Published: August 12, 2015

    What Nasty Contaminants Could Be Lurking In Your Ice?

    Water contamination is not a new issue – many Americans are aware of the chlorine and chloramines present in tap water and use filtration systems to purify their water. Restaurants and vendors also invest in top-of-the-line plumbing and filtration systems to ensure that the water they offer customers is refreshing, crisp, and most importantly, decontaminated.

    However, there is another culprit that can contaminate your drinking water. But when you’ve invested in a water-filtration systemor have journeyed to a classy restaurant for a nice meal, what could possibly be in your drinking water? Dirty ice. Ice can host a multitude of contaminants that ruin drinking water.


    Aug_Blog_Set1_IceIce can affect the cleanliness of your drinking water because the EPA and other regulatory committees cannot inspect or hold accountable the storage facilities and ice machines where commercial and personal ice is made. If restaurateurs or homeowners do not extensively and frequently clean their ice machines, mold can start to grow within the machines where ice is stored. Though the colder temperatures of freezers slow mold growth, any time a freezer is turned off the ice machine is susceptible to mold infestation.


    Again, The EPA cannot effectively regulate ice machines and freezers, so ice dispensers at home or in restaurants can often carry concentrated levels of bacteria. The most recent exhaustive study conducted by the EPA in 2011 indicated that, of restaurant ice dispensers surveyed in Las Vegas, one-third of the samples tested exceeded the limit for bacteria concentration. Coliform bacteria presence was noted in several samples, and these ice dispensers are under regulation. Home ice dispensers that aren’t cleaned often can similarly become a home for aggressive and plentiful bacteria colonies.

    Dirty Hands

    The other pathway for ice contamination is though unwashed hands. If you pick ice out of your freezer without washing your hands, or if a restaurant employee scoops ice from the freezer without regularly sanitizing the scoop, pathogens and contaminants can transfer from hands to the ice. You must take steps now to ensure that your home ice supply is chemical- and contaminant-free to protect your family’s health.


    The chemicals that are used to treat your water, including chlorine and chloramines also make their way into your ice, which can ruin a good glass of filtered water. To ensure that the water used in your ice machine is as purified and chemical-free as the water you drink, consider installing a Pelican Whole House filtration system. This system filters water at the point of entry to your home, which means that every tap and water line (including the kitchen sink and ice maker) are getting cleaner, healthier water. In addition, clean your icemaker regularly. Wipe it down with a warm water and detergent mixture, wipe it down with a bleach and cold water mixture, and then wipe it with a dry rag to remove any moisture. Run the ice storage bin through a cycle in the dishwasher to keep it fresh. Taking these steps can protect you from dirty ice and the unwanted chemicals and contaminants found within it.