This time of year, ice becomes troublesome. Around here, it’s everywhere. Roads, roofs, sidewalks. A certain hatred develops. What’s it good for, really, besides keeping my drink cold? And who wants a cold drink when it’s 8 degrees outside, anyway? Do I even NEED ice cubes in my refrigerator's feezer for the next three months? Apparently so, if I’m to attempt any of these alternative uses for the frozen blocks.
Water Plants and Christmas Trees: Throw a few cubes on top of the dirt of a potted plant. The cubes will melt slowly, preventing overflow-age. Using ice cubes to water a Christmas tree will be easier than trying to get a watering can in there.
Fluff up Carpeting: Put an ice cube on carpet dents. After it melts, brush up the dent.
Put the Finishing Touch on Caulk: Instead of using your fingertip to finish your caulking job, try using an ice cube, to which the caulk won’t stick.
Wrinkle Remover: Wrinkly shirt? Wrap an ice cube in a soft cloth, rub it over the wrinkle and iron.
Icky Medicine Taste Masker: Forget the spoonful of sugar–who needs the calories? Instead, give the kidlets an ice cube right before their dosage. The cold will numb their taste buds, making them less useful.
Splinter Removal: Numb the splinter area with an ice cube before digging it out with a needle; it’ll make the whole process a bit less painful.
Blister Avoidance: Applying an ice cube to a burn can stop it from blistering.
Internal Air-conditioning for Fido (or Fluffy): Adding ice cubes to your animal-friend’s water bowl will surely cool them down, but only do this if the animal can tolerate the cold water. Around here, it would probably come right back up.
Disposal Laxative: Garbage disposal plugged up and feeling sluggish? Throw some ice cubes down the hole and grind them up. They’ll carry away the grease.
Low Tech Blender: To get your homemade salad dressing smooth, put your concoction into a plastic container; toss in an ice cube and seal. Shake, shake, shake. Remove the cube and voila, creamy dressing.
Curdler Preventer: Sauces made with egg yolks can curdle easily. As soon as you notice the clumps starting, drop in an ice cube to reverse the effects.
Fat Remover: Fill a metal ladle with ice cubes and skim its bottom over the top of stews, soups, etc. The excess fat in the dish will cling to the bottom of the ladle. (Too bad this doesn’t work on cellulite.)
Rice Steamer: Reheating rice in the microwave can make it crunchy and dry. To prevent this, place an ice cube on top of the rice before re-heating. The melting cube adds necessary moisture.
Gum Remover: (This one everybody knows, but an alternative list for ice cubes wouldn’t be complete without it.) Remove gum from clothing and hair by rubbing an ice cube on it. The gum will harden, making it easier to remove.
Painless Plucking: Make plucking–or manscaping–less painful by first rubbing an ice cube across your eyebrow line. The cold will act as a temporary anesthetic, making plucking a bit less painful. Rubbing the same cube over the plucked area after you’re done will also act as an anti-inflammatory, preventing redness.