Cooler Ice Blocks
Camping tip – Fill a gallon milk jug almost full with water and 1/4 cup regular table salt (leave space for the ice to expand). Freeze. Pack into your cooler and it acts as an ice block that won’t melt all over your food! The salt slows the melting of the ice.
Comment #1: I thought I put salt on my icy sidewalk to help the ice melt FASTER?
(Our Response: It’s an interesting chemistry. Melting point and freezing points are altered with salt, which means salt can serve both purposes (which is why it’s added to ice to make ice cream). Also, many salt products made to melt snow also contain deicers, not just salt. Read more about the interesting chemistry of salt/water/ice here: http://chemistry.about.com/b/2011/01/10/why-does-salt-melt-ice.htm )
Comment #2: don’t use milk jugs…the milk starts a reaction with the plastic that will cause them to slowly breakdown. This will happen no mater how well they are cleaned and you will end up with small holes in the jugs. use water jugs or soda bottles…anything but milk really.
(Our Response: Once they break down they can be recycled. This is not meant to be consumed. It takes awhile for them to start to break down. )
Comment #3: If you prepare some of these and keep them in your freezer, not only will you have them ready when you need them but it will also help keep your freezer cold and it won’t have to run as much, and in the event of a power outage, it helps your frozen items last a little longer.
Comment #4: The salt makes it colder…but if you freeze plain water, then you have a source of water in an emergency ….clean the jugs well first. We always keep them in the freezer as the level drops to conserve energy and help the freezer…they come in handy for many uses.
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The salt is not needed, since it doesn’t keep the ice cold for longer. It only changes the melting and freezing points.