The Unexpected Hack For Fixing Smelly Silicone Ice Trays

A blue silicone ice try with ice cubes
A blue silicone ice try with ice cubes - Gus Gan/Shutterstock

It's true that silicone ice trays are a helpful kitchen accessory, as the material's bendy nature makes it a breeze to extract cubes. However, they have one considerable downside and that's their ability to retain bad odors. These odors can also transfer to your ice cubes, which will surely spell ruination for your classic Mint Julep recipe, as well as other frosty beverages. Fortunately, there's an easy way to keep the flavor of your cubes neutral and ensure a perfectly pleasant cocktail hour.

Heating the tray in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour should be enough to release unwanted odors from the material. Consider that odors consist of molecules, and these minuscule particles can attach to all sorts of items, including silicone. By applying heat to the material, odor molecules evaporate and dissipate, which also does away with any unpleasant smells. That's why boiling silicone cooking tools is another commonly recommended method when dealing with pungent food smells.

Read more: 11 Tips For Keeping Your Grill Shiny And Clean

Silicone's Absorbency Is The Cause Of Smelly Ice Trays

A freezer stocked with food in bags and containers
A freezer stocked with food in bags and containers - Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock

When searching for the source of foul freezer odors, there are a lot of culprits to consider. Freezing food causes a release of molecules, which can contribute to bad smells. And while cold temperatures are essential for inhibiting the proliferation of bacteria, they're not always a constant in the freezer. Consider that something as simple as taking hot food from the oven and placing it into the freezer can raise the temperature of the device, which creates a more hospitable environment for bacteria.

When combined with materials like silicone, these factors set the stage for stinky ice trays. Silicone's flexibility is beneficial, but it also makes the material quite permeable. This permeability is why silicone is such an effective odor absorber, and why ice stored in silicone trays often takes on the many robust aromas found floating around your freezer. While you can seal ice trays in an airtight container to prevent ice cube odors, baking your trays when they become odiferous is a reasonable alternative.

Tips For Avoiding Mishaps When Deodorizing Silicone

Close-up of three drinks with ice cubes
Close-up of three drinks with ice cubes - WS-Studio/Shutterstock

Silicone is incredibly heat resistant and can often withstand temperatures of 428 degrees Fahrenheit or more. The material's impressive heat resistance results from the decreased rate at which it transfers heat, which explains why it's so ubiquitous when it comes to kitchen tools and accessories. However, your ice tray may also contain other materials that can't withstand high temperatures, such as plastic. Accordingly, this baking hack is only recommended when you're certain that the ice tray is constructed from silicone alone. Otherwise, you'll also need a strategy for cleaning gross melted plastic from your oven.

It's also a good idea to clean the ice tray prior to putting it in the oven. In the event that the silicone is stained with food debris, exposing the material to high heat can make any foul odors even more difficult to eliminate. In this case, review any product information that came with the tray to determine the best approach. Most silicone kitchen tools can be hand-washed with soap and water, but you may also be able to place the tray in the dishwasher for greater expediency.

Read the original article on Daily Meal