. Plus, since this is a gel ice pack that means it will be great for shaping and molding around any kind of bump or bruise that may be anywhere on your body.

Check out this video tutorial and see for yourself just how easy it is to make this handmade ice pack!

Our recipe includes no alcohol, but we DO use easy to find household ingredients. You'll be able to make this ice pack in no time at all.

Estimated CostUnder $10

Time to CompleteUnder an hour


Project TypeMake a Project

Materials List

  • 2 cups Hot water
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 1 cup Dish Soap
  • 2 quart size zip top bags
  • A large bowl
  • A measuring cup
  • A whisk

DIY Gel Ice Pack

How to Make an Ice Pack Instructions

  1. Pour your hot water into a large bowl and add the salt. 

  2. Whisk the salted water until all the salt has dissolved.

  3. Once all the salt has dissolved add your dish soap and very gently whisk that into your water. 

  4. Pour the mixture in your large bowl back into your measuring cup. 

  5. Pour the mixture in your measuring cup into a zip top bag. 

    Tip: Make sure not to zip it too full because it will expand as it freezes. 

  6. As you zip the top of your bag closed be sure to squeeze out all the air so you do not have any air bubbles. 

  7. Grab your other zip top bag, and put your bag with the mixture in it into your other bag. 

    Tip: Put the seam on the full bag to the bottom of your new bag to make sure that you have no spilling concerns. 

  8. Zip up the new bag and squeeze out the air bubbles again. 

  9. Let this sit until it reaches room temperature, and then toss it in your freezer!

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I used a lot of ice packs after my hip replacement surgery and I made them all myself because they are so much cheaper that way. They are great to have on hand. This is a great tutorial because I learned 2 new things one to add salt so it does not freeze solid and to put the second zip top bag in upside down. I love these DIY and this is a much needed one to have on hand.

This cooling gel bag is great and the good thing about it is hat you have a kid who needs one and you don't have any in hand and can't get away to buy one, you can make this right away because most folks have the ingredients right at hand! And if it should burst, soap is clean! I am wondering if you could use baby shampoo in the unlikely event it would break open near an eye injury! Another option is to make a coverlet for it using a thin washcloth! Great and practical idea!

This is a splendid idea for those that always need ice packs. I tend to need them more during the summer months when we travel. I will surely keep this idea for next summer.

Gel packs have so many uses and being able to make your own is a plus. Sometimes you need one that is a little bigger or smaller than what can be purchased in the store. I have one of those food savers and I can see making these gel packs and sealing them in different sizes for different uses.

I've been making homemade gel packs for years, as they are super easy to make, but I've been making mine with alcohol, not a good idea if they bust open in the freezer. Never tried it with dish soap and simple double bagging instead, but I have to wonder if there isn't some food grade type liquid that could be added that would not freeze all the way? Or perhaps apple cider vinegar or something?

This is such a smart idea! My family uses so many ice packs (in lunch bags, for aches and pains, etc) and this is a great DIY solution for us to make new ones!


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