How to Dispose of Freezer Gel Packs [A Quick Guide]

Do you have a lot of gel packs in your freezer that you don’t need? You may have built a collection without realizing it over time, or you’ve placed orders from several food kit services, and they’ve started to build up.

When it comes to how to dispose of freezer gel packs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, these packs contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous if not disposed of properly. Secondly, how you dispose of them will depend on where you live. This blog post will discuss how to dispose of freezer gel packs depending on your location.

Freezer Gel Packs
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Ways to Dispose of Freezer Gel Packs

Below are the steps to dispose of Gel Ice packs the right way!

1. Determine What Kind of Gel Ice Pack You Have

The first thing you should do is figure out the sort of gel ice pack you have and what kind of stuff it’s made of. The treatment procedure may vary depending on the substance inside. Ice packs come in a variety of forms and applications.

Water ice is a wonderful option for first-aid packs because it’s less bulky and toxic than actual ice, and you can easily toss them in the garbage since they don’t include any hazardous materials. There are also reusable ice packs available. Different types of these ice packs contain various ingredients. These ice packs might sometimes be made with water combined with a supplementary ingredient to help them keep their chilly temperature longer.

2. Get Rid of the Gel Inside the Gel Ice Pack

The next step is to remove the gel or other liquid from the gel ice pack. Although it’s not the most environmentally friendly method of disposing of gel ice packs, you may discard them all at once in a garbage bin. They’ll add to landfills’ already overflowing garbage bins.

If the ice pack is filled with only water, cut a corner of it and let the water run into the sink. Drain the liquid into your normal garbage bin if the ice pack contains anything other than plain water. Do not pour this liquid down your sink or drain since it can block your pipes and create further issues.

Pour the gel into a tray if you want to go even further toward being environmentally friendly. The gel will eventually dry and shrink in size as it dries. You may throw it away when it has entirely dried, just as you did before. This time, it will be simpler to handle because it takes up less room in your garbage bin and landfills.

3. Rinse the Plastic Cover of the Ice Pack

Now you must deal with the polyethylene cover of the gel ice pack. You may also toss the plastic in the garbage, but that isn’t always the most reliable option. After rinsing away any remaining gel or water from the plastic cover, wash it with water to remove any traces. Then dry the plastic surface using a towel. Finally, recycle it.

4. Recycle the Clean Plastic Cover of the Gel Ice Pack

The last step is to recycle the plastic cover of your gel ice pack. Recycling centers can handle this type of plastic more efficiently than general garbage bins. Locate a recycling center in your area that accepts this type of plastic and take it there.

Cover of the Gel Ice Pack
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Alternative Options

1. Dispose of in the Trash

Another option is to dispose of them in the trash. However, it’s important to do this properly to avoid any harm to the environment. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Take the gel packs out of any packaging, such as a plastic bag or box.
  • Cut open the gel pack and drain the contents into the trash. Make sure to do this over a sink or in an area where the gel won’t spill onto the floor.
  • Dispose of the empty gel pack in the trash. You can also recycle plastic packaging if it’s recyclable in your area.

2. Check with Local Regulations

Before disposing of your freezer gel packs, it’s important to check with your local regulations. Some areas may have specific rules or guidelines for disposing of gel packs. For example, some areas may require you to dispose of gel packs in a specific type of container or bag.

3. Donate Them

Numerous medical facilities and hospitals are constantly seeking new freezer gel packs to provide their patients with comfort. If you possess freezer gel packs that are still functional, it is advisable to donate them to a nearby medical center or hospital.

Moreover, you can also consider donating them to a local wildlife rescue center or animal shelter. These establishments frequently use freezer gel packs to keep their animals at ease and fresh while in transit or rehabilitation.

Is the Gel or Liquid Inside Gel Ice Packs Dangerous?

The gel or liquid inside gel ice packs can be dangerous if not disposed of properly. The substance is usually a non-toxic material, but it can still harm the environment.

How to Make Your Gel Ice Packs at Home?

If you want to be more environmentally friendly, you can make your gel ice packs at home. All you need is a little water and some time in the freezer!

What You’ll Need

  • A cup or container
  • Water
  • Freezer


Fill your cup or container with water and place it in the freezer overnight. In the morning, remove your frozen pack of ice and enjoy! You can add fruit juices, herbs, or flavors to your water before freezing it to create exciting and uniquely flavored ice cubes!

Is Gel In Ice Packs Harmful?

The answer is generally no, as most of the gel used in ice packs is made from non-toxic materials such as cellulose or polymer, which poses no harm to the environment. Nonetheless, it is important to be aware that certain gel ice packs may contain hazardous substances, such as ammonium nitrate.

To ensure the safe disposal of your ice packs, it is essential to verify the contents of the gel inside. If you are uncertain whether or not your ice pack contains any hazardous materials, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer to obtain further information.

What Else Can You Do Other Than Dispose of Gel Ice Packs?

Aside from disposing of gel ice packs, there are several other ways to repurpose them. You can upcycle gel ice packs into something new and useful, such as using them as a cooler to keep drinks or food cold on a picnic or camping trip. They can also be used to cool down electronics, such as laptops or gaming consoles, by placing them under the device to prevent overheating.

Instead of throwing them away, consider donating gel ice packs to a local hospital, medical center, animal shelter, or wildlife rescue center. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including providing comfort to patients and keeping animals cool during transport or in recovery.

By reusing or repurposing gel ice packs, you can help reduce waste and extend their useful life. So before you toss them in the trash, consider all the ways you can give them a second life.


Now you know how to dispose of your gel ice packs properly! Be sure to recycle the plastic cover and wash it before doing so. You can also make your gel ice packs at home with just a little water and some time in the freezer.

Please contact us if you have any questions about how to dispose of freezer gel packs. We would be happy to help! Thank you for reading!


Can I pour the gel down the drain?

You should not pour the gel down the drain as it can block your pipes.

Can I put the gel in the garbage can?

Yes, you can put the gel in the garbage can. However, you should double-bag it to prevent leaks. 

Can I recycle the gel packs?

Some recycling centers will accept gel packs. However, you should check with your local center to see if they do.

How long can I leave a gel pack in the freezer?

The freezer provides an ideal storage space for the gel pack during periods of non-use, and it can be kept in there for multiple months without any difficulties.

Are frozen gel packs bad for the environment?

Sodium polyacrylate, when frozen after being soaked in water, has a lower thawing rate than water. This property allows it to retain its coldness for an extended period, spanning several days. The material used to create freezer packs contains the same substances found in fossil fuels and does not undergo biodegradation.

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