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Old 05-02-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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Polar Ice Crystal Clear Ice Cube Tray for sale...

ThinkGeek :: Polar Ice Crystal Clear Ice Cube Tray

From link:

In a normal ice cube tray, the process is a little different and usually results in cloudy white ice which is really quite off putting once you know what's in it.

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Is that true???

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Old 05-02-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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From the article: "Making perfectly clear ice is not an easy thing to do. In nature, ice forms a layer at a time with each successive layer pushing air and impurities down to the bottom. In a normal ice cube tray, the process is a little different and usually results in cloudy white ice which is really quite off putting once you know what's in it."

I'm skeptical too.

It seems to me it would be a lot simpler to just use clean water in order to avoid impurities. Considering the $19 per "tray" (each makes one humongous 250 mL ice cube (about 8 ounces), I can't see that having transparent ice cubes would matter to me, particularly gigantic ice cubes!

I'll get one of these "trays" some day when I'm too thin, too good looking and have too much money.


(Note that the article says one of the "trays" makes 4 triangular ice "cubes" which is probably referring to a three sided prismatic shape.)
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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I have seen, in documentaries, perfectly clear ice on streams in Siberia. The ice froze very fast.

I have been told that if you boil the air out of water and then cool it and use it to make ice cubes, the ice cubes will be clear.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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I have been told that if you boil the air out of water and then cool it and use it to make ice cubes, the ice cubes will be clear.
I googled it and all that I read supports what you said. The cloudiness is caused by gasses that were dissolved in the water but collected into small bubbles when the ice froze. (Ice cubes tend to freeze from the outside in so the cloudy part is usually in the middle.) You could boil the water which would encourage the dissolved gasses to boil off into the air, and ice cubes you make from that should be clearer.

As far as impurities other than gasses I don't believe the product claims. No matter how they freeze the ice cubes will have all the impurities that were in the water used to make them. The only thing they can change is the distribution of where the impurities are located. I don't believe it's reasonable that all the impurities will gather on the bottom, top, sides or any other place and just fall off when you extract the cube(s).

It's possible their ice cube "tray" might produce clearer cubes. I can't see any reason to debunk that without a sample product to test, and I'm certainly not going to pay $19 (+tax +shipping) to find out.

My cloudy ice cubes work just fine for me. I drink our tap water too. Anybody who lives in a place that has bad tap water should make their ice cubes from the same water they drink.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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Here's a bit of interesting scientific trivia for those who may be interested.

Ice is less dense than water. That's why icebergs float. If they were heavier they would sink to the bottom of the ocean. If the density was the same they would sink to random depths and be carried by the currents, but they float instead, because ice is less dense than water.

When you freeze ice cubes in a tray they freeze from the outside in. That's probably because the outside is chilled so it results in a slightly warmer interior, which takes more time to freeze. Strictly speaking there is no cold in physics, only heat, so this is more of a matter of the heat on the outside seeping out leaving a warmer center, which freezes last. (Heat is a type of energy. Cold is the absence of heat. There are no negative energies. Something that is cold simply has a relative absence of heat compared to its surroundings.)

As the ice in your tray freezes it expands and the volume of the cube increases. This increased volume has only one direction it can expand: up. That's why the ice cubes in your tray have a convex surface (domed up). The water froze and it pushed the excess water up, causing the top surface to increase, resulting in a dome on the top of the ice cube.

I have always loved science because it gives us rational explanations for many of the natural phenomenona that we see in our everyday lives. Things that we would have to otherwise explain as "that's just the way things are."
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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Another product that's way too expensive, impractical and solves a problem no one knew existed.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:31 AM   #7
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Aw...you guys ruin all the fun of Geek Toys....I'm taking my can of Unicorn Meat and going home.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Aw...you guys ruin all the fun of Geek Toys....I'm taking my can of Unicorn Meat and going home.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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I love Think Geek and have bought several things from them, but there is no way I would spend $20 for something that freezes one ice cube at a time! If you are bothered by cloudy ice, spring water or purified water give you pretty clear ice. I will use ice made from regular tap water but prefer not to. We have good well water, but before that, I used bottled water (by the gallon, not the expensive stuff) to make my ice.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:37 PM   #10
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Another product that's way too expensive, impractical and solves a problem no one knew existed.
A pitcher of water in the fridge is all I need. Ninety-nine cents at the dollar store for the pitcher. Water bill paid for by the goverment. I am ahead of the game. Now tell me again why I need those ice cubes?
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