How To Make Crystal Clear Ice Cubes

Tips and Tricks for Clear Ice

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How To Make Crystal Clear Ice Cubes." ThoughtCo, May. 14, 2016, thoughtco.com/crystal-clear-ice-cubes-3980638. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2016, May 14). How To Make Crystal Clear Ice Cubes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/crystal-clear-ice-cubes-3980638 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How To Make Crystal Clear Ice Cubes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/crystal-clear-ice-cubes-3980638 (accessed September 21, 2017).
Clear ice forms when water is pure and doesn't contain dissolved gases. The easiest way to make clear ice is to use boiled water.
Clear ice forms when water is pure and doesn't contain dissolved gases. The easiest way to make clear ice is to use boiled water. photo by dasar/Getty Images

While you are making glow in the dark ice, why not make some clear ice? There is a 'trick' to making clear ice cubes, but it isn't complicated and doesn't require an expensive restaurant ice machine. You need pure water and you need to control how it cools.

The ice maker in my freezer has a water filter, but the ice cubes that it makes are opaque. My filter is relatively new, so water doesn't cool at the right rate to produce clear ice or else there is a lot of air in the water.

Clear ice is easily made using bottled water that had been purified using reverse osmosis or distillation, but you can make clear ice from tap water. I boiled the water to remove most of the dissolved air. Ideally you want to boil the water, let it cool, then boil it again. I got good results just boiling the water once. I let the water cool slightly so that I wouldn't burn myself spilling it, then poured it into an ice cube tray and put it in my freezer.

So, you can make clear ice by boiling and freezing filtered water. I tried another tray, this time chilling the water more slowly, but that ice was milky on the bottom and clear on top. I also tried to make ice with unfiltered tap water. Let's just say the results convinced me I don't want to drink water straight from my faucet.

What can you do with clear ice? I guess you can use it as a magnifying glass. I can't say that I recommend using an ice lens for reading, unless you are reading outdoors in the dead of winter.

In a pinch, you can use an ice lens to start a fire. Also, unless you like the taste of quinine, clear ice tastes a lot better in drinks than glowing ice.