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17 Brilliant Uses for Ice Cubes (Besides Keeping Your Drinks Cold)

We bet you never thought of these!

We all have ice cubes sitting in our freezers, and while we normally grab them when we want to cool down a drink, they’re actually handy around the house as well. Ice can help you thicken dressings and sauces, depuff your face and remove wrinkles from clothes — and it costs you nothing! Keep reading for our favorite uses for ice cubes.

1. Entertain a pet effortlessly

When your pup wants to play and you want to relax, grab an ice cube to keep him occupied while you sit back and relax. Simply place an ice cube on the floor for him to bat around. The slick cube will keep sliding out of his reach so he can chase it around — and when he does tire of the makeshift toy, he can chew it up for instant refreshment.

2. Uses for ice cubes: Smooth out lumpy caulk

Last time you were in the guest bathroom, you noticed mildew forming around your bathtub, and now it’s in need of recaulking. To make your touch-up job look like a pro’s, try this: Immediately after applying the caulk, run an ice cube along the lines. Unlike some tools, the ice will glide over the tacky compound without sticking, allowing you to easily tidy up the seams.

3. Easily water hanging plants

Uses for ice cubes: Hoya krohniana in a white pot in a wicker macrame planter hanging isolate on a white background. lacunosa heart leaf.
Irina Zharkova/Getty

The potted flowers on your porch look beautiful — but they can be tricky to water. You either risk soaking yourself as you try to stand on your tiptoes and stretch the watering can over your head, or you have to drag over a chair to stand on. The simple solution: Drop several ice cubes onto the soil daily. The dirt will slowly absorb the moisture — no drips, spills, or hassle!

Related: Plant Pros Share Their Top Tips for Reversing Root Rot — Plus, the #1 Way to Prevent It!

4. Uses for ice cubes: Separate stuck glasses

If you can’t pry apart two stacked glasses, place a few ice cubes inside the top glass and soak the bottom one in warm water. The cold will cause the inner glass to contract, while the heat will make the outer glass expand.

5. Erase carpet dents overnight

uses for ice cubes: Hand placing ice cube into dent in carpet caused by legs of table or chair (removing dent in carpet) - stock illustration
Dorling Kindersley/Getty

After rearranging your family room furniture, you noticed a few indentations in your carpet. The easy fix: Place an ice cube on each of the spots before going to bed. As the ice melts, water will slowly sink into the carpet fibers, plumping them up to their original fluffy shape by morning.

Ice cubes can also help a new rug lay flat, says Sara McDaniel, an interior designer, home renovation expert and owner of Simply Southern Cottage. ““As a rug designer, I’m constantly switching out rugs. I line up ice cubes along the perimeter borders to get the edges to lay down flat as the ice melts.” 

6. Uses for ice cubes: Prevent reheated rice from drying out

Jackpot! There’s leftover rice in the fridge, so you can whip up a side dish that doesn’t call for slaving over the stove. But rice can get dry and crunchy when microwaved. The easy save? Add an ice cube to the bowl and loosely cover with a lid before heating the rice on high for 2 to 3 minutes. As the ice melts and evaporates, it will infuse the grains with moisture, leaving your rice light and fluffy. 

7. Stop lipstick from smudging

Uses for ice cubes: Cropped close up photo beautiful amazing mature she her lady hold new collection pomade applying putting great result lipgloss go romantic date wear white t-shirt isolated grey background.

The trick to lip color that stays put for hours: Run an ice cube over your mouth right after applying your favorite shade. The ice will set the color and prevent it from feathering, bleeding or melting in summer’s heat, so you look flawless!

Related: Here’s the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

8. Uses for ice cubes: Lift candle wax from a tablecloth

Oops! While cleaning up after a ­dinner party, you notice a few candle drips on your tablecloth. To remove the melted wax in no time, rub an ice cube over the spots, then scrape with a butter knife. The cold ice will solidify the melted wax, so it easily lifts away from the cloth.

“Be very gentle when scraping, even using the backside of the butter knife that is smoother so you don’t risk damaging the fibers of your tablecloth,” Noell Jett, mom of 5, author of Create Your Dream Home on a Budge, and the force behind @jettsetfarmhouse warns. “Also, make sure the wax is fully hardened before scraping.”

Related: 6 Tips to Make Candles Burn Longer — And the Common Hack That Can Backfire

9. Speed nail polish drying time

uses for ice cubes: Woman painting her nails in bedroom
Christine Schneider/Getty

You love relaxing with a DIY manicure, but who has time to wait for freshly painted nails to dry? A shortcut: Dip nails in a bowl of ice water when the polish feels tacky but not wet. The cold speeds drying by fusing the nail polish pigments together.

Related: Dazzle on a Dime: 12 French Tip Nail Designs That are Easy to Do at Home

10. Uses for ice cubes: Boost a fan’s cooling power

For extra ahh on hot days, place a bowl of ice in front of your fan and run the fan on low speed. The refreshing breeze and cool mist create an “air conditioner” effect that makes the room feel up to 10°F cooler. 

11. Thicken up low-fat vinaigrette

Uses for ice cubes: Fresh salad dressing with rosemary, garlic and lemon

When you tried lightening up your vinaigrette by using less oil than the recipe called for, the dressing turned out a bit thin. To add creaminess, pour all the dressing ingredients into a jar, add an ice cube and shake for 30 seconds, then spoon out the cube. The cold of the ice will thicken the oil and help emulsify the dressing, giving you a vinaigrette that’s rich and creamy yet still low in fat.

12. Remove wrinkles from delicate fabrics

You can’t wait to wear your favorite silk top, but you notice it’s full of wrinkles. Since the steam setting on your iron may be too hot for the fabric, try this: Wrap an ice cube in a soft cloth and run it over the fabric. The ice will add just enough moisture so you can set your iron on warm and generate enough steam to banish the creases without harming the silk.

“Just remember water can cause water marks on fabrics such as silk, so make sure not to get actual full droplets of water on your fabric,” warns Jett. “You can also throw a handful of ice in your dryer and run your clothes on the highest heat recommended for about 10 minutes to remove wrinkles as well! 

Related: How to Get Wrinkles Out of Clothes Without Ironing — and the Surprising Way Your Dryer Can Make Things Worse

13. Save a scorched coffeepot

uses for ice cubes: Glass coffee pot with fresh hot coffee -
Marie LaFauci/Getty

Oops! You forgot to turn off the coffee­maker this morning, and you came home to a singed mess. After the pot has cooled, fill it halfway with ice, add ¼ cup of salt and swish it around for 1 minute. The abrasive combination of ice and salt will dislodge the stains. 

“This is one of my favorite tricks I’ve done for years, says Jett. “The salt is the perfect abrasive for scrubbing in the tiny etches of the glass that are invisible to the eye, and the ice acts like little sponges pushing the abrasive where it needs to be.” Bonus: This trick works for tea stains as well!

Related: Expert Cleaners Reveal How To Get Coffee Stains Out of Any Surface (Really!)

14. Uses for ice cubes: Grill up healthy, juicy burgers

Yum! You love sinking your teeth into a delicious burger, but the lean beef and turkey you prefer to use for healthier patties can quickly dry out on the grill. To prevent this, mold each ball of ground meat around an ice cube. As the burger cooks, the ice slowly melts and bastes the meat from the inside, guaranteeing juicy burgers every time you fire up the grill.

Related: Lettuce-Wrapped Burgers Save You 25 Grams of Carb Better Spent On a Treat!

15. Uses for ice cubes: Prep skin for all-day glow

Trying to apply makeup to skin that’s even slightly sweaty (after a workout, say, or on a hot day) can cause it to cake up. The simple solution: Before applying, rub an ice cube on your face and pat dry. The ice will cool skin fast, so makeup goes on flawlessly and looks perfectly smooth all day long. Problem solved!

For more on this, watch the video below!

Related: What Is Skin Cycling? TikTok’s Easy Skincare Trend Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles

16. Uses for ice cubes: Get back on task in a blink

When the temperature outside is climbing, it can be hard to stay on task because the brain is focusing its energy on keeping organs cool. The solution: Hold an ice cube until your palms feel cold. Studies have shown that cooling the heat-transfer veins in your palms quickly normalizes your core temperature, reducing the risk of tiredness for up to 2 hours. This trick — one of the best uses for ice cubes we know — will leave you feeling more like your peppy self even on the hottest of days.

17. Deodorize a garbage disposal

uses for ice cubes: Stainless steal kitchen sink with water drops

Over time, food particles can get stuck on the blades of your garbage disposal and prevent it from properly grinding, resulting in an unpleasant odor. To the rescue: ice cubes! Simply drop a handful of ice cubes through the disposal once a week. The sharp ice will knock any residue off the blades to keep the appliance working (and smelling) like new.

“Clearing your disposal with ice is a brilliant idea!” says McDaniel. “In fact, I would probably try this at least two times a week to keep odors at bay.” 

For more brilliant life hacks, keep reading!

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