These homemade gel ice packs are very inexpensive and easy to make, for under $2, and they a great form of cold application for sore muscles or injuries.

What is a cold application?

Is the application of a cold agent,  cooler than skin, either in a moist or dry form, on the surface of the skin. Applying cold to a muscle or injury helps:

  • To reduce pain and body temperatures.
  • to anesthetize the area.
  • To control hemorrhages.
  • To control the growth of bacteria.
  • To prevent gangrene.
  • To prevent edema,and
  • To control inflammation.

What you need:

  • Plastic freezer bags, zipper sandwich bags, or zipper craft bags.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. In a container, mix the water with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Put some food coloring to make them cool (optional).
  3. Fill the bags with the solution.
  4. Squeeze the bag to let as much air out of the bag before closing tight.
  5. Place the bags in the freezer for an hour, or until it takes a gel consistency (the alcohol prevents the water to freeze).

Use the ice pack over the affected area of the skin, preferably wrapped in a piece of cloth or towel, to avoid burning the skin. Apply cold therapy for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time. The best way to apply both heat and cold therapy, is to alternate 15-20 minutes each one, for an hour or two.