Some portable ice makers can make about 35 pounds in about a day’s worth of time, making the machines an economical and expeditious way to keep ice at the proper amount in a home or business.

Some ice makers are capable of refilling and producing ice up to 6 times an hour.

Investing in a portable ice maker can make your life easier and possibly more fun. Portable ice makers offer opportunities for fun that other appliances cannot.

  • For example, a party in your home is harder to host and costlier without a portable ice maker.
  • Consistently buying ice bags that are possibly contaminated and keeping your drinks cold can be a tiring task that takes out the fun of a party.
  • With a portable ice maker a party can be as simple as setting your ice maker to make ice before the party and checking on it once or twice to refill during the party.
  •  Portable ice makers make about 25-30 pounds of ice within 15 minutes, that’s shorter than the amount of time wasted going to the nearest gas station to refill the cooler with ice bags.

Types of Ice Makers

There are some portable ice makers that are as small as 14.45 height by 11.69 in length by 14.88 in width that can make about 27 pounds of ice within 23 hours and conveniently store 4 pounds of ice in a storage basket that’s removable.

  • Because it can make almost 30 pounds, it makes this model great for parties or events.
  • One of the bigger portable ice makers may only reach 13 inches in height by 14 inches in length and width still being fairly small and portable.
  • Other ice makers can make about 30 pounds of ice a day within 15 minutes! Its lighted keyboard makes it easier to use and choose a setting for your machine and an option on how big you would like the ice.
  • These convenient and compact designs make it perfect for your kitchen, party, event, boat or camp site with easy use and lightweight.

Better ice makers will offer the following features:

  • Side drain – to help the cleaning process be less of a hassle and more efficient
  • Water level indicator– to alert when it needs to be refilled for more ice
  • Lighted panel– makes the machine user friendly so anyone can help refill or clean it
  • Different sized ice cubes– crushed and cubed are needed for different events, rather than buying to different machines it is better to have one that offer both options
  • Portable– to use anywhere
  • Compact– to not take up too much space

What Are Ways An Ice Maker Can Become Dirty?

Most people believe that because ice makers are naturally cold, since they make ice, they cannot have bacteria or germs grow in them. It is a misconception many people have about the science of how bacteria and germs can grow.

Now that you realize this, it is essential you are aware of what makes an ice maker dirty and what to try to avoid so your ice maker may stay clean.

Here’s a list of what can cause your ice maker to get dirty, leading to bacteria, then causing people to become sick or ill:

  • Dirty hands
  • Not changing the water frequently enough
  • Not removing the older ice
  • Not cleaning the insides of the machine
  • Dirty water can also freeze up and then become ice that people are using


Another common issue, although it is easily avoidable, is how dusty your portable appliance can get when not in use. The dust can carry bacteria and begin to build up if you leave your ice maker with the top open. Then causing the actual ice maker part to get dusty and dirty, possibly causing a part to break because of too much dirt compiling on it.

How To Clean A Dirty Ice Maker?

It is important to clean your ice maker as frequently as possible.

  • Periodically the cleaning of an ice maker should be more thorough and heavy than the last.
  • Sometimes a maintenance is the only thing that is necessary to keep your ice maker clean, and hopefully prevent replacing one.
  • Unplug, follow the cleaning instructions in that went along with your specific ice maker, and remember to still clean the exterior and the chute that ice comes out of.

People tend to forget that the exterior is just as important to clean as the inside of the ice maker. The chute can especially get dirty and be forgotten, so that area should be cleaned thoroughly since that is how ice gets to the people about to eat or use the ice.

Since a portable ice maker is a small investment it is important to always keep it clean, best way to ensure it is always clean is cleaning right before and after each use.

  • This does not allow any bacteria or build up to contaminate your ice or machine.
  • Considering how small portable ice makers are, it is easy to count on how quickly a clean can be finished in.

What Are The Risks Involved With Your Ice Maker Being Dirty?

Dirty ice can affect up to thousands of people, depending if your ice maker is for a business or for your home.

You can either affect your customers or your own family. Either way the risks involved with your ice maker being dirty can be extremely dangerous to a person’s health and possibly your home.

People assume that ice, because it is frozen, cannot become contaminated but it is important you as an ice maker owner and consumer are aware of how important it is to keep it clean in order to avoid people becoming ill.

  • E. coli and norovirus are a few of the illnesses people can become ill with.
  • One study in Chicago in 2007 conducted in December took 50 restaurant and hotel bar samples of ice. This study found that 1/5 of the institutions had dirty ice that were contaminated with fecal matter.
  • Plastic tubing in ice makers and soda machines have sugar and other fluids clog and build up in there. They can make it easier for pathogen’s to live and if they are ingested a person may get sick due to lack of proper cleaning.
  • Not as dire or harmful, but still a risk is the possibility of your ice maker breaking down. Just like any other appliance, once it gets too dirty it can break down momentarily or permanently because of all the buildup or rust it may cause.

Saying goodbye to your convenient ice maker and to all the opportunities it offers like birthday parties, barbeques and game nights can be a sad moment which should be completely avoided.

What Are Ways In Which People Have Gotten Sick From Dirty Ice Makers?

Mold in the ice maker is one of the bigger risks that have caused people to get sick from dirty ice makers.

The contaminated ice can be affected with salmonella, E. coli, and shigella.

Mold lets bacteria and fungus grow into germs that may make people ill. That is why cleaning the inside and outside of an ice maker needs to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid mold and bacteria growing in your ice maker.

Case Study:

  • University of Texas performed a study found that ice cubes can contain salmonella, E. coli, and shillelagh even when mixed with hard liquor, soda, and water.
  • So no matter the drink or substance inside of the cup, these bacteria can be living in the ice and then get a person sick from drinking one of these bacteria.
  • At one point over 5,000 people became ill because they had contaminated ice in their drinks. The ice maker had not been cleaned properly or often enough, causing thousands of people being sick.
  • While this is an extreme case, it is important to keep in mind next time someone if trying to postpone or avoid cleaning their ice maker.

What Could Happen If You Eat Dirty Ice?

The effects can be as mild as a cold or as drastic as death. To avoid any issues, that are surely unwanted, clean your dirty ice maker and maintenance regularly.

When there is regular maintenance done to the machine, it avoids high build up in your tubes that then cause your ice maker to contaminate others.

Cleaning thoroughly and often is the best way to eliminate the probability of a death happening with your ice maker. The last thing anybody wants is to have a guest, patron, or family member eat dirty ice.

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