We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

What Are the Different Ways To Use an Ice Pack?

reusable ice pack for different uses

Reusable ice packs are completely underrated. You can keep your drinks cold on an all-day boat trip or enjoy a picnic without having to eat sun-baked sandwiches. With reusable ice packs, you can store food, drinks, medications, and a host of other items without them floating in a puddle of melted ice at the end of the day. They’re easy to use, easy to clean, take up little space, and are so versatile. Versatile? Oh yes, there are a multitude of ways you can put a reusable ice pack to good use!


Applying both heat and cold can be beneficial for easing arthritis pain. While some people find heat to work best, the cold seems to dull the pain for others. Exercising should be part of an osteoarthritis treatment plan, and this is the perfect scenario to incorporate cold and heat treatments. Apply heat to the affected area before exercise. This will help loosen the muscles, improve flexibility, and facilitate blood flow. After exercise, apply a reusable ice pack to effectively minimize aches.


Power outages that don’t last longer than two to four hours won’t cause too much damage to freezer foods (as long as you keep the freezer door closed). Longer, unexpected power outages can, however, cause frozen foods to start defrosting and refrigerated foods to warm. This can result in bacterial growth and a lot of food that is unsafe to eat.

Your freezer is essentially a large ice-laden cooler. When it starts losing its cool, get some of your most prized refrigerator goods into the cooler with ice packs to keep them stable for a few extra hours. You will save a lot of delicious items from going in the trash can.


Applying ice to an injury such as an immediate bruise or a pulled muscle can reduce inflammation and dull the pain. Reusable ice packs are often kept with medical kits at sports competitions for this exact reason. Once the inflammation has gone down, heat can be applied to relieve stiffness.

When using an ice pack, wrap it in a cloth so that there is a thin barrier between the frozen pack and your skin. Although you can alternate between hot and cold, don’t keep the icepack on your skin for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.


If you’re going to be out for the day, you can safely store fresh breast milk for your baby in a cooler with ice packs for 12 to 24 hours. Ideally, you don’t want to keep it in the cooler for longer than 12 hours, but if the ice packs stay frozen, the breast milk will stay safe to consume. Whether you’re working, on a day trip, or spending the day with friends, this makes life a whole lot easier!

Gel ice packs can stay cold in a cooler for hours on end. Even when they start to soften, food can be kept cold for over 24 hours. When packing your cooler, regardless of whether it’s for beverages or breastmilk, place a few ice packs at the bottom. Keep all the items in separate containers to avoid cross-contamination. Pack a few ice packs around or between items as well for the best results.

bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
Related Content
Go to top