How to Make Reusable Ice for Ice Bath: Tips & Tricks

Ice baths have become extremely popular in recent years as they are a great way to practice cold water therapy. To practice cold water therapy effectively, ice is usually needed, especially in summer! This post will cover tips and tricks on how to make reusable ice for ice bath so you can save money and time by no longer having to buy your own ice.

This post is aimed at cold plunges and ice baths without a chiller unit. A great alternative if you have the means is to create your own DIY chest freezer ice bath, this would allow you to control the temperature without ice.

Save money and time

Most people will tend to use bags of ice to keep their ice bath cool but if you ice bath regularly this can quickly become costly in terms of time and money. By avoiding constant trips to the shops and carrying heavy amounts of ice you can spend time doing things you’d rather do.

Save yourself the cost and hassle and make your own ice with these unique tricks below.

Ways to Make Reusable Ice for Ice Bath

Make your own ice blocks

There are many ways you can make your own large ice blocks, for example you can use; large Tupperware, zip lock bags, cardboard or plastic drink containers with the lid cut off. Simply fill the container and stick it in the freezer.

reusable ice blocks for ice bath

Detailed here is a unique and neat little hack to make your own ice blocks with a plastic filing cabinet, sounds crazy but it works wonders if you have the freezer space. Simply fill the trays with water and stick it in your freezer, and after 24 hours you have large ice blocks for your ice bath.

This DIY approach means you can make large ice blocks with things you have at home, you can easily decide to make more if needs be. The benefit is that by making your own ice block and sticking that in the ice bath, there is no plastic layer getting in the way of the cold transmission.

A disadvantage of large ice blocks is they will take longer to melt and cool the water compared to larger surface area ice such as the multipack water bottle method.

Freeze multipack water bottles

This is similar to the above method however you would be using a large multipack of smaller individual water bottles, such as a 24 pack of water bottles.

The benefit of using a multipack is that there is less ice volume per bottle, therefore it should melt quicker and make the water colder sooner. This approach should be more effective than the above method if you are on a time constraint. A disadvantage however is that you’d have many water bottles to carry in and out of the freezer and ice bath.

Top tip: Buy a large mesh bag to carry the multipack of water bottles, this means you can carry the ice in and out of the ice bath in one go, and straight back into the freezer for next use.

Freeze large water bottles

This is an easy way to make your ice bath cold by simply getting a few very large bottles (I use 1x 5 litre, 2x 2 litre) and fill them with tap water and stick them in the freezer. They take about 24 hours to freeze and they drop the temperature by about 5 degrees celsius.

The benefit of using large bottles is that you have a large amount of ice in only a few bottles. This makes it easy to put them in the ice bath and pack them back in the freezer after your done. One disadvantage however is the ice can take a long time to melt to make the water cold, meanwhile the warmer air is slowly increasing the water temperature.

This approach can be less effective in the height of summer so you may need more bottles. I’d recommend this approach if the water temperature isn’t already over 15 degree celsius.

Top tip: Unscrew the lid of the large bottles to make the ice melt faster and disperse the freezing cold water around the ice bath.

Purchase ice packs

This is a common approach people use however you’d likely need a lot of ice packs to get the desired temperature. For this reason, it may not be cost effective.

Disposable ice cube bags

These bags can be bought for very cheap and they are filled with water and put in the freezer to make hundreds of ice cubes.

The benefit of this approach is that the larger surface area will cool down the water quicker, however I’m not sure how many uses these would last in the ice bath before they leak. It’d be extremely inefficient to refill each bag after every use.

How much ice do you need for an ice bath?

This will depend on your desired temperature, generally for cold water therapy the ideal temperature is between 10-15°C (around 50-60 Fahrenheit). Depending on the ambient temperature and water capacity you may need around 7-15kg of ice.

Typically you will need more in the summer time, and you may not need ice at all during the winter time.

Key Takeaways

The most effective and straight forward way to make your ice bath is of course to pour bags of ice in there, however if you use ice baths daily the costs can quickly add up.

In this post we’ve outlined some easy and effective ways to make your own ice at home, which saves you going to the shop and buying kilos of ice each trip.

If you have suitable freezer space than most of these methods shouldn’t be an issue. I like to use the large bottle freezer method as it means I don’t have to handle loads of bottles to get my ice bath cold, however it would be good to also use the multipack freezer approach to cool the water more effectively and easily handle all the bottles with the mesh bag tip.

You can experiment with the different approaches and use a combination of them together to find the ideal solution depending on your preference, temperature requirements and time constraints.

You can learn more about cold water therapy and ways to improve your cold water experience through Wim Hof breathing exercises, do you have any tips for getting your ice bath colder? Let me know below!






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