portable ice maker reviews
How Tos | Ice Makers

What the Best Water to Use in a Portable Ice Maker?

What the Best Water to Use in a Portable Ice Maker? I am hoping that you know what a portable ice maker is but if you do not then, below is a brief introduction given about it.

The best portable ice maker available in the markets is an electronic appliance that is usually preferred to be kept over kitchen countertops by its users. It is used to make ice quickly and is the best thing to have if you are throwing a party at your place on one fine summer night. You would be able to make ice very easily for your favorite beverages. 

The difference between your refrigerator’s freezer and this device is that in the former one, you are required to fill the best ice cube tray that you have with water and wait for it to take the form of solid ice cubes whereas, as far as a portable ice maker is concerned, it just requires you to fill the reservoir of the unit with water directly and within a few minutes the water takes the form of ice. So, a portable ice maker is a quicker method of making ice than freezer. Also, the appliance does not require any water line because it is portable which means you can take it with you anywhere and almost everywhere you want. Be it a camping night or a tractor trailer this appliance works well everywhere. However, there are a few disadvantages of this appliance and that are as follows:

  • It needs a power socket to be plugged-in as it is an electrical appliance so, it would not work in places sans power or electricity.
  • It is not capable of keeping the ice cold for long as compared to a conventional freezer so, you will have to use the ice right away or transfer it to your refrigerator’s freezer later on. 

If you are wondering that the type of water that is being used in the best portable ice maker you have is not important then, my friend you are on the wrong track. The reason why I say so is, your ice would taste good when the water used to make it, tastes good too. So, for a good tasting ice you have to make sure that proper water is being used. The best water for this appliance would be the one that is safe for drinking. For example, if the water that is coming from your tap, water cooler, or fridge is safe for drinking then, with no hesitation it can be used in this appliance. But the thing is that our job is not just to differentiate between good and bad water but to find out the best water for our portable ice maker. This article shall guide you through the best water to be used in the appliance.

Can City Water be Used in a Portable Ice Maker?

The answer would be yes, it can be used because normal city water would probably make great ice in the appliance. But there is a problem and that is, city water is hard. It is water with 12 gpg of hardness or less (205 ppm hardness). If water with such a level of hardness is used in the appliance what will happen is, the minerals and calcium would cling to the walls of the unit on the inside thus, reducing its production capacity after sometime. These calcium and magnesium also cover the sensors, corroding the hinges and gears thus, the appliance ultimately gets destroyed. 

There is one more problem with water that is extremely hard which is, it becomes difficult to freeze and your best portable ice maker begins to function harder than it actually should. This, does not give your appliance a chance to work well and destroys it as well. 

If in such a case, an option of using water softeners is crossing your mind then, let me tell you that it would not be much effective. The reason is, though it is true that water softeners remove certain minerals from hard water, they do add some other minerals that cause the machine to work improperly. Also, when water softeners are used, the ice formed does not taste good. 

So, what you can do is, use water filters. Mostly, people use water from water filters when they pour it into the best large ice tray they have at home to make ice in the freezer. Water filters help you in many ways such as they help in protecting your appliance for a longer term because they filter calcium and magnesium from the water. Secondly, a water filter gives you ice of good taste. 

How About Using Distilled Water in your Portable Ice Maker?

Using distilled water is advantageous because it shall give you more transparent ice when made in a portable ice maker or when coming from one of the best sphere ice molds. Distilled water is not always readily available but when used the difference is clearly visible. The problem in using this water in a portable ice maker is that sometimes the water sensors do not pick up the water due to lack of minerals. What happens is, the water sensors present in the unit use an electric current that travels through the water so that it can be detected that water is actually in the reservoir or not. Distilled or filtered water has the ability to trick these sensors in thinking that there is no water in the ice maker. 

To resolve this issue what we suggest is, to add mix half tap water and half distilled water then, pour it into the water reservoir of your unit. By doing this, the sensors will be able to sense some minerals present in the tap water. However, this problem differs from model to model. It might be so that there is no problem when using distilled water in some models of portable ice makers while in still others there could be. 

Using filtered or distilled water whether in a portable ice maker or in the best large ice tray that you have will be better for you as you would get ice without any added flavor thus, providing you with the real taste of your favorite beverages. 

How About Fresh Water?

What I think is that there could be two purposes of you visiting this site. The first is that you definitely want to make the best tasting ice and the second is that you want your electrical appliance i.e., the cheap portable ice maker to have a long shelf life. So, let us see what you can do to serve these both purposes:

The very first and important thing to be done your side is to use clean water. It is advisable to change the water every 24 hours as far as possible. By now you already know that there is no fresh water intake by portable ice maker units unlike in the case of a commercial or undercounter ice maker. This implies that the water once poured into the water reservoir of the unit, keeps on rotating around and around the ice maker, again and again. This is the reason why the water begins to get dingy and stale.

Therefore, we say it would be better to change the water regularly without being lazy. So, the bottom line is, change the water and change it daily. Serving clean ice needs clean water and clean water needs change. I hope you have understood by now that it is a vicious cycle. Simple, right? I know you might be thinking that what has just been told is something that one already knows but trust me, most of the portable ice maker units running nowadays are reusing the same water poured-in 2 days to 5 days ago. It is obvious that this water would not give you ice that tastes good.


The only material, ingredient, or substance that is required to make ice is, water. We can say that it is the heart and soul of the ice that you have made. You shall get ice that tastes good if you use good water. On the other hand, if you use great water, you shall get great ice.

So, what we can conclude is that if you want your favorite beverages to taste good then, you need good ice and to get good ice, you need to pour good water in the water reservoir of a portable ice maker unit. Just promise yourself to use the best water that you have available and see the magic! Using the best water would not be regretted by you as it will not only give you the best tasting ice but also will preserve your portable ice maker unit’s shelf life thus, helping it to run the way it was designed to run.  

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