Ice Advice: The Right Way to Store Ice in the Freezer
What to Try When Directional Freezing Doesn't Produce Clear Ice

Ice Advice: Will My Clear Ice Turn Cloudy When Stored in the Freezer?

One question I've seen asked here on Alcademics and on other websites is whether clear ice will turn cloudy when stored. The answer is no, it will not.

Ice is cloudy because of trapped air and impurities like minerals, along with any cracks that make it hard to see through. Once it's made, it pretty much stays as it is. It may absorb smells and sublimate/shrink if not kept in a closed container in the freezer, but that won't impact clarity.

If your ice starts out clear (from a machine or by using a form of directional freezing) it will remain so. 

If you have a partially frozen ice cube that looks incredibly clear however, it will likely become cloudy when the center finally freezes. This is because the last part of ice to freeze is usually where trapped air and impurities are pushed. 

Clear Ice Block from


To read all the ice posts here on Alcademics, check out the Index of Ice Experiments.  



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Kyle D

Have you done any experiments on how to cube ice cubes and pebble ice from freezing together? I like to buy bags of sonic ice and store in the freezer for tiki drinks, but find that even if I dump the ice in a insulated cooler that it still freezes into a block eventually that has to be chiseled away.

Camper English

The only way I know of is to keep it from melting/refreezing - are you transporting it home from Sonic in a cooler? Maybe that could help a little.

For large cubes, some of the people who cut them with chainsaws spray some vodka from a spray bottle on them to prevent them from sticking together when they stack them back in the freezer, but doesn't sound like a good solution for crushed ice.

Pete Volkmar

I freeze an entire Playmate cooler of water at a time. The bottom 2-inches is cloudy junk. My question is,; how can I cur fairly rectangular shapes? I etch with a serated bread knife and use a wooden mallet to gently tap the knife blade in the etched groove. The ice chunks I get are as regular shaped as rocks. They are nice and clear, just not cubical.

Camper English

Hi - For the best square cuts:
1. Make sure the ice has tempered; that reduces shattering
2. Cut the block in half over and over, rather than trying to cut off from the side.
3. Cut from a slab instead of a block - what I do when I want cube-shaped cubes is to only let the cooler freezer 2-3 inches so I have a slab to work with rather than a square block. It's so much easier to cut neatly.

Dave L

Hi Camper English,

My coleman has been in the freezer for 48 hours now and i can see it has only frozen 30% top down. Most instructions call for 24 hours. Does the freezer make that much of a difference or am i doing something wrong?

I have a top freezer.

Camper English

Hi - Three days is pretty normal for me. The good news is that you can pull it out any time and just have clear ice- I try not to let it freeze all the way (though I often forget) as the cooler will last longer that way. (You are leaving the top off the cooler though, right?)

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