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10 Brilliant Uses for Ice

From eliminating wrinkles to cleaning up messes, these ice tricks will help you in so many ways around the house.

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close up of hand putting an ice cube into a dryer with clothesfamily handyman

Get Wrinkles Out of Your Laundry

Ditch the time-consuming iron or handheld steamer to get wrinkles out of a shirt or slacks. Throw a few ice cubes or a wet washcloth in the dryer with your wrinkled clothes. As the ice melts and the water turns to steam, it will remove the wrinkles.

This trick isn’t as effective with heavier clothing but works great for lighter fabrics. The best part? It only takes 10 minutes or so to work.

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person holding a sponge for a homemade ice pack inside a plastic ziplock bag standing near refrigerator doorsFamily Handyman

Make An Ice Pack

Ice packs are a great way to keep your lunch cool, but can be costly if you tend to lose them. This DIY ice pack hack can be reused so it’s good for the environment as well.

First, purchase an inexpensive pack of sponges or just find some old ones around the house. Fill a big bowl with water and let the sponges soak up as much liquid as possible. Then put each sponge in a small sandwich bag with a zip close.

As the ice melts, the bag holds the water. The thawing sponge then reabsorbs the water in the bag. Freeze the wet and bagged sponges overnight, and in the morning toss the ice pack into your lunch container again.

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Tik Tok Icecube Garbage Disposal HackVia @dm3lt/TikTok

Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal can smell rather unpleasant if not cleared properly. However, this TikTok hack will help cure that. Pour into your sink, turn on the disposal and then dump hot water into the sink. Voilà!

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Carpet level view of a modern bedroom chair.Nickbeer/Getty Images

Remove Furniture Dents in Carpet

First, place an ice cube in the carpet dent. If the dent is large or long, you may need several to fill the spot. The cubes will slowly melt. After 12 hours, blot up any wet spots with an absorbent towel or sponge. Finally, use the edge of a spoon to push the carpet fibers back into an upright position. A coin will also work.

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close up of hand holding and ice cube to apply caulk to between two pieces of woodfamily handyman

Ice Cube Caulk Tool

Here’s an easy way to tool caulk: Take an ice cube and run it down the caulk line, applying steady pressure. The film of water that forms between the cube and the caulk makes a smooth, professional finish. You can melt the cube in your hand to get any bead shape you want.

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Ice Cube Tray Organizer with screws and hardware on a blue wooden backgroundfamily handyman

Ice Trays

It might be time to upgrade the old coffee can containing your lifetime collection of screws, washers and other hardware. Take 10 minutes to organize the miscellany in ice cube trays. Nail together a case from scrap plywood and carry it right to the job at hand.

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Remove Gum From Carpet With Ice TIpFamily Handyman

Remove Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is one of the most dreaded things to remove, whether it’s beneath your kitchen table, in your kid’s hair or on your carpet. To remove gum from your carpet, place ice on the gum for five to 10 minutes. It will harden and loosen its grip on the fibers, allowing you to scrape it off.

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close up a hand putting an ice cube into a potted plantfamily handyman

Hydrating Plants Without Watering

Tired of water draining too quickly through hanging baskets? Try ice cubes. They’ll melt slowly enough so plants can absorb as much water as they need.

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plastic bags of ice in a freezerfamily handyman

Ice Saves Money

A couple of days without power can cost you a few hundred bucks for the spoiled food in your refrigerator and freezer. After the power goes out you could run out and buy a few bags of ice, but that’s what everyone else will be doing.

Here’s a better idea: Get in the habit of filling locking freezer bags with water and keeping them in the freezer. During a blackout, they’ll help the freezer stay cold longer. Or you can transfer them to the fridge or a cooler. When they thaw, you’ve got drinking water.

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Shingle Cooler

Replacing some damaged shingles on a hot summer day and struggling to break through the sealant strip? Here’s a cool trick that will make the job easier. Rest an ice bag on the shingle for a couple of minutes before trying to break the sealant strip. The hot, sticky adhesive will cool down and pop up with ease.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.