How To Keep a Cooler Cold Without Ice?

How to keep the ice cooler cold without ice? The ice cooler is meant to keep the ice, food, and drinks cool, but do you know that you can even keep your items cool without keeping the ice.

The biggest challenge we all face is preventing ice from melting quickly when kept in a cooler.

But if you pre-chill your drinks and food, you’ll be able to keep your cooler cool without ice for a longer time. But what if you keep warm beer in an ice cooler?

I’ll provide you with some amazing hacks that help enhance the cooler’s cooling capacity without ice. So, let’s look at these beautiful hacks to keep your ice cooler without keeping the ice in the cooler.

How To Keep a Cooler Cold Without Ice?

Keep a ice cooler cold without ice

Here are some tips that help to keep your cooler cold for a longer duration…

1. Select the Right Cooler

The foremost thing to be taken into consideration is choosing the ideal cooler for the activity. Always choose the polyester foam and soft nylon-based portable ice coolers for short trips and picnics.

However, if you’re going on an overnight trip and camping, then choose the heavy-duty plastic-based cooler with double insulation and an extra foam-based cooler.

This will help you to keep things cool for a longer time. Avoid picking up the metal ice coolers as they absorb energy and heat, which may warm up the cooler and melt the ice quickly.

Also, try to pick up the cooler with a double insulated thick foam wall as it helps to retain cooling for longer.

2. Line-up the Inner Side with Aluminium Foil

The best hack to keep the cooler cool for longer without keeping ice is lining the aluminum foil inside the cooler. This helps reflect the energy, light, and heat, which quickly melt the ice.

However, if you don’t have aluminum foil, you can also use the thermal bubble wrap for better insulation.

The bubble wrap effectively reflects the hot air, light, and other things. Moreover, they also tend to reflect the UV rays.

So, placing bubble wrap on the inner wall of the cooler will help keep the ice cooler cool for a longer time.

3. Pre-Chill Your Cooler

Though its name is cooler, it doesn’t cool your drinks and food. Rather it only helps to maintain the things at the ideal temperature.

The cooler will only act as an insulator which doesn’t allow the cooling out of the box. This means if you keep cool things inside it, then it will still work the same and keep them cool for a longer time.

But if you want to enhance the cooling for a longer time, it is good to pre-chill your cooler with some rice or just with the help of a frozen water bottle.

This will help to lock the cooling for longer. Once you pre-chill your cooler, you can place the things, drinks, and other food items into the box.

Also, avoid keeping the warm items directly into the cooler, and it may drop the cooling effect and make your items warm quickly.

4. Use Dry Ice to Cool the Cooler 

Regular ice melts off quickly and doesn’t provide cooling for longer into the insulated cooler. So, instead of using the regular ice, you can use dry ice to cool your cooler.

Dry ice is solid CO2 and has a relatively lower temperature than regular ice.

So, if you want to keep the cooler cool for a longer time, it would be great to put some dry ice inside the cooler’s bottom.

The dry ice will help cool the things and box for a longer time. Another bonus point of using the dry ice is it turns into the gas form as it melts and leaves no unwanted water mess behind.

This is why many people also prefer to have dry ice instead of regular ice in a cooler when going on the tips. Keeping dry ice also keeps you away from the cleaning mess.

5. Pre-Chill Your Items Before Keeping in Cooler 

If you don’t have any expensive ice cooler and only have a regular one, it would be excellent to pre-chill the items you want to keep in the cooler.

Pre-chilling the items into the refrigerator will be helpful to retain the cooling effect for a longer time. When you keep the warm things inside the cooler, it creates heat, warming the entire cooler.

So, I always prefer to pre-chill the items into the refrigerator before keeping them in the cooler. Please keep the things in the refrigerator overnight and then place all the things into the cooler the next day.

In this way, you will be able to keep your ice cooler cool, and things cool without even keeping ice. The trick is helpful if you go on a short trip or picnic.

6. Place a Wet Towel on the Top of the Food and Drinks 

Space in the cooler can be the main reason for the low cooling effect. The cooling will escape out from these empty spaces.

The more air space between the coolers, the faster it loses the cooling. Therefore, wrapping your food and drinks with a wet towel can be helpful to reduce the air space.

This, in turn, helps to keep the cooler cool for a longer time without ice. The wet towel also helps to reduce the heat and reflect the heat. Also, it helps to keep things cool for longer.

7. Try Some Frozen Water Bottles or Ice Packs 

Don’t want to meet with the ice-melting mess in the cooler? Here is the simple hack, use the frozen water bottle and an ice pack to keep the things cool in the icebox.

The frozen water bottle or the ice pack is an excellent way because this is comparatively cheap and prevents the water spillage mess.

Also, if the ice melts, the water will remain in the pack, which you can also use later for drinking purposes.

The ice packs and frozen water bottle, in turn, help to keep your items cool inside the cooler even if you don’t put the regular dry ice into it.

8. Don’t Open the Lid Too Often

A lot of people have the habit of opening and closing the lid over and over again. But if you open the lid too often, the cooling will escape out from the cooler frequently.

Therefore, try to avoid frequent opening of the cooler lid. Also, make sure to keep it close and put a wet towel on it to retain the cooling for a longer time.

Do not leave the lid open for a longer time. As soon as you pick up your drink, close the lid. This will help to keep the cooler cool for a longer time.

It will be excellent if you cover the lid with aluminum foil as it helps avoid escaping the heat from the cooler.

9. Keep Cooler in Shades

If you are going for a picnic on a beach or in a high-temperature area, try to keep your cooler in shades. This will help to avoid the heating of the cooler.

However, if you keep the cooler under the sun’s direct heat, your cooler becomes warm, and you cannot enjoy the cool drinks for longer.

Also, digging the hole on the beach and partially burying the cooler under the ground will be helpful to keep your cooler cool without ice.

In addition to this, you can cover the buried cooler with a wet towel to keep them cool for a longer time.

Final Thoughts

Ice cooler, though, is made to keep your food and items cool when going for a picnic. Though they are made with well insulated foam to retain the cooling, somehow, cooling can still escape from the cooler. Thus, it would help if you followed the above practices to keep your ice cooler longer without putting extra ice into the cooler.