Are you tired of spending money on premade ice from the grocery store? You’re not alone – plenty of people find themselves spending money on something that should be free: ice cubes.
Portable ice makers are a great way to not only give you ice when you need it but also where you need it, directly in your home. Learning how to use portable ice maker appliances is simple, which only adds to their convenience.
A guide on how to find and how to use portable ice maker appliances
Designed to fit into relatively any space in your home with ease, a portable ice maker gives you access to on-demand ice whenever you need it. This guide will help you to learn what to look for in an ice maker and how to maintain it, so you always have the perfect amount of ice for every event.
How to Find a Portable Ice Maker
As with any small appliance you would have in your home, you’ll need to make sure it offers enough features for you to use to your advantage. For example, some households might need a unit with a small body so it can be stored in a cabinet when it’s not being used.
Other homes might be looking for designs that offer a large ice reservoir so you seemingly never run out of refreshing cubes.
Some of the most important things to look for when you start shopping around include:
Capacity and Size
What you’ll find with most portable ice makers is that they’re relatively small in size, and for a good reason. Imagine trying to fit a large appliance into a small nook on the counter beside your fridge and other small appliances; it would be impossible.
Depending on the model you choose, its overall dimensions will differ from other portable ice makers; some are far smaller than others and vice versa.
When you’re shopping based on size, it’s best to think about your uses, for example, if you’re going to bring it in an RV on a camping trip you’ll surely want a smaller unit.
Whereas if you need one for your kitchen and entertainment purposes, you can opt for a slightly larger portable ice maker.
In terms of capacity, ensure you select a unit that will be able to hold as much ice as you might need but also remember that portable ice makers aren’t designed to keep ice frozen for long periods.
Speed of Ice Production
If there’s one interesting part of learning how to use portable ice maker models, it’s figuring out how quickly they can produce enough ice cubes to keep the unit full. Ideally, it’s best for you to find a unit that can make a full container of ice in less than 20 minutes.
There are some models on the market that automatically start a new ice cycle in under 10 minutes and others may take a little longer, it all depends on how often you’ll be dipping into the machine.
You’ll also need to find a unit that produces the perfect amount of ice within a reasonable time frame, so you don’t have to consistently refill the unit with water. It’s best if the ice production increments allow the unit to go through an entire reservoir of water within an hour.
At the end of the day, your portable ice maker is most likely going to be stored in an open area where people can easily get the frozen cubes for their drinks, and it’s important the unit flows with the rest of your home. For example, you might not want a baby blue portable ice machine in a kitchen filled with white appliances.
The majority of manufacturers understand that their consumers are likely to put their ice machines in their kitchens and as such, offer colors that are easily adaptable to any décor scheme. You’re likely to find black, stainless steel, white, and red ice machines.
Above all else, make sure your potential portable ice maker offers user-friendly features that everyone in your house can use. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to read through an entire instruction manual every time you want to figure out how to refill the water reservoir, change the size of the ice cubes, or even change the temperature settings of the unit.
Your best bet is to find a design that has a touch-based LCD screen or buttons on the front of the unit that clearly indicates what functions they support. That way, you’ll get the hang of making a new batch of ice right away.
How to Use Portable Ice Maker Models: Maintenance and Cleaning
As another part of learning how to use portable ice maker designs, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the maintenance and cleaning involved with each unit.
Although we’d all like to assume that with all of the advanced technology in portable appliances, they can clean themselves, this is surely not the case.
Especially when you’re dealing with water, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning. Otherwise, your machine might fall victim to bacteria, mold, and mildew buildup over the years. A few simple tips that you can use to make sure your ice maker is clean and safe to use include:
Tip One: The First Clean
The first thing you need to do when you unbox your ice maker is taking the time to thoroughly clean the unit. Think about it. It was built in an assembly factory and then packaged alongside cardboard and Styrofoam.
The last thing you’d want is to have any harmful chemicals or materials floating around in the water reservoir once it’s filled.
All you need is a soft cloth, a bowl of warm water, and mild dish soap when you gently clean the water reservoir and ice basket. It is important to make sure all of the excess soap is removed before you add water in for the first time.
Tip Two: Create a Throwaway Batch of Ice
Sure, it’s easy to clean the parts of the ice maker that you can see, but what about all of the inner components? Every portable ice maker should go through a throwaway batch of ice cycle, meaning you fill the reservoir to the top and ensure that ice is made and immediately thrown out until it’s time for the unit to be refilled again.
This helps to remove any impurities that might be hidden in the piping or on the heat exchanger prongs.
Tip Three: Clean and Maintain Every Month
For optimal performance, use all of the materials from “Tip One” to thoroughly sanitize the ice machine at least once a month. This is one of the most important parts of learning how to use portable ice maker models as it helps to get rid of any harmful elements that could be hiding in your machine with regular use.
If you find that your ice maker is prone to algae and mildew more often than once a month, you can clean the unit every two weeks.
Learning how to use your ice maker is easier than you think, especially when you take the time to shop around and buy the ideal unit for your home, office, or RV. All you need to do is know what to look for, know how to clean it, and how to maintain the device for the best tasting ice possible.