Like duct tape, zip top bags are among one of mankind’s greatest multipurpose inventions. We’re sure you use them in the kitchen, in your travel bags, or for storing crafting supplies. But you should know there are some really resourceful hacks out there that will leave you asking, “Why didn’t I think of that a long time ago?”

Listed below are six cool ways to turn these storage bags into healers, protectors, and machines. It may sound unlikely, but stick with us here. Crazy Russian Hacker gives us tips on how to make zip tops work for us in ways you may not have thought of.

  1. Ice Pack

    Image of homemade ice pack.Crazy Russian Hacker

    Make a cold pack for any part of your body that needs to be iced down. Using water, rubbing alcohol, and your handy sealable bag, you can have a therapeutic compress ready in no time!

    Instructions: Take 1 ½ cups of water and mix with ½ cup of rubbing alcohol inside the Ziploc bag. Lay the bag down gently to release any air pockets and then seal it completely. Give the bag a quick shake or two to mix it again and place it in the freezer. After a few hours, the contents of the bag should be slushy but able to conform to your body. If you want, you can add food coloring to mark it as a non-edible.

  2. Vacuum-Sealed Pouch

    You can vacuum seal your food without using a sealing machine with just a bowl of water. The Crazy Russian Hacker also shows a method with a straw, but it’s up to you if you want to suck raw bacon air out of a small plastic bag.

    Instructions (Bowl Method): Get a bowl of water wide enough to hold your zip bag of food. Dip the bag into the water with the opening of the bag above the water line. Be careful not to immerse the open end. Zip it shut. There should be no air trapped in the bag.

  3. DIY Zip Bag

    You can make your own version of a storage bag using an empty water bottle and a pair of scissors. When you open a package of sugar, rice, or beans, sometimes you might close it with a clip or twist tie. There’s another way you can seal it.

    Instructions: Cut the top off a water bottle, preserving about 2 inches of plastic below the cap. On your food package, you can clip off the entire top seam of the bag and then twist it into a stick shape. Thread the twisted portion through the bottle’s opening, with the curved part of the water bottle facing downwards. Open the twisted portion of the bag and screw the cap of the bottle onto its top.

  4. Cooler Pack

    Image of sponge inside of zip top storage bag.Crazy Russian Hacker

    To help create a freezer pack for your cooler that won’t turn into melted ice or a condensation zone, you can use a frozen sponge. Check it out!

    Instructions: Place a sponge inside of the Ziploc bag and add enough water to saturate it completely. Seal the bag and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, the sponge block acts as an ice pack, but it will capture any excess water that results from thawing.

  5. Device Protector

    To keep your touch screen devices like phones and tablets clear of water or debris hazards, wrap them in one of these bags. We realize that some of you may already have fancy waterproof phones, but this technique may still come in handy if you’re at the beach or in chef mode in your kitchen.

    Instructions: Place your device snugly in the bag, clear any excess air, and seal it closed. That’s all!

  6. Sorbet Maker

    This is probably one of the coolest ways to use these bags. You’ll need to double them up to create a makeshift sorbet/slush maker with ice and salt, but the result is pretty awesome.

    Instructions: In one bag, pour your favorite juice – chocolate milk would work great too! – into a small or medium-sized bag. Rub all the air pockets out and zip it shut. Place that bag inside of a larger zip top bag and fill it with ice. Just as with an ice cream maker, you will add salt to the ice, giving it the ability to get super freezable. Close the bag and shake it for at least 10 minutes. Remove the small bag from the larger one and wipe clean. Your liquid should have a slushy texture. Serve and enjoy!

    What do you think of these hacks? Will you try the zipper bag dessert? Tell us in the comments!