It’s been one hot summer! If you’re anything like us, you’ll be putting everything on ice, whether it be a whiskey sour or a washcloth.
You probably don’t need anyone telling you how to make ice. I mean, it doesn’t get much simpler than filling the tray with water and placing it in the freezer for a few hours.
But if your ice isn’t coming out clear you could be missing out on becoming the best version of yourself — a version who’s ice is a clear as their awesomeness.
Seriously though, clear ice is superior for a number of reasons you will learn below.
Keep reading for all the tips and tricks on how to make clear ice cubes.
Why Clear Cubes?
Your probably wondering, “Hey Discount Filters, what’s the big deal with clear ice anyway?” Well, you’re in luck. Because that’s what we are going to illustrate here!
Clear Ice Cubes vs Cloudy Cubes
Here’s a snapshot of these two types of ice:
- Clear ice lasts longer, melts more slowly
- Cloudy ice melts faster
- Clear ice tastes better
- Cloudy ice sometimes has a flavor due to it being less pure
- Clear ice is purified
- Cloudy ice has impurities trapped in it
- Clear ice has a restaurant quality look and feel
- Cloudy ice does not
Clear ice cubes are better in a lot of ways that stem from the high level of purity that consumers get when they use clear ice.
You can’t usually achieve clear ice just by buying filtered water at the store. You have to use certain techniques at home to make sure water is ultra-pure.
What Makes Cubes Cloudy
As mentioned above, cloudy ice is cloudy for a reason. It’s because it has impurities trapped inside the ice. There are two types of common impurities found in ice:
- Minerals; and
- Particulate matter from the air
Ensuring water is very pure before it is frozen is essential for getting clear ice.
Found in Your Ice
There are a number of minerals and naturally occurring trace elements that could be hiding in your cloudy cubes. These include:
- Calcium (mineral)
- Magnesium (mineral)
- Potassium (mineral)
- Sodium (mineral)
- Phosphorous (mineral)
- Copper (trace element)
- Chromium (trace element)
- Iron (trace element)
- Zinc (trace element); and more
While the above elements and minerals are good in healthy amounts and contribute to a number of good things like bone strength and cellular growth, there are also toxins found in tap water:
- DDT; and more
There’s a health benefit to getting your water as pure as possible. But water treated with chemicals to make it safer to drink, like tap water, means purifying chemicals contribute to the cloudiness.
Reducing water to it’s purest form won’t necessarily prevent exposure to minerals or toxins but can help you from putting some of the bad stuff into your body.
Restaurant Quality Experience
Having clear ice cubes for drinks gives you a restaurant quality experience.
It lends itself to a number of summer activities like hosting a BBQ for friends or enjoying a quiet drink alone on your back porch, listening to the sounds of nature.
Regardless of what you choose to do with your ice, there’s something so spontaneously summer about invoking the ambiance of a restaurant at home.
When it comes to making ice cubes, let’s get one thing clear. Cloudy cubes just won’t do.
Water Preparation Instructions
Now that you know why clear ice is important to your summer fun, let’s tackle how to make it.
The secret is in the water, so before we get into methods of freezing ice, let’s look at some simple things you can do to treat your water at home:
- Step 1: Use distilled water
- Step 2: Boil water to allow excess air to escape the water
- Step 3: After boiling, cover water and let it cool
- Step 4: Boil again and cool before freezing
So, that’s it, right? End of story?
No, not by a long shot. This is just the start of your clear ice adventure. So strap in and getting ready to select the best method to freeze your water.
Methods: How to Make Clear Ice
You now understand why clear ice cubes are better – check. And you’ve prepped your water – check.
The obvious next step is to freeze it. But before you start pouring it into the ice tray and placing it into the freezer, you’ve got to decide on the best way to freeze your ice.
Usually, that’s done by directional freezing.
Directional freezing is a method that keeps a cloudy center from forming in your otherwise clear cube.
It’s impossible to remove all of the debris that would cause an ice cube to be cloudy. As such, otherwise purified ice cubes end up with a pool of debris in the middle causing a cloudy center.
By strategically selecting your ice tray, you can ensure all of the debris is pushed out from one direction to the other. Hence the name, directional freezing, which offers the chance at your clearest cube.
Here are a few options, below:
1. Use a Cooler
Clear a space in your freezer to hold a personal-sized cooler. Preferably, choose a cooler that has stiff, rigid plastic top and sides.
It needs to be able to sit, open, in the freezer, unattended.
After you’ve selected the cooler and cleared some space, fill the cooler to the halfway point and place it in the freezer with no top on.
When you use this method, harvest the ice block before it has completely frozen.
As described above, the particles in the center will be the last part to freeze, so by pulling the ice out before the cloud-makers have a chance to freeze inside of it you can carefully remove the clear ice block and dump impurities.
2. Use Batches
If you don’t have enough room in your freezer for a cooler of any type, you can use a silicone ice tray and baking dish as a nifty hack.
Using a needle, poke holes into your silicone ice tray and place in the center of a baking dish that’s just a little bit larger.
Try to leave about an inch between the silicone tray and the bottom of the pan. Then fill the whole contraption with water.
Using the same method as above, harvest cubes before they’ve fully set. The clear cubes will pop out of the silicone tray and the excess water will rush out of the bottom of the cube, into the pan.
3. Get Salty
Using a similar method to above, take a cooking dish and put an inch or two of water in it. Add two tablespoons of salt to the water, and put the pan in the freezer.
Check on the water after an hour. Once the water is very cold, remove the pan from the freezer and set it aside.
Now, fill your silicone ice tray with prepared water, but this time don’t poke holes in it. Place the ice tray inside the baking dish — it should float.
Stick the whole thing back into the freezer to freeze into clear ice cubes.
The science here is that the salt water will cause the cubes to freeze very slowly from the bottom up, forcing impurities out the top.
4. Give Up and Go Reverse Osmosis
If you’ve given up on directional methods of freezing ice, your next best bet for the clearest cubes money can buy is to get your hands on a reverse osmosis purification system.
RO systems are widely considered top of the line purification systems for removing dirt and debris and giving you the cleanest water possible.
If you use an RO system, you can try simply just freezing your water. However, there’s no guarantee that a fully set cube won’t have a small bit of cloudiness to it.
7. Filtered Water is Key
Filtered water is the key to success when it comes to making your cubes as clean as possible.
There are a number of types of filters and purifications systems that families can invest in for the home. Most of them require filters and filter maintenance.
For more information on water purification filters click here.
The Answer is Clear as a Summer Day
Of course, you want to know how to make clear ice! Because clear ice cubes are awesome, and so are you.
Don’t waste another day of summer on cloudy cubes, start prepping your water and practicing the above directional freezing methods for better ice today and take your heat wave game to the next level.
This summer is sure to be record-hot, but you’ve got it covered.
You clear ice cube stunner, you!
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