Whether you’re spending the day by the beach or planning to camp there for the weekend, even if you are having a barbeque in your garden, having a couple of iceboxes is important if you want to keep your drinks cold and your fruits and cheese fresh.
Iceboxes differ from one another and while some of them look very stylish, they are not as good at doing their job.
Even when they are of good quality, at some point they will eventually warm up and that’s when it’s good to know how to keep your icebox cold for longer.
1. Blocks Of Ice
Many people think that bunging a couple of bags of ice into an ice box is all they need to keep it cold for at least a week. However, this is far from true.
Especially when the weather is warmer, a bag of ice can keep the inside of your ice box cold for a day, if not less.
Ice bags or crushed ice can only cool your beverages and fruits, but that’s pretty much it.
Once the ice melts and turns into water that’s all warmed up, it can no longer work as an ice box cooling “tool.”
So, if you want to keep your icebox cold for longer, ice blocks are the solution to your problem.
They might be more difficult to find as they are not sold in all convenience stores, but the good thing about them is that they are easy to make on your own.
Ice blocks are exactly what they sound like, and because they are significantly bigger than regular ice cubes, they melt at a slower pace and thus last longer.
To be more specific, the ratio between its volume and surface area is bigger than that of ice cubes or crushed ice.
And since crushed ice has a lot of space and air, it offers even less coolness as the amount of solid ice there is minimal.
Tip – In case you cannot find some store-bought ice blocks, keep some large ice cream containers and fill them up with water.
Put them in the freezer, and you’ll get your DIY ice blocks. Keep in mind that water expands when it freezes, so do not fill the containers.
2. Frozen Water Bottles
You will probably need lots of water when you go camping, so why not freeze those bottles and put them in the ice box to keep them cool for longer?
This way, you will get a result that is very similar to blocks of ice, but more practically as you can drink the ice (i.e. water) once it melts in the bottle.
This smart method also helps save up more space in the ice box for other stuff, too.
Now that your bottles of water work as ice blocks, you don’t need those extra huge blocks that will take up extra space.
Add another pack of beers freely to enjoy them cold when the sun sets by the beach!
3. A Damp Towel
If you asked experienced campers how they keep their ice box cool for longer, they will mention the towel trick. What is that, you ask?
The towel trick is pretty simple: to minimize the air volume that the ice blocks are cooling inside the ice box, you throw a damp towel on them.
While it might sound like a useless thing to do to some, let us tell you that it works in pretty much the same way filling your icebox with cold things and ice would.
Having an ice box full of stuff helps in reducing the air inside, which in turn makes the cold from the ice last longer.
If you are still not convinced, just try it once and we bet you will change your mind the next day!
4. Frozen Salt Water
For those who love physics, you might understand what we mean just by reading this heading.
For the rest of you, let us explain what the purpose of adding some salt to your water is.
When you add salt to the water before you freeze it what you do is lower the freezing point of the water.
The basic idea is that adding salt to the water before freezing lowers the freezing point/temperature of the water.
And in case you didn’t know, you need the ice to melt as it is this process that cools the inside of your ice box.
So, while plain water melts at 0°C, water with added salt that’s been frozen has a much lower melting point and also helps with lowering the temperature of everything that is inside the ice box.
This practically suggests that even though the salted ice might start melting sooner, it will get warm later than plain water will, and will, therefore, keep the ice box content cold for longer.
5. Melted Ice Water
Many people grew up thinking that once the ice starts melting in the ice box, you need to throw it away as it will make the rest of the ice melt faster.
Well, we’re here to tell you that while this is true, draining the ice box from the melted ice is not the wisest choice.
Even though the ice has melted, the water is still cold and perfectly capable of keeping the icebox cold.
In addition, the melted ice water helps keep the air out, so only get rid of the water when it’s no longer cold and all the ice has melted.
The Bottom Line
If you want your icebox to stay cool for longer, these are the best ways to do it.
However, it is also very important that you buy a good-quality ice box, especially if you are going to use it for camping trips where you will need to keep its contents cool for longer than a day.