How To Make Ice Cubes Without a Tray? Like a Pro

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Making ice without a tray seems like an impossible task. But you have a task at hand, and you ought to get the job done. What should you do? Some available-at-home alternatives can help you figure out your “how to make ice cubes without a tray” problem.

You only need an item when you’ve already thrown it away. (And if you read this with the ‘Let her Go’ music In the background, you’ll realize the regret in the statement).

Ah, the disappointment we feel when we need a useful everyday item we have disposed of, thinking that it has passed its useful life – some rules must be rewritten for the next spring cleaning!

Hacks and Tips to Make Ice Cubes without a Tray

The Plastic Bag Method

Yes, we agree; storing water in a plastic bag seems a strange idea. But you’ll be even more surprised to know how effective this method is. Take a plastic bag with a seal on the top and add water. Now place the bag inside the freezer; check after about five hours, and your ice will be ready.

Be careful about not filling it to the top if you want medium-sized ice chunks. If you want a block of ice to add to a water dispenser, you can fill it to the top. The plastic bag method is also great for making crushed ice. Once the ice is formed, all you have to do is to take a muddler and crush the ice.

The Egg Carton Method

Every household normally has an egg carton lying around. A styrofoam egg carton is a perfect alternative and doesn’t need any tweaks. However, you’ll have to perform an extra step if you have a paper carton.

Add a layer of aluminum foil in each dimple; add water into the tray and keep it inside the freezer. Don’t close the carton’s lid, or it will take longer to make the ice. 

Always wash off the container before you fill it with water (even when using a layer of aluminum foil).

Silicon Molds

If baking tools are available at home, it’s time you use the silicon mold. This is the best alternative to an ice tray, allowing you to have the perfect shape of ice. Keep the mold inside the freezer for at least 8 hours.

Now take out the mold and pat it gently. This will loosen the ice, allowing you to easily remove the ice.

Milk Carton

Milk cartons are a common item among most DIY projects. They’re also a good alternative to an ice tray. But don’t fill the carton to the top. Doing so will allow water to have enough space to expand.

A liter-sized milk carton is great for a medium-sized ice block. Normally, the carton’s size will depend on your ice needs. Also, once the ice is frozen, you can use a knife to carefully tear the carton’s cover and take out the ice block.

Baking Sheet/Muffin Tins

Another easy way of freezing ice is to get a baking sheet or a muffin tin. For the baking sheet, pour water into the sheet and place it on the freezer’s floor in a flat position. This method will let you have a thin layer of ice that you can use to keep large volumes of drink cold and chilled.

If you’re using muffin tins, you can have thicker ice blocks. Regardless of what you’re using, leave them on the counter for 10-15 minutes to loosen the ice once you take the container out.


There’s nothing that a good ol’ IKEA Tupperware bowl cannot do. Besides using it for your office lunch, you can use the container to freeze a block of ice.

Keep it overnight in the freezer for the water to take a solid shape. Once you’ve taken the container out, turn it over and run it under tap water (don’t use hot water). Now place the container on a wooden board with its bottom side on the top. 

Gently hit the container with a spoon until you hear a faint thud (indicating the ice loosened). Add the ice block to a water dispenser or crush the block into smaller pieces and use the ice chunks in your beverages.

Measuring Spoons

Another baking/cooking tool to the rescue is a measuring spoon. These round spoons provide a perfect shape for your ice cubes. A safe way of using this is by placing the spoon in the freezer before filling it with water and then adding water. This tip will avoid any spills.

Once the ice is frozen, take the spoon out and place it over a burning flame for 5 seconds. As the ice loosens, take it out and use it in your drink.

Heart ice tray with red ice cubes

The Final Word

Freezing ice without an ice tray is tricky. Your main target is to get the perfect shape of ice cubes. With the tips above, you can easily freeze ice at home.

About the author


I’m Paul, and I founded Ice Maker Basics with my friends. We are dedicated to good drinking with ice and great living.
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