It's not uncommon for ice packs, ice bricks or gel ice packs to break open and leak blue liquid or gel everywhere. Sometimes it even gets on your skin.
If your ice pack broke open or is leaking you may be wondering whether or not it's dangerous and what you should do if it has spilled everywhere or spilled on your skin.
If your ice pack broke open don't stress, they aren't toxic or dangerous and can touch your skin without issue. Simply rinse your skin or clean it off the surface it spill on. Do not eat the liquid or gel and discard and food it has contaminated.
In this article we'll talk about what to do if your ice pack does break open and leak everywhere and also talk about what exactly is in these ice bricks so you don't have to worry about any dangerous chemicals.
Is An Ice Pack Dangerous If It Leaks Onto You?
I did a full article on whether or not the liquid in ice packs is toxic. In short the answer is no.
Unless consumed in large quantities most gel ice packs and ice bricks are made from non-toxic substances that don't pose any real health threat to people.
Ice packs are made predominately from water and also contain an ingredient to stop the water from freezing at 32°F (0°C).
This can be as simple as some natural salt or it could contain alcohol or other fairly harmless chemicals like propylene glycol.
The ingredients in ice packs and gel ice packs are considered non-toxic (unless otherwise states) and are generally non irritating to the skin and only mildly irritating to the eyes. However, it is advised to wash it off your skin quickly if you are exposed to it.
Ice packs and gel ice packs are made blue with simple non-toxic food coloring and this is primarily to distinguish it from consumables. The blue color tells you that “this is no meant to be swallowed”.
I don't recommend it, but most ice packs you could actually swallow some of the liquid or gel and it wouldn't cause any major issues to you.
What To Do If Your Ice Pack Broke Open
If your ice pack broke open and is leaking everywhere then you'll want to go ahead and throw it in the bin or leave it in the sink to drain before throwing it in the bin.
Ice packs are fairly cheap to replace and you can even make your own ice packs to replace the broken one.
I wouldn't personally advise keeping it and trying to fix it unless you absolutely must.
If Your Ice Pack Spilled Onto Your Skin
If the ice pack has spilled onto your skin you'll want to wash it or wipe it off as soon as you can. While it's non toxic it may cause mild irritation to your skin and honestly it just isn't worth the risk.
Rinse your exposed skin under running water and wash with soap to remove all the ice pack liquid from your skin.
If Your Ice Pack Spilled Onto Your Clothes
If it got on your clothes then you'll want to go ahead and wash them as soon as you're able. Scrap off any excess gel or liquid and put them through the wash on high heat (if the material can handle that).
The stain should come out fairly easily. You may need to soak your clothes first if you are having trouble with the stain.
If Your Ice Pack Spilled Onto Your Food
If you were using your ice pack for your lunch and it broke in your lunch box and spilled onto your food then I would personally recommend you DON'T eat the food it came in contact with or contaminated.
If your food is in a waterproof packaging (eg. Potato chips in a plastic bag) then rinse off the ice pack liquid before opening and eating the food.
I don't advise eating food that has been contaminated by the ice pack liquid, but if you absolutely have to your probably can without issue.
If You Swallowed Some Ice Pack Liquid or Gel
If you accidentally swallowed some ice pack liquid or gel again don't stress. Unless otherwise stated they are generally made with non-toxic ingredients and are diluted by water.
Don't go drinking large amounts of the liquid for fun, but if you accidentally get a few bits in your mouth then just wash your mouth of with water and you'll be fine.
The biggest risk is if the ice pack uses isopropyl alcohol in it. They aren't usually labelled so you won't know.
But this can lead to drunkenness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure and even worse if consumed in large enough quantities.
So if you're swallowed some ice pack gel or ice pack liquid then don't be alarmed, but monitor yourself and if you notice any strange symptoms then seek medical attention.
How To Clean Up a Broken Ice Pack
If your ice pack has spilled in an inconvenient location and stained the carpet, lounge or other piece of furniture then cleaning it up can be a little bit tricky.
Firstly, speed is of the essence. Do what you can to scrape it up or clean it off the surface as quickly as possible. It's much easier to clean up before it sets.
Sponge some dry cleaning solvent onto the area that is stained by the ice pack and then blot up the solvent. Continue to repeat this cleaning process unless no more the stain comes out.
For further cleaning you can use a spot cleaner following the instructions they give you.
A fan will help to dry the area faster if you wish to do multiple cleaning attempts to completely remove the stain.
Some people even recommend using bicarb soda and toothbrush and then letting it dry and vacuuming up the bicarb soda.
However you like to attack stains you do it your way. There are lots of ways to clean up the stains left by and ice brick that broke open.
In summary, if you ice brick or ice gel pack has broken open and gotten onto your skin, clothes or carper don't stress.
It's non toxic so a bit on your skin isn't going to kill you.
The blue coloring used cleans out of clothes pretty easily.
With some effort you can remove the stains from carpets or furniture without too much hassle.
I hope this has eased your mind and taught you what to do if you ice pack breaks open again next time.