Freezing water in trays takes some time and patience. Artificial ice cubes came into the picture to make the process much easier for you. Reusable ice cubes are frozen, popped into your drink once done, and cleaned afterward for reuse. Now you wonder, are reusable ice cubes safe?
What Reusable Ice Cubes are Made of?
Reusable or refreezable ice cubes can stay cool for about 30 minutes, and this can change depending on the ice cube material and the temperature of the beverage. The materials in making artificial ice cubes have different capabilities in retaining temperature and are different from the ice often used in snow events.
Silica gel is used because it retains the cold temperature of a drink longer than frozen water. Disposable ice cubes with silica gel are prone to being toxic especially when the gel leaks out. Although silica gel has a low toxicity level, it will be much better that you don’t risk ingesting it.
Plastic and Silicone
BPA-free plastic ice cubes are also available but they break down over time and even absorb odors from the drinks. Silicone and plastic ice cubes can chill your drink for about 15-20 minutes.
There are also some refreezable ice cubes made of soapstone that only work best for bourbon and whiskey. Soapstones are prone to cracking especially when exposed to high heat.
Lastly, there are stainless steel ice cubes that can chill your drink for about 30 minutes.
Best Material for Reusable Ice Cubes
The safest and best reusable ice cubes will be the ice cubes made of food-grade stainless steel. Metal ice cubes retain temperature even better than silica gel. Plastic ice cubes float while metal ice cubes don’t. with stainless steel ice cubes, your drinks can hold chill longer. Solid stainless steel ice cubes are the best reusable ice cubes for holding long chill temperatures, but they also need the longest time of freezing.
Stainless steel ice cubes give off a slightly tinny flavor, just like how you drink out of a can. This is much better than having a plastic material retain the flavor of the beverage you drank last. Altered flavor in beverages can also be a sign of high levels of bacteria often present in restaurant ice cubes. You’re better off buying bagged cubes from reputable ice suppliers than using artificial ice cubes.
Some reports have covered how restaurant ice is filled with bacteria and can be as unsafe as toilet water. The same goes for your freezer at your home. Ice machines should be cleaned every six weeks for commercial use and at least once a year for residential use. But the ugly truth is, this is rarely followed.
Are reusable ice cubes safe? With reusable ice cubes, you reduce health risks by cleaning the ice cubes instead of the ice machine. Ordering ice from an ice delivery company is also better than an ice machine. It is best to make your own ice cubes at home by using solid water that is zero-dissolved and highly-filtered. Springwater is safe but the flavor can be affected because of the minerals present.
Now you have the answer to your concern, are reusable ice cubes safe? When it comes to sanitation, artificial ice cubes are guaranteed to be of help once you use them properly. If you want to skip all the hassle of making your own ice, then you can have ice delivered to your home.