Clear Ice

Ok, since the quarantine started, I’ve been experimenting with trying to get clear ice. Tried boiling the water, using distilled water, boiling multiple times and the results have been unfulfilling. I have tried directional method twice (using a small cooler and removing before the bottom layer freezes), but the timing of this is tricky and the idea of cutting the ice seems fraught with the potential for a trip to the ER.

Anybody have any success with making clear ice? Any tips?

First, clean your eyeglasses…

There are machines that will do it, but they are priced for commercial applications (bars), so probably not a great solution for you.

Slightly off-topic, there is a neutrino telescope at the South Pole that uses clear ice as the detection medium. Basically, they drill to the depths where the pressure squeezes out the air bubbles (detectors start 1500m down). Their first attempt was not successful, because it turned out the bubbles extended three times deeper than their models predicted.


A home Scotsman ice maker will produce clear ice. Not cheap, but if you do a lot of entertaining they can be worth it.

True cubes ice tray works well (

Thanks, looks interesting.

Was watching breaking bad. Thought this thread is about something else :wink:

We have one and works great. Came with our house. Have to model that produces the large nuggets - maybe a little larger than a quarter in diameter. Works essentially by spraying water against a freezing pole for each cube. Ice dumps into a an insulated bin, so it is always gradually melting. But, if you want, you can scoop it out and put it in your freezer for colder ice, but that ice usually develops micro cracks when placed in liquids that are close to room temp, so then it’s not quite as clear appearing.

As I understand you have to freeze at a much slower rate to prevent the big crystals from forming- I think I read that putting the cube tray into an insulated container and then into the freezer might work. I don’t have enough freezer space to try any equipment I already have.

I have this at home when I want to make a cocktail. Works pretty well. There’s tons of these on Amazon and they are all the same. Probably all made in the same factory in China.

Funny, that is the exact one I bought. Works well!

I bought it as well, not arriving until the weekend.

I had success starting with hot water. Have not tried it with cold water, however.

the temp of the water doesn’t matter for obvious reasons, nor does distilled etc. the ice has to freeze directionally and that’s what those insulators do (freezes from top down). a cheaper way is just to fill a large container (metal bowl works well), fill with water, and freeze that. remove and then carve away the parts that are cloudy - the middle/lower part will be clear.

Not sure why they recommended hot water, but I didn’t even use my brain to think it through. champagne.gif After looking it up, they claim there are less air bubbles in hot water. Since i paid no attention in chemistry, I took their word for it.

I’ve done the directional freezing and sawing with a serrated knife, but its a bit of a pain in the ass and wasn’t really excited about the mess. This is much easier and I like the look of the spheres.

Wow, pretty cool. I wonder if it is just spheres or whether the spheres are clear. Either way, kinda jealous.

This makes the most sense to me as a chemist. Faster crystallization generally results in smaller crystals; slower typically forms larger, cleaner crystals. If you have a small insulated cooler or thermos, try freezing inside that. But I haven’t tried it myself.

I think slower also allows the air to escape, avoiding the bubbles.


I LOVE this post. Quarantine has me trying to get down the clear ice for two weeks now. I watched a bunch of videos on Youtube - first it was just boil the water twice (that didn’t work), then I just froze a gigantic ice block but still had a cloudy middle, now I got a super deep cambro but like an idiot I let the ice freeze all the way through. When it froze overnight, I could tell that the middle was unfrozen, I should have cracked it then. I’m going to again refreeze, but when the middle is still liquid, I am going to drill a hole through to let the air and water out. Just for experimenting sakes. The first big block I came up with I just cut the ice cubes by hand with a mallet and serrated nice, they came out nice, but not fully clear. I’ll let you know how my other experiment comes out.