7 DIY Ways To Make Ice Cubes Without A Tray

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I know you’ve heard of ice cube trays when it comes to the process of making ice. When did ice cube trays begin anyway? To be honest, no one really knows the exact date. In 1844, John Gorrie invented the refrigerator to help with his patients with yellow fever, many believe that he created small containers to freeze small bricks of ice, and place those cubes of ice in his patient’s drinks.

It’s hard to know for sure when ice cube trays began, but they have been around for a very long time. Ice cube trays are a staple in most homes, you want some ice for your beverage? You check the ice cube trays to see if there is any ice available.

What happens when you don’t have an ice cube tray, and you’d like to make some ice? What could you use to replace the older-than-dirt ice cube tray?

There are several ways to make ice cubes without using a tray, like small containers in your cupboards, measuring spoons, a plastic bag, or anything that will hold water and fit in your freezer. In this article, we are going to investigate all of your options.

When you are left with the need for ice and don’t have an ice cube tray to fix the problem, you’re going to have to think outside of the box. In this article, we’re going to look at inventive ways to make ice cubes without an ice cube tray.

I list for you several ways of making ice without a tray that’s going to work well in a pinch or emergency. These methods are with items you have already around your house. I also mention some ways to make ice using a fast and effortless method that’s more down the road.

I have personally put all of these methods to the test and was successful. Let’s dive right in.

Bags of Ice

The first one is really simple, but I’m still going to throw it out there.

You can buy bagged ice. I know it may be not what you’re thinking or the direction you want to go, and that’s perfectly fine.

Bagged ice is a great way to fix your shortage of ice. Just head down to the nearest grocery or convenient store, and grab a bag of ice.

You also could head down to the nearest fast-food chain, and ask them for a cup of ice. Most restaurants will provide you with a cup of ice for free.

Why you’re down there, you can grab a burger.

A Freezer Bag

Everyone has freezer bags in their home, and most of us don’t realize that freezer bags make a great substitute for ice cube trays.

Making ice with a freezer bag is so easy to do.

The problem with using a freezer bag to make ice is it’s going to be all kinds of weird, jagged shapes. Normally in a pinch, it’s not a big deal.

Use Freezer Bags instead of an Ice Cube tray

Using a freezer bag is also perfect for a sports injury. In fact, we all should have a freezer bag with ice in our freezers just in case someone gets hurt. You can take the freezer bag, with the ice inside, from the freezer, wrap it in a cloth and place it on the injured area.

Another great hack is to purchase a mallet and pound the ice into small pieces. You can pick one up from Amazon for cheap. I purchased the Glacio Ice Mallet from Amazon for a great price, you can click here to check out the price.

Obviously, if you need ice fast, you’re not going to have time to purchase an ice mallet, you can just break the ice apart with your hands. It works as well.

A Plastic Dish or Muffin Pan

Here’s a great idea, use a plastic container or a muffin pan as the perfect solution for making ice cubes. We all have various shaped containers around our house, so it should be easy to locate one quickly.

Here’s an Ice Maker Geeks hack. Fill the muffin tray with small pieces of fruit. This will look amazing, and add some flavor to your beverage.

You can also fill the muffin tin with fruit juice or another beverage to create some awesome chilled treats.

Use Muffin Tins for making ice cubes without an ice cube tray

Make sure that it’s food-grade quality.

The great thing about using a container to make ice cubes is they are always available. You may even have some cool shaped pans for some extra flare.

Maybe you have a small heart pan lying around and want to make heart ice for a special date. There are so many cool concepts for ice cubes you can put together using a container in your home.

Use Measuring Spoons

Cheers to reaching far outside of the box of conventional thinking. Use measuring spoons as small ice trays in your freezer. You have to be very, very careful not to spill any water.

Measuring spoons for making ice cubes without ice cube trays

Measuring spoons are found in all kinds of sizes and will work perfectly for freezing small spoon-sized ice pieces. Just make sure that your measuring spoons are of food-grade quality.

What’s great with measuring spoons is you have so many different sizes. Who knew that spoons would measure up so well with making ice without an ice cube tray.

A Silicone Mold

Silicone has taken over the kitchen! We find it more and more replacing mixing bowls, muffin pans, and even cookie sheet liners.

Silicone Ice cube trays

If you have any silicone molds around your kitchen, then you’ve got it made, boss! Using a silicone mold as an ice cube tray is easy.

You may be aware that ice cube trays also come in silicone and work very well. The greatest thing about silicone ice cube trays is that it’s easy to remove the ice. The silicone mold is bendable, and the ice slides out into your beverage.

An Egg Carton

The writer of this article, said what?

It may sound crazy, but it’s a great way to make ice cubes if you’re in a pinch. Here’s how it works. By the way, if you have a plastic egg carton, then you can skip most of these steps. All you have to do is wash it out and fill it with water. Always make sure it’s food-safe before you begin.

Use an egg carton as a way to make ice cubes

For everyone else with normal egg cartons – this is for you.

There are so many things in our home that we think are trash, but actually can be used for another purpose – the egg carton is one fo these items.

If you’re stuck and need something to make ice cubes in, then give the trusty egg carton a shot.

A Portable Ice Maker

The fastest way for you to produce ice without a tray is by using a portable ice maker. This isn’t something you can do now if you don’t have a portable ice maker readily available.

Portable Ice Maker

Portable Ice Makers are fast. Most units will produce ice in as little as 6-8 minutes, and they produce between 26-50 pounds of ice each day.

The great thing about portable ice makers is you get ice on demand, and you get it fast. If you are looking to chill your beverage with ice, and your ice maker isn’t even turned on – then turn it on, and in about 8 minutes, you’ll have a glass filled with ice. How’s that for fast?

Portable Ice Makers are also affordable. You can purchase a portable ice maker for as little as $150 online. This means you’ll never have to wonder how you’re going to make ice without ice cube trays again.

Related: The Top Picks for Portable Ice Makers

Portable Ice Makers come in different sizes, colors and produce different types of ice. If you’re interested in purchasing a portable ice maker or want to learn a little more about the idea, click on the link above to learn more.


There are several great ways for you to create ice cubes without the help of an ice cube tray. Some of the practical ideas listed above can be done right now.

If you know a way to make ice cubes without a tray and would like to share with the world, use the comment section below. We’d love to hear your ideas.


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