Whether they’re keeping your drink fresh or keeping your food cold, ice cubes are useful for many things. But there are many other uses you might not be aware of. Here are 21 unique uses for ice cubes you may not have thought of, and a few quick problem-solvers for a wide range of pesky problems.
21 Unique Uses for Ice Cubes
1. Watering Plants
It’s easy to overwater plants. Place an ice cube in the pot to slowly release water as the ice melts.
2. Microwaving Rice
Your leftover ice has gotten hard and crusty. Before you microwave it, place an ice cube on top. This is a unique use for ice cubes that will make it easy to rewarm leftovers.
3. Unwrinkling Clothes
Putting a few ice cubes into the dryer will help to unwrinkle your clothes. As the ice melts, it will release steam that will even out wrinkles.
4. Easy Ironing
If some of your clothes are still wrinkled, there’s another unique use for ice cubes that can help. As you iron, cover a few ice cubes in a cloth and run it over a particularly stubborn wrinkle. As you iron, the water will steam and flatten the wrinkle.
5. Unsticking Gum
If you’ve gotten gum stuck on your clothes, shoes, or even your hair, ice cubes can help. Place ice cubes on or around the gum to harden it, then peel it off.
6. Fighting Pimples
Most of us know that ice is great for reducing swelling or easing tense muscles. This works because ice eases inflammation. Place ice on a pesky pimple to reduce redness, swelling and pain.
7. Easing Splinters
Ice can also make it easier and less painful to remove splinters. Place the ice on the splinter for about 30 seconds to slightly numb the area, then remove the splinter.
8. Reducing Bruises
If you’ve suffered a bruise from a sports injury or even just stubbing your toe, put ice on the area, pronto. This will help to reduce the intensity of the bruise.
9. Easy Tweezing
Tweezing your eyebrows, nose, or other areas can be painful. This is another unique use for ice cubes that can help to reduce pain. Simply press ice to the area for about 30 seconds to numb the area before you tweeze. Place a cloth or paper towel around the ice to make it easier to handle.
10. Taking Medicine
Many medicines taste pretty bad. Suck on an ice cube until it melts and you’ll numb your tongue, so you don’t taste the medicine as much.
11. Cooling Air
Before there were air conditioners, some homes had an appliance called a NEVO that would keep the space cooler. This required a huge ice block and a fan. You can reenact this old-time solution with a large bowl of ice in front of a fan or, if the power is out, a window. This unique use for ice cubes may work even better than you think.
12. Uncurdling Sauces
Some recipes that use cheese, cream, egg and other ingredients can easily curdle. If this happens, an ice cube can bring the sauce back to its original consistency.
13. Reducing Burns
The severity of a burn increases if the heat lingers on the skin. This is especially true for a scald, a burn resulting from hot steam or liquid. To reduce the pain and intensity of a burn, put ice cubes on it.
14. Removing Fat From Soups
You’ve created a wonderful, flavorful chicken soup, but you want to remove the fat that’s bubbled to the surface. Fill a metal ladle with ice cubes and skim over the top of the soup. The fat will collect on the ladle, so you can easily remove it.
15. Reducing Puffiness in Eyes
If your eyes are puffy from allergies, crying, or something else, pressing ice cubes on your eyes can help.
16. Removing Furniture Dents
If you’re rearranging furniture and you notice dents left behind on your carpet by your sofa or table, place an ice cube on it. As the ice melts and the liquid dries, the carpet will lift back up. Use your fingers or a comb to puff it back up as it dries.
17. Cleaning Containers
Ice can help clean narrow-necked containers that are especially hard to reach inside. Fill your ice cube tray only half- or a quarter-full with water, so you have smaller cubes. Or, crush up some existing cubes. Place the smaller ice pieces into the container with a combination of soap and water, or salt, water and lemon juice and shake it vigorously to loosen stuck-on bits and clean the container.
18. Making Creamy Salad Dressing
If your homemade salad dressing isn’t as creamy as you like, this easy and unique use for ice cubes can help. Simply place an ice cube into the container with your homemade dressing and shake it. As the ice melts, the temperature and the liquid will make the dressing flow more easily.
19. Cleaning Garbage Disposal
Place a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal to loosen grease and other particles. The cold temperature will harden the grease and cause it to stick to the cube. The ice isn’t tough enough to damage the blades. Use lemon juice, lemon peels, and salt to loosen stuck-on dirt faster and leave a fresh scent behind.
20. Making Juicy Burgers
“Master Chef” judge and award-winning chef Graham Elliot recommends placing an ice cube into a burger patty as it cooks to keep it moist. Use ice cubes infused with herbs, juice, broth, or even dark beer for a unique flavor.
21. Make Better-Tasting Drinks
It’s well-known that ice keeps drinks cool. But ice can also add flavor. If you’re freezing your own ice cubes, include fresh herbs, fruit juice, berries, lemon or lime zest, or other liquors to make your drinks look and taste better.
Remember to place a cloth or paper towel around the ice if you’re placing it on your skin, and don’t leave the ice on too long. Always use clean, fresh ice, since ice can become contaminated. To get plenty of ice, visit your closest Twice the Ice vending machine.