How to Make a Cold Compress at Home


Learn here how to make cold compress at home for getting quick relief from inflammation, itching and swelling.)

A cold compress is an age old remedy to get quick relief from itch and rashes. Ice reduces swelling and inflammation. The cold restricts blood circulation, thereby numbing the pain. It is also useful in easing any bruising. A cold compress is a vital part of treating soft tissue injuries, swelling and itch.

You can keep them in your first aid kit or your car in case of emergencies. Commercial cold packs have chemicals that activate them when you squeeze the pack.

Here we will talk about the cold packs you can make at home, and that’s too with simple ingredients like ice or a dipped cloth in cold water.

How to Make Your Own Cold Compress

What You Need:

  • Ice or frozen vegetables
  • Washcloth
  • Water
  • Plastic bag
  • Towel

First of all, put ice cubes or frozen (small vegetables) vegetables in a plastic bag. Or you can dampen a towel with cold water and put it in a sealable plastic bag. Keep the bag in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Put the bag in the freezer for 15 minutes.

(Note: Use towel compress for sensitive areas like eyes.)

Afterward, wrap the plastic bag of ice with a damp washcloth.

Place this compress on your skin for up to 15-20 minutes. You can use non-stick bandage or wrap to keep it in place. However, it shouldn’t be tied too tight as it may cut off circulation. For example, the limb may start to turn purple or blue if the wrap is too tight.


How to Make a Rubbing Alcohol Cold Compress

Rubbing alcohol helps change the freezing point of water. The water doesn’t hard and as a result it gets a gel-like consistency when frozen. This lets you mold or bend it easily to wrap the joints or other body parts. Simply put, this is useful if you are looking for a more flexible cold compress. Plus, rubbing alcohol also retains its temperature for longer, eliminating the need to refreeze the compress.


  • Add 1½ cups of water to ½ cup of rubbing alcohol.
  • Put the solution into a ziplock bag.
  • Seal and put the bag in the freezer for several hours or overnight.
  • Make sure to place a cloth between the skin and the gel pack while applying it to the area.

This compress is ideal for getting pain relief from bone or muscle injuries.



A cold compress is effective for swelling, bruising, itching and inflammation. It can be placed anywhere across the body on the areas like eyes, lower back, forehead and more. For swelling, the compress can be applied after two hours till the swelling goes away. It can be used on both kids and adults. However, be careful while using them on infants as they may not be able to tolerate such cold temperature. Instead, use a damp cloth.



  • Avoid applying ice directly to the skin. It can cause a burn or further injury.
  • Don’t get a cold compress for too long. It can lead to frostbite.
  • Avoid using a cold compress for serious injuries.
  • Use heat pads for long term conditions like chronic irritations, constant stiffness and arthritis. The heat pad is ideal for the injuries that last for more than six weeks as it will promote blood flow.
  • See your doctor if the symptoms persist.


So you must have understood the benefits of a cold compress as well as its benefits. What do you think? Please share your thought with us by commenting below.

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