A DIY cooler pack is great for keeping foods cool and prevent spoiling when they are out of the refrigerator. When used with an insulated bag, they are great for keeping sandwiches cool when taking lunches to work or for packing an infant's milk when you go out. They are also great for keeping swelling down on minor injuries without he mess of melting ice cubes. A cooler pack works by absorbing the cold from a freezer and slowly thawing to cool off its surroundings. The better the cooling agent and more fluid makes the cooler pack more effective. But the average cooler pack can cost a few dollars which can add up if you need a lot of them. These packs are very easy to lose and you may need many packs if you have a new infant that constantly needs milk. Here is a way to make a DIY cooler pack with commonly available household items. Each pack costs pennies and can be put together quickly if you need one in a hurry.
Things You Will NeedA Cup
Ziploc freezer bags
Liquid hand soap or dish soap
Step 1Get liquid hand soap or dish soap. The soap should be as viscous or thick as possible. Look for soap that does not have bubbles or small beads inside as these can interfere with the freezing process. Certain soaps will not freeze solid at freezer temperatures, but most fine for use inside a cooler pack.
Step 2Put a Ziploc bag inside of the cup with the open end up. Pour the soap slowly into the bag. Make sure that you do not fill more than half of the bag with the soap.
Step 3Take the bag out of the cup and seal the Ziploc about 3/4ths of the way. Hold the bag up so that all of the soap goes to the bottom of the bag and squish the bag until soap comes just out of the lip of the Ziploc. You want to check that there is no air inside the bag, just soap. Next close the Ziploc and make sure that the lock is sealed.
Step 4Put the soap filled Ziploc inside of another Ziploc bag. Your new cooler pack is ready to go. Just put it into the freezer over night and it should be ready cool your insulated lunch box next morning. You may want to try to experiment with different sizes of Ziploc bags depending on how much cooling you need.
Tips & Warnings- A DIY cooler pack is great to pack on a picnic. Once you are done with the lunch and the cooler pack has thawed, you can use the soap to help clean up.
- Some people add food coloring to spice up the color of the cooler packs. This is not a good idea if you plan to eventually use the soap for cleaning.