How to Keep Ice From Sticking in Ice Maker
Have you ever pulled out ice cubes from the ice maker, only to find that they have clumped together? You’re not alone. Ice cubes sticking to each other is a common problem that can leave you banging your ice against the counter.
So why does this happen? While the exact cause of this is often hard to pinpoint, there are some probable reasons. The most common reason is that the ice is defrosting at some point, and then freezing over gain. In this way, a layer of water forms between the cubes which freezes over.
How can you prevent this from happening? If you’re tired of your ice clumping together, then try some of the methods below:
Use a Paper Bag:
Ice starts to stick together when there’s excess moisture between the ice cubes that freezes over. One way you can get rid of this is to wrap the bucket in the paper. The trick here’s that paper has tiny pores that absorb extra moisture. And it’s this moisture that refreezes and makes two ice cubes stick.
The paper technique has been proven to work countless times. Another way you can prevent the ice from clumping is by manually stirring the contents every so often. Observe your ice maker for a few days. See how frequently the ice sticks and stir it with a wooden spoon whenever it starts to stick.
Paper bags can tear apart when they get wet. So remember to switch out the paper bags every so often. Also, make sure the bag is safe to use at such low temperatures.
Lower the Temperature:
If you still find that your ice is clumping up together, it could be due to the defrost cycle occurring too frequent. Let us explain what this means.
You see, your freezer is designed to generate below-freezing temperatures. However, this means that the heat exchanger can get frozen over as well. Which is why your system will initiate what is called a defrost cycle.
A defrost cycle is one where the temperature is lowered ever so slightly to thaw out the heat exchanger and the evaporator coil. If this happens too often, it can lead to the ice in your ice maker melting. The defrost cycle could be warming up the ice too much, resulting in the ice clumping and sticking.
When that happens, there’s usually a problem with the thermostat. Lower the temperature down and see if the problem persists. If it does, you can try replacing your thermostat, especially if you haven’t done so in a while. Otherwise, try the other methods.
Place More Food.
You can also prevent your ice from melting by placing more food in the freezer. This does two things. Firstly, it allows the cold air to be circulated more evenly, resulting in colder ice cubes. And secondly, it blocks the heat from the oncoming defrost cycle. In this way, your ice cubes can stay drier for longer.
You may also check if you’re placing hot food in the freezer too often. The heat from the food will not only defrost any frozen goods but will cause your ice cubes to melt and refreeze. The ideal temperature of food you should place in the freezer is below 40 degrees C .
Not placing hot food in the fridge is actually recommended for a number of other reasons. The heat from the heat can defrost the other frozen goods, leading to bacteria quickly building up.
Use an Ice Tray:
If you find that the problem persists, you can either call customer support or ditch the ice maker entirely. Ice trays are a better way to segregate ice cubes from each other. You’ll have to fill them up manually, but they can solve the issue of your ice cubes sticking.
Your refrigerator may have already come with an ice tray. It’s not the best way to make ice, as it’s a manual process. And the water can spill too. Also, taking ice out from the ice tray is tough. You’ll be left banging the tray on the kitchen counter, which isn’t always an option for weaker people.
And if you’re running a restaurant or ice cream parlor, you’re left with no choice but to buy a new ice maker. But for home use, getting an ice tray can fix the issue, with some compromise on comfort.
Service the Ice Maker:
Another option you have is to service and clean out the ice maker. Often, a frozen-over heat exchanger or evaporator coil can lead to the temperature not getting regulated. Some refrigerators have an automatic defrost cycle. If yours doesn’t, you’ll have to thaw the ice by yourself.
You can try using a thawing spatula, or you can use a stream of warm water or even a hairdryer. Be prepared for a wet mess as the ice melts.
Thawing out the excess ice is also crucial as sometimes the ice can block the ice maker line. This means that the ice maker won’t be able to achieve the right temperature.
Servicing is recommended even if there are no immediate issues, or if the problem was solved by the other methods. Clean out the ice maker once in every 6 months, or more often if the ice is clumping together more .
Ice sticking in the ice maker is the last thing you’d want in this debilitating heat. Above were a few ways you can prevent this from happening. Use the above methods to prevent ice from sticking together and make it as perfect as they can be.
There are tons of reasons why the ice in your freezer is freezing over, but maintenance is a big culprit. Make sure you’re regularly cleaning the ice maker and defrosting the ice. Regular maintenance, especially of the heating element, will prevent ice from clumping together.
So use the above techniques to prevent your ice from sticking, and enjoy the summer while it lasts!