I needed a gel pack a while back and was offended at the high price for them at the store. I thought there had to be a cheaper way – it was just some plastic and a chemical, right? But which chemical? And how could I get it cheaply? That had me stuck for a while. Until we went swimming as a family. At the time, we had a toddler still in diapers, and when she got out of the pool I noticed her hugely swollen diaper. It’s easy to forget just how much water those things hold! And it hit me. After it absorbed water, the chemical in the diaper was like jelly. Could it work for a gel pack? Well, when I got home, I tried it out. I wet a clean diaper, sealed it in a gallon zip lock, and stuck it in the freezer. Several hours later it was cold yet malleable! I posted my results as an instructable. But the next morning I found a problem. After leaving the diaper gel pack in the freezer overnight, it was no longer squishy, squishy. Yep, hard as a rock. I was disappointed and embarrassed that I had not solved the problem after all. And that’s when I was saved by kindred spirits. The other intructablers commented that one part water to one part alcohol would make a nice gel pack. Well, I modified that to only one cup alcohol and posted my newer, improved results. So check it out, step by step, or take the summary below:
1. Add one part rubbing alcohol to one part water and pour over a disposable diaper.
2. Seal the diaper in a gallon zip-lock bag and place in the freezer.
3. Use for your aching elbow and reuse on your knee.