Of course, those little gel ice packs couldn't possibly last forever and so I had to throw them out after some years had passed (yes, I held on to them as long as I could!). I used them to soothe my children's bumps and bruises, cool down their feverish foreheads, and well... pad plastic containers to keep certain food items cool. Anyhow, I got an email from Techni Ice some time ago asking if I would be willing to review their product. Knowing how useful these things are, I said yes. So I got a couple of sheets in the mail.
Opening a pack reveals a flat plastic sheet that can be divided into 24 individual squares. There's also an instruction pamphlet included.
See how thin the sheet is right after removing from the package? I was expecting some gel packs which I could immediately pop into the fridge. Turns out it's not so simple. It's not difficult but using Techni Ice does require a bit of preparation.
Step 1: After taking out the sheet from the packing, fill up a basin (or your sink, like I did) with water. Scrunch the sheet in your hands and fully immerse it in water.
Step 2: Massage each cell (or square) until it is swollen. Don't make it too plump though because you will need extra room for expansion when you freeze it.
Check out how inflated the plastic sheet has become after immersing in water and massaging.
All the squares are now plumped up.
Step 3: Pop the whole thing in your freezer. Let it stay there for 12 hours. You have to lay it flat because folding it up may cause Techni Ice's surfaces to stick to each other.
This is well more than 12 hours later since I did the plumping at night and I had to work during the day. The sheet is frozen solid. I'm thinking I might have overdone it. XD
Yup, definitely frozen solid. I can't squeeze what used to be gel between my fingers even if I wanted to.
I decided to put Techni Ice's cooling power to the test by getting an unrefrigerated can of Pokka Milk Coffee right out of the box.
I wrapped the Techni Ice sheet all around the coffee can. Then I set it aside in the bathroom. I forgot it was there until something like 2 hours later. O_o
Ah but even so, it was cold! I think it would have been colder had I remembered to take it out after an hour instead of two. The Techni Ice was no longer cold after I left it exposed in the bathroom for 2 hours. However, if you put the Techni Ice inside an insulated container or cooler, it would stay ice cold for much longer.
In order to use as a hot pack, instead of popping it into the freezer, microwave the sheets for 2-3 minutes instead. You can even use this as a bottle warmer if you have a baby in the house. Just wrap the hot Techni Ice sheet around the bottle. You can also cut the Techni Ice sheets into your desired size since they're segmented into squares.
What I like about Techni Ice:
- It's versatile. I can use it as either a hot or cold pack.
- I can customize it by cutting into my desired size.
- It's relatively easy to bring along because you just wipe it down and fold it up after use -- although it never becomes as flat as it originally was inside the packaging.
- It's reusable, washable, safe, and non-toxic.
- It's lighter and less messy than regular ice or dry ice.
- It's reasonably priced at P250 per sheet.
Downside? It's not readily available in stores yet because the distributor is still looking for dealers. In the meantime, you can log on to http://techniicephilippines.blogspot.com for orders and inquiries. :)