Some ice packs have small beads like gel and have a gel-like material that becomes hard when frozen. There are also categories like one-time use or reusable gel ice packs. The one-time-use ice packs are mostly found in first aid kits. They are also known as instant ice packs, which immediately turn cold after squeezing.

The instant gel ice pack contains water and a chemical which reacts when squeezed. The most typically used chemicals are calcium ammonium nitrate and urea. If you have to know how to use and how to dispose of gel ice packs, then this article is for you. Keep reading.

Disposing Of Gel Ice Packs

If you have used your ice packs for quite some time and want to get rid of them, then you can dispose of them very easily. There are many ways to do that. Here are some of them

Open It And Throw It Separately

It's the safest way to dispose of your gel ice pack. There are a few steps that you need to follow.

Step 1 - Determine The Type Of Ice Pack

First of all, you have to know which kind of gel ice packs you will dispose of and what it contains inside. Every type of ice pack contains different materials, so you must deal with each accordingly. You can check its label to know what's inside your ice pack or research it on the internet.

Step 2 - Get Rid Of What's Inside

Your gel pack might contain liquid or gel inside. You just have to figure it out and get rid of it. You cannot just throw the gel ice pack directly in the trash bin; it's not considered very environmentally friendly. Throwing or recycling each part of the ice pack is better than throwing it as a whole.

When you know what's the nature of the substance inside your ice pack, it'll become easier for you to deal with it. Suppose your ice pack contains water inside it. So you can just cut it from the edge and let the water drain in the sink.

On the other hand, if you determine that there's gel or some other harsh material inside the ice pack, you must be very careful. Just cut the edge of the pack and let the gel come out in a trash/garbage bag. You should be very careful while doing that. Don't ever drain the gel in the sink because it will result in mold production in your drain pipes, and that'll cause you many problems afterward.

The simplest and easiest way to get rid of the gel is by using a tray. Just cut the edge of the pack and let the gel drain on the tray. Once it's out in the tray, it'll start shrinking after some time because it starts getting dry in an exposure. Throw it in the trash bin when it's shrunk enough to dispose of. The dried gel is easier to handle also.

Step 3 - Rinsing The Plastic Cover

The most dangerous components of an ice pack are its plastic and gel. When you take care of the gel, it's time for you to get rid of the plastic. Plastic is highly harmful to the environment, so you must treat it carefully.

Rinse the plastic cover in plain water for some time to remove any harmful particles that might be stuck on it. Once it's done, take it out of the water and dry it with a towel or tissues. It's ready to be recycled.

Step 4 - Recycling The Plastic

Many people make the mistake of throwing plastic in the recycling bin of paper or glass. This is not the right way. The plastic gets stuck on the machines and gives a tough time to the staff of recycling centers. So be a responsible citizen, take the plastic to a nearby recycling center, and ask them which is the correct recycling bin or place to throw plastics.

It will save you time and effort. If you don't have a conveyance or are lazy, you can call the local recycling center to provide a trash pick-up service. That won't cost you much.

If you don't want to make an effort and just want to get rid of your gel ice packs, you can donate them to food banks or other charity houses. But this doesn't mean that you can donate your damaged, torn, or leaking ice packs. Your gel ice packs should be alright to be donated.

Otherwise, they are of no use to anyone. The food banks will use the ice packs to transport and distribute the food items far away. Other places to donate them are schools and churches. This way, you won't harm the environment, have to make any effort to dispose of your ice pack, won't have to pay for anything, and get rid of them easily.

Give Them To A Relative

It's said that good work starts from your home. So ask your relatives or friends first. Someone in your circle might need ice packs for their trips, vacation, or holidays. Your athlete friend might need an ice pack to deal with his bruises or injuries. This way, you get to help your close ones and get rid of the ice packs as well.

Can You Make Gel Ice Packs At Home?

Yes absolutely! It's very easy to make gel ice packs at home, and you don't have to be a pro for that. You just have to follow some steps, but before that, you have to make sure you have the things you need for that,i.e

  • Freezer bag (1 gallon preferably)
  • Water (2 cups)
  • 70% rubbing alcohol (1 cup)
Can You Make Gel Ice Packs At Home

Steps To Follow

  • Put the alcohol and water in the freezer bag.
  • Take the air out of the freezer bag as much as you can and seal it.
  • Check for any leakage.
  • Place the freezer bag into the freezer for 45-60 minutes.
  • Your homemade gel ice pack is ready to use.


The world is changing, and it's our responsibility to make our environment clean and healthy because we must live in it. Gel ice packs can be used for several purposes, but they are most commonly used to keep food cold and relax injuries.

They are very handy and convenient to use. But it's important to know how to dispose of them also. You can choose the most suitable method for disposing of your gel ice packs. It's very easy. We hope the information was helpful to you. Don't forget to share your experience with us.

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