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Nov 12, 2009 01:43 AM

Cleaning your ice cube tray

I have been using these ice cube tray for a couple of months when I noticed some kind of brown spots on the bottom of it. It seems to stick on the ice cube everytime I make one, i've already tried pouring hot water on it but it doesn't disappear. Any tips on removing those dirt?

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  1. You need to wash them from time to time! put them in the washing machine or do it manually.

    I've been doing ice for a long time in different type of trays and never seen any kind of "weird" spot in them; but I wash them when they are empty.

    1. If you don't have a dishwasher a solution of baking powder & white vinegar in a bucket of hot water and soak trays for several hours will de-fungus them.

      If that doesn't work, throw them out and for a few bucks buy new.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HillJ

        Baking powder and white vinegar may cancel each other out. I'd recommend the white vinegar, as it will dissolve mineral deposits from water.

        You can fill the trays with a 50% white vinegar solution and leave it for a few hours. That ought to do it. If it doesn't work, throw them out. Cheap plastic ice trays are out there everywhere. If these are the metal variety, the white vinegar should do it.

      2. It sounds like some kind of mold or mildew. If you can't throw them out and buy new ones, soak them in a solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach to a cup of water (scale up as needed). Then rinse thoroughly in fresh hot water.

        I'm not sure sure about the baking soda and vinegar combination suggested by HillJ. It will create a big foaming mess though, if nothing else. You might just try the vinegar alone.

        2 Replies
        1. re: taos

          taos, exactly a nice foamy cleaning action in hot water. I find bleach too harsh and if the mold has pitted the plastic nothing will clean it.

          1. re: HillJ

            OK, just checking that you meant to say vinegar and baking soda together.

            I'm with you on throw the things out unless they're some kind of heirlooms or otherwise valuable.

        2. Wanderer, I agree with those who suggest you discard them and replace them if you're able to, because those spots don't sound normal. I wash mine in the top rack of the dishwasher to sterilize them, but I admit I don't wash them *every time* before refilling them. Even if I've gone a while without washing them, I've never seen anything like that--with one exception. I had a can of cola explode in the freezer and didn't realize it for a day or two, and there were frozen spots of soda EVERYWHERE--including in any empty ice cube slots. But if nothing like that has happened in your freezer, then this just sounds no good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Normandie

            I guess i'll just throw it away and buy a new one, I really don't know where I get these stains but its quite disgusting seeing them stick to your ice like dirt. I tried putting hot water on it before but no good.

          2. My eco-minded son was quick to remind me that even if you are unable to clean the ice cube trays they can be repurposed as paint & craft project holders, desk holders for clips, bands & staples, etc. Don't fill the land fill....says my boy!

            6 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              Good job by your son, J! I for one stand corrected re the outright discarding. Thinking about his ideas, they'd probably also be useful to hold and organize all those "orphan" smaller nails, tacks, screws in the garage, workshop or wherever CHers store household tools, etc. Also, for anybody who sews--buttons, needles, hooks & eyes and other fasteners, etc.

                1. re: HillJ

                  TY, but, honestly, they wouldn't have even occurred to me without your son setting the proper example. Please tell him.

                  1. re: Normandie

                    He's reading along :)
                    My oldest child is a restaurant school director and her younger brother hopes to one day change the way us humans approach plastic textiles...especially in the restaurant biz.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I think that's a great and *useful* aspiration. Having spent the first years of my life back in the Dark Ages when plastic just wasn't common in households (and therefore I presume restaurants, too)...I feel that plastic has been a boon to us in some ways, but I don't think we've yet perfected how to use it, re-use it and *not* use it when we shouldn't. Just the thought that so many of us didn't know until recently not to microwave plastics unless they have a certain rating that shows they won't release carcinogens upon heating... I think we could use a pioneer teacher in the field. ;-) I know plastic helps us, but we've got a ways to go in understanding it.

                      1. re: Normandie

                        It makes for interesting conversation around my dinner table I can tell you that! I'm at the stage in my life where my kids teach me way more than I can teach them :)