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Does the Ice in Your Freezer Go Bad?

A person gets ice out of a container in a freezer.
Dovzhykov Andriy/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever opened up the freezer to grab some ice for your drink, only to find a few stray cubes that look like they’ve seen better days? It’s not exactly tempting to chill your beverage with ice cubes that look slightly “shriveled’ or freezer burnt.

So, does ice expire? Not really, but it can get dirty—and you don’t want that in your drink.

Most people don’t think of ice as dirty unless something in the freezer spills on it. But, just because something doesn’t look dirty doesn’t mean it isn’t covered in germs.

Whether you have trays of ice or loose cubes that come from a dispenser, the ice in your freezer can hold onto plenty of bad bacteria when it comes in contact with something germy like meat or even hands.

DOQAUS Ice Cube Trays

Make ice cubes in these handy trays.

Ice can also absorb odors very easily. That leftover chili you put in a freezer bag? Yeah, you don’t want your cubes picking up that scent. We get it. You can’t really wash ice. So, a good rule of thumb is to toss out your cubes every few months and replace them with fresh ones.

You can also use it as an opportunity to deep-clean your freezer. Cleaning out and sanitizing every compartment is good for preventing germs and bacteria and will help to keep your freezer organized. No more freezer-burnt Ben & Jerry’s in the back that you forgot about six months ago!

So, does ice go bad? No, but it can get germy. Swap it out every few months, and keep it as fresh and clean as possible by switching from ice trays to freezer bags for storage.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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