How To Make A Homemade Ice Pack with Hand Sanitizer

Ice packs are extremely helpful items, especially for hardworking adults or adventurous children. If you need lots of ice packs in your home, you can use a couple of household items to make them yourself.

To make a homemade ice pack with hand sanitizer mix one part hand sanitizer with three parts water and put in a sandwich bag and place in the freezer. Add blue or green food coloring to make it look like an ice pack and consider taping the seal to prevent leaks.

It only takes a few minutes to make this homemade craft. Keep reading to learn how to make a hand sanitizer ice pack as well as other types of ice packs at home.

How to Make a Hand Sanitizer Ice Pack

To make hand sanitizer ice packs, start by gathering your supplies. First, you will need either sandwich or freezer bags. If possible, find bags with a secure seal. You will also need hand sanitizer and water.

The amount of hand sanitizer and water you use will depend on the size of the bag. In general, use three parts water for every one part hand sanitizer. So fill up your sandwich bag about 1/4 full with hand sanitizer then add water to fill up the rest.

For example, if you're using a smaller snack-size bag, you will only need a few tablespoons of hand sanitizer and water.

Be sure to not fill up the sandwich bag too full as this can make it more likely to burst.

After mixing your hand sanitizer and water, add food coloring to improve the overall look. If you have kids, have each of them pick a different color for their ice pack. You can also add glitter or confetti to the mix to really spice things up!

Once you finish adding the ingredients to the ice pack, seal the bag and place it in the freezer. If the bag is overfilled, it may lead to spills. Consider double bagging the ice pack or adding tape over the seal. Be sure to use water-resistant tape for your ice pack. Non-water-resistant tape will eventually peel off.

And that's it! You're ready to use your homemade hand sanitizer ice packs.

But why go to all this trouble? Why not just use a sandwich bag full of water for your ice pack?

A plain water ice pack will be hard and immalleable. This is not ideal for joint injuries. However, a mixture of hand sanitizer and water will be more supple, allowing it to conform to the injured area.

If you're finding that your homemade hand sanitizer ice pack is still rock hard when coming out of your freezer then let it thaw, tip some water out and put in more hand sanitizer.

You can also make a new one but this time use more hand sanitizer compared to water.

Alternatively, you can turn down the temperature of your freezer and this can help to make the ice pack more pliable.

Be careful to keep the hand sanitizer mixture away from eyes and mouths. While the liquid in ice packs isn't toxic (it's just hand sanitizer and water after all) it can cause damage if it gets in your eyes.

Wrap the ice pack with a dishrag or some other cloth before using it. Placing the ice pack directly on skin could lead to frostbite.

If you're handy with a needle and thread, you can make a fabric pouch to set the ice pack in. Follow this pattern from Dabbles and Babbles to make an ice pack pouch of your own. The ice pack pouch is made for hand sanitizer ice packs 7-inches by 8.5-inches.

  1. Wash, dry, and iron the fabric.
  2. Cut the fabric down to be 10-inches wide and 22-inches long.
  3. Iron the fabric again and place pins half an inch from the edge all the way around it. Stitch all the way around the fabric.
  4. Fold the fabric along the long edge almost in half (there should be about 2.5 inches of fabric hanging over).
  5. Fold the extra fabric over until it is flush with the top of the fabric. Pin into place.  
  6. Sew all around the edges of the fabric. Leave the last short side open.
  7. Trim any hanging threads.

After freezing the ice pack, slip it into the pouch. Now you're ready to use your hand sanitizer ice pack! You should still avoid leaving the ice pack on the injured area for too long.

Use a Reuseable Ice Pack Bag

Rather than using sandwich bags, which are smaller and can break over time, consider using a reuseable ice pack bag.

These bags are generally used to place ice cubes in but you can prefill them with your hand sanitizer/water solution to make a large and flexible ice pack.

These are great for large sore areas like shoulders, knees, backs etc and have the added benefit of staying colder for longer due to their size.

They are also made of a thicker and tougher plastic than traditional sandwich bags so they will last longer and be less likely to break over time so you'll get many many uses out of them.

You can buy reusable ice pack bags on Amazon for pretty cheap. Click here to see the latest price of reuseable ice pack bags at Amazon.

Other Homemade Ice Packs

While hand sanitizer ice packs are convenient to make and use, there are plenty of other homemade ice pack options available as well. Learn how to use the following household items to make ice packs below.

Rubbing Alcohol

Another common household item is isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol. You might even keep this item next to your hand sanitizer in the medicine cabinet.

To make an ice pack using rubbing alcohol, all you need is water and a freezer bag. Mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part water in the bag and place it in the freezer. Like the hand sanitizer ice pack, you might consider double bagging the mixture or taping over the seal to prevent spills.

You can add food coloring or glitter to this homemade ice pack as well.

Isopropyl alcohol can be an even cheaper option than hand sanitizer and if you have some in your house already then it's practically free!

See the latest price of isopropyl alcohol at Amazon


If you have or had a baby, there will be hundreds of diapers spread throughout your house. Surprisingly, you can use clean diapers to make ice packs!

First, gather the materials. You're going to need a clean diaper (any size will work), water, and some rubbing alcohol. Pour one cup of rubbing alcohol into the diaper, followed by some water (about a cup). Be careful not to overfill the diaper. Finally, place the diaper in the freezer.

Wrap the diaper with a cloth before using to avoid dripping. You should avoid putting the diaper near your eyes.

Not sure you want to use a diaper as an ice pack? Consider this: you can open up the diaper to cover a larger area or fold it around joints. This just might be the best ice pack you have ever used (and likely the best you have ever made).

Source: Style Craze

Dish Soap

If you didn't have hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, you'll definitely have dish soap to make ice packs with. Simply fill the freezer bag with dish soap and freeze it! That's right, no mixing required. If you know you're going to need the ice pack later, pull it out a bit before use. While dish soap never freezes solid, it can get a bit stiff.

Not prepared to use an entire bottle of dish soap for an ice pack? Maybe the last ice pack solution will work for you instead!

Read my list of the 7 easy ways to make gel ice packs for more details about using dish soap, salt or other ideas.


You can actually make a homemade rice pack with ice. I've done a full article on how to make a homemade rice ice pack where you can see the full how-to guide.