Cleaning a portable ice maker is no fun. It takes valuable time and effect to make sure that your ice is clean and tastes great. Yet, there is a way that you can skip a few steps when you clean your portable ice maker, and that’s by purchasing a self-cleaning ice maker.
Several years ago, if you wanted a self-cleaning ice maker, then you’d have to purchase a commercial ice maker, and that would set you back a couple of thousand dollars. However, as technology advanced and units have gotten smaller, we now have that self-cleaning option in smaller portable ice makers.
There are several reasons why purchasing a portable ice maker that has self-cleaning capabilities is a good idea:
- Cleaning your portable ice maker keeps your ice clean and tasting great
- Having the option to self clean your portable ice maker will save you time
- Self-cleaning options allows you to clean the ice maker in places you can’t reach
- Because self-cleaning your unit is easy, it will help you do it more often
Self-cleaning ice makers do take a little effort. You have to scrub down the water reservoir, add the cleaning cycle and rinse the unit.
How Does Self-Cleaning Work in a Portable Ice Maker?
Self-cleaning is really just a way to run water through your machine without the need of running an ice cycle. When you enable self-cleaning, it’s going to take the water from the water reservoir and run it through the ice maker. Normally, you’d add the cleaning solution to your water and then make ice. So, having the self-cleaning option is going to save you a couple of steps.
If you have a problem with mold or hard water build-up, then running the self-cleaning option in a portable ice maker with a cleaning solution will help break down the dirt and sanitize the area. If you didn’t have a self-cleaning feature, then it could take several storage baskets full of ice before you begin to make progress.
There is no doubt about it, having a self-cleaning feature is a good idea.
How Often Should You Clean a Portable Ice Maker?
We wrote a complete guide on how to clean a portable ice maker here. It’s going to give you a video and pictures that walk you through the entire process.
You should clean your portable ice maker at least every 6 months. At the end of the day, it should be cleaned every time it needs it.
If you find that your ice tastes weird, the unit isn’t working correctly, or the ice isn’t forming to its proper size, then these are good indications that your ice maker should be cleaned.
There are some portable ice makers that have a cleaning indication light. This light, when illuminated, tells you that a sensor is being covered with grim and that your unit should be cleaned.
It’s always better to clean your unit as soon as you can, as this will protect it from being damaged.
The Best Self-Cleaning Portable Ice Makers
Below are the top three portable ice makers that have self-cleaning functionality.
There are a few things that you’ll have to determine before you purchase a self-cleaning ice maker: size and weight, type of ice, and the price.
I have broken down these three portable ice makers into the 3 most popular types of ice – hat-shaped ice, nugget ice, and clear ice.
All of the portable ice makers listed above have full self-cleaning capabilities. In the section below, we’ll break down each of these units and also add a few more of the best portable ice makers with self-cleaning for your consideration.
Newair Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
This portable ice maker is the most expensive of the top three and that’s because it makes nugget ice. Nugget ice is that soft, chewable ice that’s popular in fast-food chains like Chick-Fil-A and Sonic Drive-Tru’s.
The reason I love nugget ice is that it absorbs the flavor of your beverage so you can enjoy it right to the very last drop.
The NewAir Nugget Ice Maker gives you the ability to make this chewable ice for a fraction of the price of commercial nugget ice makers. However, it’s still not cheap at about $500-$600. I do want to note that it’s comparable to the other nugget ice makers on the market.
- Great Customer Service
- Stainless Steel
- Nugget Ice
- Easy to Operate
- Won’t restart after the ice maker pauses
The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is also a great choice for nugget ice and comes with a self-cleaning feature. The Opal produces less life than the NewAir and makes the nugget ice slower, but comes with some pretty cool features such as a backlit ice bucket and a mobile app, and Bluetooth. Also, it’s a really nice-looking design with a stainless steel finish. The Opal definitely has the edge when it comes to design and looks – but looks aren’t everything.
The NewAir is the fastest nugget ice maker on the market today, but it’s not all perfect. The one thing that I wished was different with the NewAir was that it would resume the ice cycle once it stops for either the ice bucket being full or the unit running out of water. I guess you can’t have it all.
Another great option and I also purchased this ice maker as well, is the KBice self-dispensing portable ice maker. This ice maker fits on your countertop perfectly and with a push of a button, you can dispense nugget ice right into your glass. It works well and comes with a self-cleaning feature.
Overall, the NewAir is a solid ice maker and gives you that self-cleaning feature as well. It’s my number one choice because I really like nugget ice.
NewAir 50lbs of Ice Portable Ice Maker
The next portable ice maker I want to look at in more detail is the NewAir Portable Ice Maker that produces 50 pounds of ice each day.
This ice maker comes with self-cleaning, produces 50 pounds of hat-shaped ice each day, and gives you an easy-to-operate control panel.
This portable ice maker is perfect for producing a lot of ice and sometimes that’s what you need – lots of ice. I know anytime I have a family BBQ, it’s always great to have a portable ice maker that can keep up with the demand for ice, especially if it’s a hot summer’s day.
- Produces 50lbs of Ice
- Bullet-Shaped Ice
- Easy to Operate
- Large and Heavy
The only issue I see with this portable ice maker is that it’s large and hard to move around. It’s not as compact as they claim, and finding a place on your countertop may be a problem.
Overall, this unit works well and does exactly what it’s supposed to do.
Another smaller Ice Maker is the Deco Rapid Portable that has a self-cleaning feature, but only produces 26 pounds of ice each day. The great thing about this compact unit is that it’s only costing you about $120 to purchase which makes it a cheap portable ice maker for your home.
Of course, the Deco Rapid Portable isn’t quite comparable to the NewAir because this unit is so much smaller and only produces half as much ice, but the price is great for someone looking for a cheaper unit for their RV, boat, or camping.
CROWNFUL Clear Ice Portable Ice Maker
The CROWNFUL Clear Ice Portable Ice Maker is a portable ice maker that produces restaurant-quality clear ice. Those who are looking for a portable ice maker that produces clear ice and comes with a self-cleaning feature all choose the CROWNFUL Portable Ice Maker for its quality and price.
Clear ice is perfect for that extra sophistication and melts slower so it doesn’t water down your beverage. The CROWNFUL Clear Ice Maker gives you about 40 pounds of clear ice every 24 hours and takes about 15-20 minutes to produce ice.
- Ice Thickness Adjustment
- Produces Clear Ice
- Easy to operate
- 1-Year Warrenty
- The Clear Ice Sticks Together
The ice will fall in sheets of about 24 pieces of ice. You’ll have to take your ice scoop and break it all up before you can add it into your beverage.
Overall, the CROWNFUL Clear Ice Portable Ice Maker unit for your home, and after searching the market, there aren’t many that offer the self-cleaning function. We checked out the NewAir Clear Ice Maker and the Euhomy, and really like them as portable ice makers, but both of these units fail to add the self-cleaning capabilities.
The type of ice, size, and price will determine which portable ice maker you’ll ultimately decide to get.
For me, the NewAir Nugget Ice Maker was my choice, because I really like nugget ice, but for you, it could be completely different.
For all of the portable ice makers listed above, I have tested and found that they were all really good quality.
They all had PROS and CONS, but for the most part, worked well and produced really good ice.
Click on the links provided to see the best prices available on the internet, and let us know in the comment section which portable ice maker you decided to purchase.