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Table of Contents

  1. Ice Shape
  2. Size of Ice Cubes
  3. What Ice Making Capacity Do You Need?
  4. Ice Storage Requirements
  5. Clear vs. Cloudy

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What Kind of Ice Do Ice Makers Make?

Part of finding the right ice maker for yourself is knowing what kind of ice is possible with certain kinds of units. It may just be frozen water, but the size, shape, and clarity of how ice looks still matters to a lot of people.

It may not seem important, but many people choose an ice maker based on the shape of the ice it produces.

  • Ice machines are capable of producing different types of ice shapes including:
    • Cubed
    • Tubes
    • Nugget
    • Half-diced
    • Flaked
  • Some of the shapes that they can produce are ideal for use in drinks, while some are more suited to keeping things fresh in cold storage.
  • Particular ice shapes are even used quite commonly at health care facilities.

Here are the types of ice shapes available depending on the model of a particular ice maker along with their description:


Different ice makers are capable of producing ice cubes of varying sizes, each size being suitable for a certain type of application.

  • Full sized cubes are approximately 7/8" by 7/8."
  • Half cubes are half the size of the full cubes.
  • Regular cubes' dimension is 1 1/8" x 1 1/8" x 1 1/8."

Some ice machines are able to produce more than one size of ice cubes, depending on how complex the model is. For some, the size of the ice cubes is an important factor in determining which ice maker to choose. This option is usually available in larger commercial models of ice makers.

When choosing the right ice maker, one needs to consider how much ice would be needed on a daily basis. Based on this, a person will be able to select an ice maker with sufficient ice making capacity.

While it is easier to figure out the daily ice requirements of a family, things tend to get complicated when an ice maker is required for commercial purposes.

When looking for a home ice maker, the following questions need to be answered:

  • What is the average family's daily requirement for ice?
  • How many people do you expect to serve at parties?
  • Do you wish to have a separate storage or prefer an ice maker to have its own bin?
  • What do you plan to use the ice for?

Here are some general guidelines to help you understand how much ice is needed for various purposes.

When choosing an ice machine for home, the consumption of ice at peak times should be noted, including any possibility of an increase in the demand for ice. It is better to be on the safe side and get a machine with a greater ice production capacity to cater for a sudden increase in demand (guests, for instance).

Small businesses, on the other hand, should assess how much ice is consumed on a daily basis and should keep a margin for future growth of their business.

The following table can help to give you a semblance of understanding on how much ice is used in different situations.


Choosing the right sized ice storage bin is extremely important when a commercial ice maker is being purchased. There are some models of commercial ice makers that come with their own built-in bins; however, some don't.

This is why it's necessary to choose the right kind of bin based on the ice requirements. It is evident that the ice consumption at a business may vary throughout the week. For instance, the need for ice on Mondays might be much less than those on the weekends. Here are a few tips to help in picking the correctly-sized bin:

  • A combination of too-large a machine and a large bin can lead to lots of ice being wasted. It may also become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria mainly because of the melt water.
  • Too small a machine and a bin may cause the business owner to run out of ice, which is not a good thing, particularly in the middle of rush hour. This would also impose additional stress on the ice maker device to make more ice.
  • It should not be assumed that the size of the bin has to match the machine's capacity. This is because the ice requirements vary from day to day, even at the busiest businesses. The ideal thing to do is to pair up a bin larger than the size of the machine so that the machine does not over-produce ice during those days when business is slow, while the bin is capable of storing enough ice to cater for the increased requirements over the weekends.

Clear ice is made when purified water is used in the ice maker. The purer the water is, the clearer the ice will be. One more factor that is important is the way in which the ice is frozen. If water is frozen slowly, in thin sheets then it will appear clear.

The metal plate found in ice makers is yet another reason why the ice cubes from such ice makers is so clear. How, exactly?

cloudy-ice-white-500Cloudy ice is made using tap water. A lot of air and impurities are found in tap water, such as calcium, nitrates, salt, chloramines and microorganisms. Whenever water is frozen at a rapid rate, air gets trapped inside and this clouds the water, thus resulting in cloudy ice.

Portable ice makers are designed to make clear ice, whereas refrigerator ice makers typically make cloudy ice. To ensure that portable ice makers create beautiful clear ice, some people use distilled water because it lacks the minerals that can cause the ice to cloud.


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