Ice Cubes Water

Unique Uses for Ice Cubes: Over 50 Innovative Ways to Use Ice

Plain old ice cubes have untapped potential beyond just chilling drinks. With creativity, ice can be employed to numerous ends taking advantage of its cooling properties, malleability when melting, and convenience when an ice source is needed on-demand.

This comprehensive guide covers over 50 unique ways to utilize ice cubes, crushed ice, and block ice to solve problems, boost health and beauty, improve cleaning and organization, simplify cooking, and add fun to occasions. With the right mindset, ice becomes an invaluable tool.

Discover new and exciting applications for ice cubes that you never realized were possible. But first, let’s start with a quick overview of the benefits of ice:

Benefits and Properties of Ice

Before diving into the unique uses, here are key traits that enable ice to be utilized in unconventional ways:

Cooling – Ice absorbs heat as it melts, allowing it to serve as a chilling agent. This cooling can be leveraged for numerous purposes.

Temperature – Ice maintains a steady 32°F temperature until completely melted. This constant cold can assist certain tasks.

Malleable – Ice is easily molded as it melts and turns to water. You can shape melting ice cubes as needed.

Water Source – Ice is an abundant source of potable water in its melted form. The water can be utilized.

Non-Toxic – Provided it’s made from purified water, ice is safe for contact with food, drinks, pets, skin, and more.

Convenient – Ice can be obtained affordably on-demand 24/7 thanks to ice makers and vending machines like Artic Refresh.

Freezing – Exposure to ice can rapidly lower the temperature of objects to below 32°F and freeze items.

Keep these traits of ice in mind as you read through the creative applications below.

Unique Uses for Ice Cubes

Now onto over 50 original uses for ice cubes:

1. Emergency Ice Pack

Ice cubes wrapped in a towel or bag make an instant cold compress to reduce swelling from minor injuries and pain. The adjustable shape targets the needed area.

2. Keep Cut Fruit Fresh

A bowl of ice cubes below sliced melons, pineapple, peaches, and other cut fruit keeps them chilled and refreshing for hours instead of quickly browning.

3. Training Dogs

Use ice cubes as dog training treats to practice commands. The cold cubes keep dogs hydrated while being low calorie. Fresh water refills thirst after frozen treats.

4. Set Dyed Eggs

After dyeing eggs, submerging them in ice water firms and sets the color while stopping further dye absorption for brighter, uniform eggs.

5. Resurface Sidewalks

Scatter ice cubes on old cracked sidewalks while temperatures are below freezing and let melt overnight. The expanding ice re-levels and resurfaces the concrete.

6. Ice Painting

Freeze paint in ice cube trays, then let kids paint masterpieces as the cubes melt. Thaw additional cubes to extend play. Great learning activity!

7. Make Bath Bombs

Mix fizzy tablet ingredients with a few cubes. The melting ice helps bind the mixture so you can form bath bombs once the cubes completely melt and incorporate.

8. Fill Pinata

Use crushed ice to weigh down candy pinatas so they swing and bounce better when hit. Ice pours out with the candy for a fun effect.

9. Set Jello or Pudding

A few cubes added to liquid gelatin or pudding mixes cools them rapidly to set properly at the right thickness. No more overly thickened results.

10. Impromptu Ice Packs

Cover ice cubes with a wet paper towel and then use to soothe skin irritations like bug bites by applying the damp cold towel to affected areas until numb.

11. Extend Produce Freshness

Add cubes to your vegetable drawer, berry clamshell, or salad container to keep greens and produce crisp and fresh longer.

12. Freeze Ice Pop Molds

Pour juice, soda, yogurt, or other liquids into molds then insert sticks and freeze. Ice cube trays and molds speed freezing compared to the fridge.

13. Make Dog Treat Pupsicles

Blend dog food, stock, puree veggies or fruit into ice cube trays with sticks. Freeze to create healthy summer cool-down treats for hot dogs. Provides hydration too.

14. Set Candle Wax

After blowing out freshly melted candles, residual hot wax drips and hardens unevenly. Drop in a few cubes to re-melt wax so it cools and sets smooth.

15. Keep Cheese Fresh

A few cubes placed in wrapping helps hard cheeses like parmesan stay fresh and evenly textured much longer in the fridge. The cold prevents drying.

16. Soften Brown Sugar

Microwaving hard clumped brown sugar makes it wet and syrupy. Adding an ice cube after microwaving absorbs excess moisture for spreadable, measureable consistency.

17. Make Herbal & Fruit Water

Infuse water pitchers with fresh flavor by adding herbs, sliced fruit, berries, and a few cubes. As cubes melt, the flavors gradually release into cold water.

18. Set Fondant

After kneading fondant icing, briefly chilling it with ice cubes firms it up to the ideal pliable texture for covering cakes or shaping decorations.

19. Pack Lunch Ice Packs

Use small frozen cubes in place of disposable gel packs to keep lunch food or drinks chilled. Bonus – the cubes keep kids hydrated when they melt. Reusable and multipurpose.

20. Ice Cream in a Bag

Add cream, sugar, and flavorings to a small zip bag. Place inside a larger gallon bag filled with ice and salt. Shake vigorously to quickly make ice cream from the ice’s freezing.

21. Apply Face Masks

For cold therapy skin treatments, apply gel masks and run an ice cube gently over top to maximize toning, circulation boosting, and pore tightening benefits from the chilled temperature.

22. Make Guacamole

After mashing avocados for guacamole, stir in a few small cubes to keep the dip cool without over-diluting like refrigerating would. Maintains texture beautifully.

23. Fill Water Balloons

For an icy water balloon twist, fill balloons halfway with water, add a few cubes, then finish filling. The splashing icy water provides a fun shock when they burst!

24. Pack Souffles

Fold a cube into just-baked souffle batter after removing from oven to rapidly set the risen souffle before deflating. This buys time before serving.

25. Organize Freezer

Freeze contents like berries and meat in ice cube trays with cute shape inserts. Pop frozen blocks out to neatly stack items in your freezer rather than loose bags.

26. Make Frozen Grapes

Wash grapes thoroughly, dry, and spread on a baking sheet. Place in freezer. Transfer frozen grapes to bags. Quick healthy frozen treats!

27. Cool Pizza or Pie

Insert cubes around the edges of a piping hot pizza or freshly baked pie to distribute cold and prevent overcooking the outer crust or edges.

28. Fill Bean Bag Chairs

For DIY bean bag refilling, add a few handfuls of cubes to the bean pellets before sewing up. Melting ice allows beans to fully expand and fill the bag.

29. Fix Dents in Wood

Place an ice cube on a superficial dent in wooden furniture and let melt. The moisture seeps into the wood fibers and should pop the dent back out as the moisture evaporates.

30. Make Ice Cream Cupcakes

Partially bake cupcakes, then insert an ice cube in the center of each before finishing baking. The melted cube leaves an insert for adding scoops of ice cream.

31. Set Cookie Dough

After scooping cookie dough onto baking sheets, place the pans in the freezer for 10 minutes. Added cubes below the sheets speed up chilling dough for easily handling.

32. Clean Grill Grates

After cooking on your grill, carefully rub ice cubes over the hot grates to convert solidified grease into easy-to-remove flakes rather than tough buildup.

33. Calm Angry Skin

Apply an ice cube wrapped in soft cloth to skin irritations like bee stings to numb pain and reduce inflammation. Apply intermittently for 5-10 minutes. The cold constricts blood vessels.

34. Make Ice Cream Cones

Pack a cone with cubes. Pour melted chocolate over top then sprinkle with nuts or drizzle caramel before the chocolate sets. Peel off the hardened cone “mold” to reveal the design.

35. Ice Wine and Cocktails

Add a cube or two, along with the glass itself, to white wine or cocktails you want extra chilled. Spinning the slowly melting cube aerates drinks too.

36. Defrost Frozen Foods

Place frozen meat, casseroles, or bread dough on a tray and lay ice cubes on top. As they melt and drip down, they evenly defrost foods without over-softening outer areas first. Safer than the microwave.

37. Make Fruit Infused Ice Cubes

Place sliced fruit and fresh herb in your ice trays, then fill with filtered water or juice. Use these flavorful cubes in drinks, pitchers, and water bottles.

38. Fix Stains on Highlights

For toner or dye stains on blonde or color-treated hair, wrap a cube in cloth then blot stain until gone. The melting cold water rinses out the stain without damaging hair.

39. Relieve Sunburn or Rashes

The nerve-numbing cold from an ice cube wrapped in a soft towel brings itchy relief to sunburn, poison ivy, eczema, or other irritating rashes when applied in small intervals.

40. Remove Gum or Crayon

Rub an ice cube on gum stuck in hair or crayon marks on walls to harden the adhesive. Then gently chip off with a dull knife. The cold makes removing messes easier.

41. Shaping Craft Dough

To prevent heat-softened doughs for crafts like modeling clay or bread dough from becoming misshaped while working, lay them over ice cubes to re-firm periodically.

42. Fill Water Balloons

For an icy twist, put 1-2 cubes in partially filled balloons before finishing filling with water. The melting provides surprising splashes when water balloons burst!

43. Make Cloud Dough

Add cubes gradually to corn starch and conditioner cloud dough to achieve the perfect texture for molding and sculpting. Cold prevents sticky texture from forming.

44. Add Interest to Drinks

Freeze edible flowers, fruit slices, or herbs in ice cubes. Add these to cocktails, lemonade, or pitchers for aesthetic appeal. Kids love fun ice too!

45. Preserve Cut Vegetables

A bowl of ice below cut veggie crudites absorbs heat and moisture to keep carrots, celery, cucumber, and peppers crisp for up to 5 days instead of just 1-2 days.

46. Preserve Herbs

Place fresh herb sprigs in water with cubes to maintain high humidity and prevent wilting. Cubes prolong the life of cilantro, parsley, basil and more up to a week or longer.

47. Make Frozen Dog Treats

Blend together peanut butter, pureed bananas, broth, and kibble, then freeze the mix in molds with sticks. Nutritious frozen pupsicles to beat the heat!

48. Set Pottery Glaze

Brush glaze onto bisqueware pottery pieces, then place them over an ice bath. The chill sets the glaze evenly and prevents running before kiln firing.

49. Make Fruit Filtered Water

In a pitcher, muddle desired fruit then add cubes and water. As cubes melt, the muddled fruit infuses the water for deliciously fruity ice water.

50. Cleaning Chrome

Wipe tarnished chrome faucets or fixtures with an ice cube to easily scrub off water spots and discoloration. Rinse once done polishing.

That covers over 50 original ways to utilize ice cubes for entertaining, cooking shortcuts, health and beauty, pet fun and more! Let these ideas spark even more possibilities. Read on for sourcing abundant ice.

Obtaining Plentiful Ice for Projects

To make many of these ideas possible requires having ample ice on hand whenever you need it. Here are good options for obtaining plentiful ice:

Ice Vending Machines – Ice makers located at gas stations, rec centers, offices allow 24/7 access to bulk cubed or crushed ice using cash or cards. Artic Refresh machines produce up 700 lbs of ice per day using filtered water.

Home Ice Maker – Countertop and refrigerator ice appliances generate fresh ice and store quantities until needed. Production is slower than commercial machines.

Grocery Store Bags – Buying cubed or crushed ice bags from local supermarkets works for small amounts. Quality varies though from freezing/thawing cycles.

Bulk Ice Delivery – For huge quantities of ice for large scale projects, ordering bulk ice delivery is convenient but expensive. Requires coordinating delivery times.

Drive Thru Outlets – Many fast food chains will sell you multiple large bags of fresh ice affordably on demand.

Ice Trays – As a last resort, constantly freezing ice over days before your project ensures you have a sizeable supply accumulated. Time consuming but inexpensive.

Ideally utilize a combination of ice vending for convenience plus grocery or bulk ice for larger volumes depending on the scale of your ice projects.

Why Artic Refresh Ice is the Best Choice

For obtaining truly premium ice in the most convenient way possible, Artic Refresh ice vending machines are the clear choice:

  • Convenient Locations – Machines located at popular grocery stores, gas stations, colleges, offices, rec centers, pools.
  • 24/7 Access – Ice available whenever you need it – early morning before an event or even late night.
  • Advanced Purification – Our 7-stage filtration removes all sediments and dissolved solids down to 0.5 microns for the purest ice.
  • Production on Demand – Ice is made fresh continually throughout the day so it’s always fresh when you need it.
  • Chewble Nugget or Cubed Options – Get either cubed or soft, chewable nugget ice for different project needs.
  • Bulk Quantities – Purchase up to 50 lbs of ice directly. No need to deal with multiple small bags.
  • Payment Options – Pay with cash, credit/debit cards. Apple Pay, Google Pay accepted. Can setup billing accounts.
  • Reliable Operation – Our ice machines are professionally serviced and sanitized to ensure optimal performance.

For the highest ice quality plus 24/7 filling convenience, rely on Artic Refresh vending. Find a location using our ice machine locator map.


Don’t let ice cubes go to waste as they melt! With creativity, ice can assist with entertaining, cooking, cleaning, health remedies, crafts, pet care, organization, and numerous other applications.

Keep cubes handy in the freezer or utilize Artic Refresh ice vending machines to have ample ice for your unique projects anytime.

Let ice be an inspiring ingredient rather than just something that chills drinks. Then discover even more possibilities as you continually ask yourself “How could I leverage ice to solve problems in new ways?” Think outside the cooler with ice cubes.

FAQ About Innovative Uses for Ice

What are the most useful benefits and properties of ice for projects?

  • Cooling effect
  • Freezing temperature
  • Malleability as ice melts
  • Source of chilled water
  • Non-toxic and food safe
  • Convenience of ice makers and vending

What are easy ways to obtain large quantities of ice?

Ice vending machines allow 24/7 access to bulk ice. Home ice makers or grocery bags work for smaller amounts. Bulk ice delivery offers huge quantities but requires coordinating deliveries.

What ice type is best for different uses?

Cubed and crushed ice have maximum surface area for cooling and freezing. Block ice lasts longer without melting. Flavored specialty ice adds intrigue. Match shape and type to purpose.

How can you add flavor or color to ice?

  • Add liquid flavors, extracts, or drink mixes to water before freezing
  • Blend in chopped fruits, vegetables, or herbs before freezing
  • Use juices like berry, cherry, or citrus instead of plain water
  • Add a few drops of natural food coloring

What are some everyday uses for spare ice cubes?

  • Keep lunch bags/boxes chilled
  • Fill water bottles or pitchers
  • Ice bruises or sore muscles
  • Soothe headaches
  • Prevent trash odors
  • Chill skin or cosmetics
  • Water houseplants
  • Clean stainless steel sinks
  • Remove wax drips from surfaces

What items should you avoid putting ice cubes directly on?

Direct ice contact can damage more delicate items. Avoid placing cubes directly on fine wood, leather, antique furniture, instruments, electronics, paintings, and open wounds or sensitive skin. Wrap cubes in a towel first when needed.

What are safety tips when handling large amounts of ice?

  • Wear insulated gloves when handling multiple ice bags to prevent cold burns
  • Use hard-sided containers strong enough to hold ice weight when transporting
  • Avoid direct skin exposure to large quantities of ice that could cause frostbite
  • Use caution when walking on wet surfaces covered with melted ice