Doesn’t that picture above make you think of the hottest summer day, and the incredible relief of sipping on iced water with your favorite infusion?
Having fresh filtered-water ice on hand is a great comfort. For a family on the go, filling their portable water bottles for the shopping trips, going to the gym, for a day at the office, a hike, bicycle trip et al is a health necessity, not just a convenience.
Making ice and filtering water at home means you can avoid plastic pollution, and enjoy the benefits of good clean water (and ice).
The way summers have been getting hotter in many places has increased the popularity of these counter top ice makers that easily fit in a kitchen.
Why Are Portable Countertop Ice Makers Popular?
- They are portable for your use in camping, RV trips, and yard parties
- They don’t need any special electrical wiring – just plug in!
- They come in a variety of colors and finishes – whatever suits your kitchen
- They can be easily stored if you want them off the counter when not in use
- You select the quality of water you want, unlike purchased bags of ice
Note: these handy units are not little freezers. They are for making ice, exclusively. Empty the ice cubes and store in your freezer.
Do portable ice makers use a lot of electricity?
These are not labeled as Energy Star machines. Yet in most households the energy bill will not see a raise in cost.
If you plug in the machine only when you need it, you will be using it in a sensible way.
How many watts does a portable ice maker use?
There is a formula about this at Wired Magazine. It is presented with some humor, graphs and numbers. If you don’t want that much information, look at it this way.
How much ice will you want for any given event, and how fast do you want it? More ice, and the faster you want it, will determine what the wattage of the ice-making event comes to.
This author found that his countertop ice maker used 88 Watts to do nothing. That’s why you unplug machines that aren’t used on a regular basis.
Do portable ice makers need a water line?
Counter top ice makers do not. You can fill the machine from a jug of water – preferably already chilled.
The advantage of this is, is you can use filtered water from your home system. Note:
- Hard water affects the longevity of your machine
- Distilled water also interferes with the machine’s best functioning
Using your drinking water, however filtered as you prefer it, is the best way to use your ice maker. That is also the way you get the best taste. Have you ever sipped water in a restaurant and tasted that caustic flavor of chlorine?
Why do they do that? 😯
You don’t want that at home in your iced tea, coffee, fruit drinks, beer or white wine, do you?
Also, to preserve good taste in your ice, drain the water from the machine when you have finished using it. The next time you need ice, pour in fresh water.
Can ice machines make you sick?
This is not a notable problem with ice makers. It is about the same level of threat as becoming ill from your coffee maker.
Cleaned periodically, your ice maker will not make you sick.
Your brand’s manual should tell you what the recommended cleaning steps are.
If you don’t have a manual, you can probably download one from the internet. Failing that, the process is much like cleaning out your coffee maker.
- Unplug and empty your ice maker
- Remove all interior parts and wash them
- Wipe interior dry
- Put the inner components back
- Run a few batches of ice with half white vinegar and half water
- Discard those ice cubes
- Wait for the machine to dry before using
- Enjoy fresh clean tasting ice next time!
Vinegar kills mold and bacteria. It is a useful cleanser because soap leaves film, smell and taste. Vinegar will also remove some scale that you get from water. Hard water will leave a mineral buildup in any appliance and if not cleaned frequently, a machine will wear out faster than one that is well kept.
Read the manual for your ice maker before plugging it in. There may be a requirement for the machine to sit for a period of time before use (including being plugged in).
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When you buy your ice maker be sure to read the manual. It will probably instruct you to let the unit sit for some hours before plugging it in.
GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Here is a quick video to acquaint you with some details:
This ice maker is an Amazon Choice item.
- It measures at 15.5 x 10.5 x 17.2 inches
- This unit works best with a three inch clearance for ventilation, on sides and back
- The Opal produces 24 lbs of ice per day, and the bin holds 3 lbs at a time
- It is bluetooth equipped, so you can set up your ice making schedule from the convenience of your phone using the free FirstBuild app.
- It has a sensor for when the bin is full of ice, so it won’t overfill
- It comes with a limited 1-year parts and labor warranty
- You may also select the offer of a Five Year Protection Plan for $94.04
- Recommended use is with potable water only, 12 gpg (205 ppm) or less mineral hardness
- Best results in temperatures from 55°F – 90°F
- The pebble ice is described as “that Sonic feel“, extremely popular
Over 2000 reviews give this product a 4.1 Star Rating. I’m puzzled why the poorest reviews show first. But that is the mysterious way of reviews on Amazon.
I don’t think they should be last, no, but readers have to click to another page to the rest of the 2000+ commentaries about this product.
Please always contact the customer service immediately when you have a problem with any Amazon product. Most vendors will bend over backwards to remedy a negative situation.
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker with Ice Machine Cleaner by Impresa – Countertop Ice Making Machine with Plastic Scoop 1.5 lb Ice Basket Storage and 2 Bottle Nickel Safe Liquid Descaler (16 Month Supply)
Your supply of the descaler will come in a separate package. Use as directed for clean tasting ice.
Plastic scoop and ice basket ate BPA Free.
Reviewers appreciate the handy use of this unit for camping and travel.
It is noted for being quiet – wonderful for an RV especially
It has a slim, sleek design, only nine inches wide.
Kismile Stainless Steel Ice Maker Machine for Countertop – Makes 100Lbs of Ice Per 24Hours – Ice Cubes Ready in 20 Mins, Ideal Ice Maker for Party Gathering/Restaurant/Bar/Coffee Shop with Ice Shovel
This machine can produce 48 clear ice cubes for one cycle in just 12 to 18 minutes—and up to 100 lbs of ice in 24 hours
It features an automatic cleaning function – just press the button!
You can select time of ice making and thickness of the ice cubes (three ice sizes).
It has a rust resistant stainless steel interior.
Suitable for commercial or large family use – great for entertaining!
This machine is a wonderful addition to your back yard patio parties or other recreational gatherings.
Air Choice Ice Maker – Countertop Ice Maker Machine, 9 Ice Cubes Ready in Avg. 8 Min with 2 Size (S/L), 26 lbs Ice in 24 hrs, Ice Making Machine with Auto Cycle & Shut Off
This portable ice maker is described as a super quiet work horse.
The ice basket is removable – just empty the ice cubes into your freezer bin.
Select from two sizes of ice bullets – one of them is perfect for water bottles.
Led display makes running the unit easy.
No more filling ice trays all day in the summer months, and waiting hours for your cubes!
Some users have one in their small office and the employees love it.
This is a must for your home bar. Always have ice, for every occasion.
AGLUCKY Countertop Ice Maker Machine,Portable Automatic Ice Maker, Ice Cubes Ready in 6 Mins,1.5lbs Ice Storage,26lbs/24h,with Ice Scoop,Basket,See-through Lid, Lcd Display,Self-clean Function,Black
This efficient ice maker can come up with 48 pounds of cubes in 24 hours.
This low noise unit will make three sizes of cubes.
One popular function is the Self Cleaning ability.
Has a One Year warranty.
Like all current ice makers, this unit will recycle water – no waste, ever.
Tavata Countertop Portable Ice Maker Machine, 9 Ice Cubes Ready in 6 Mins, Makes 33 lbs of Ice per 24 Hours, Stainless Steel Ice Maker with Ice Scoop and Basket
This unit features a light display and a shut off function which are activated when the ice basket is filled or when the water receptacle is empty.
It weighs a mere 25.3 pounds, easy to take with you to the yard, camping, on RV trips and all those good things.
It holds about 3 liters of water. One happy reviewer explained that the unit made 10 pounds of ice (their chosen storage) in 10 hours. Perfect for family and entertainment use!
Real stainless steel body cover, not a look-a-like material.
Antarctic Star Ice Maker Machine Countertop,Portable Automatic 9 Ice Cubes Ready in 8 Minutes,Makes 48 lbs of Ice per 24 Hours,Self-clean,See-through Lid
This machine has the capacity to make up to 48 pounds of ice a day.
Display functions alert you when you need to add water, or empty the ice basket.
When you press On, you will see how many minutes it will take to make ice.
Easy drain port is on the side.
An alarm will signal you when the ice container is full, or if you need to add water.
Reviewers have a good experience with this machine. It has been used for both home and office supplies of ice.
It needs cleaning about every six months. Instructions are in the manual.
Northair 2 in 1 Ice Maker With Water Dispenser, 40lbs Daily-Ice Cubes ready in 8 Minutes, Portable Water Cooler Counter Top Ice Making Machine with Ice Scoop, Stainless Steel Finish
This combination water cooler-ice maker might be just what you want for your home. It dispenses water for icy cold refreshment.
You can choose from using a 5 gallon or 3 gallon water bottle (with same neck size).
Choose from three sizes of ice cubes.
One reviewer says the ice tray should be removed cautiously as it will be full up and ice cubes may spill.
IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop, Ice Cubes Ready in 6 Mins, Make 26 lbs Ice in 24 Hrs with LED Display Perfect for Parties Mixed Drinks, Electric Ice Maker 2L with Ice Scoop and Basket
This number 1 Bestseller in ice makers has over 900 positive reviews. At an affordable price, it is smaller (and lighter!) than many portable ice makers, and extremely popular.
IKICH offers a 2-year warranty and a 45-day return policy for this safe and portable ice maker machine.
Ice is produced in 6 minutes! This, of course, could vary if your room temperature water is too warm, in the middle of summer.
Make up to 26 lbs./12 kg of ice in 24 hrs. with its 2-liter/68 oz. water reservoir.
Many users choose distilled water for all their machines at home, but filtered waters are safe for ice makers. Hard water is the one to avoid.
Igloo ICEB26HNWHN Automatic Self-Cleaning Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker Machine With Handle, 26 Pounds in 24 Hours, 9 Ice Cubes Ready in 7 minutes, With Ice Scoop and Basket
- Carry handle
- Self cleaning – you always have great tasting ice
- Choose from four colors
- This unit is only 19 pounds
Below is a contributed article about some pertinent details about countertop ice makers.
An Overview of Portable Ice Machines You Need to Know by Jacaranda Flagg
“The development of these type of ice machines has enabled individuals to enjoy the cool freshness provided by an abundant ice supply anytime and anywhere. At present, you see these ice machines practically everywhere. Fishermen bring along portable ice machines during fishing trips to keep their catch fresh. Families enjoying a picnic or simply camping out can bring along a portable ice maker. These ice machines have also become a convenient fixture at garden and outdoor parties.
But just what are portable ice makers? These are compact, self-contained freezing units that can produce ice. Because of their small size, they can sit on your countertop or you can bring them along on trips. All you need to do is to plug it into an electric outlet and your machine will be producing ice in no time. If no power outlet is on hand, a separate attachment will allow you to plug the ice maker in an alternate power source, such as a car battery.
How does it work? There are two types of portable ice machine mechanisms. The most common type utilizes metal rods that freeze the water around it, transforming it into ice. Once the ice is formed, the rod heats up, allowing the ice to melt partially so that it falls into the storage bin. The other type of ice maker uses molds. Water pours into these molds and is frozen into ice cubes. They are then ejected into collection bin. All ice machines can be connected to a water line. But you also have the option of simply filling the receptacle with water using a pitcher or container.
Other features of an ice maker include a thermostat which will allow you to create ice cubes of different sizes. Some come with chopping blades so that you can create nugget ice. It is important to mention that these particular ice maker can be very noisy. Ice makers also have a side panel that will allow you drain out excess water easily.
An average sized-machine can produce 12 to 15 ice cubes every 6 to 8 minutes, with an average daily yield of 30 pounds. These kinds of machines come in stylish finishes, including white, black, bisque stainless steel or titanium. For the more trendy homemakers, you even have portable ice maker in red, pink and other neon colors. The most popular finish among consumers is stainless steel. However, you need to be careful of the exterior because it is vulnerable to scratches.
On average, portable ice machines have a price tag of between $130 and $150, but if you are planning to purchase a higher end brand, the price may go as high as $1500. All portable ice maker come with a warranty. But you might want to consider getting a separate water filter for your machine in order to avail of a free extended warranty.
Learn more useful information about them today!
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