Plastic or silicone ice cube trays will cost you about a dollar for three and you may be amazed at what you can actually do with them. Many people today have automatic ice makers in their fridge so those old ice cube trays have become nearly obsolete.
There are things however that you can do with those trays and many of those things have absolutely nothing to do with food. Whether you are looking for cool storage ideas, a way to prepare perfect sushi or you just have a few trays sitting around and you are wondering how you can put them to use, we have collected 40 ways that you can creatively use your ice cube trays and none of them include making ice.
From food storage to jewelry organization, there are many ways that those ice cube trays will come in handy. Even if you have an ice maker in your fridge, don’t throw those ice cube trays out. You simply never know when they may come in handy.
Make Cleaners for the Garbage Disposal
Keeping the garbage disposal clean can be as simple as freezing some vinegar and lemon in your ice cube tray. Just place a lemon slice in each slot and then fill over the lemon with vinegar.
These will freeze in just a couple of hours and then you can take them out of the tray and store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. Just drop a cube or two down the disposal and run water over them whenever you want fresh, clean-smelling garbage disposal.
Instructions and Project Credit – Thetipgarden
Make Bite-Sized Party Bark
Silicone ice cube trays are perfect for making yummy and easy bite-sized barks. You just have to add the melted white chocolate or almond bark and then drop in whatever you want like peanuts, dried cranberries, or just whatever you prefer in your bark.
These take only a few minutes to prepare and then you just have to wait until the bark hardens. Pop them out and you have the perfect party treat or just make a few for a yummy late-night snack.
Instructions and Project Credit – Happyhourprojects
Bake Gluten Free Tater Tots
You can bake foods in silicone ice cube trays so these tots are perfect if you have a few trays that you aren’t currently using. You just mix the ingredients as instructed and then pack those ice cube slots full of yummy tot-ness.
Once you have them all filled, just pop in the oven and when they are finished you get these neat little bite-sized taters that are great for those who can’t have gluten. Plus, they’re just delicious in general so they’re perfect for anyone.
Instructions and Project Credit – Whatsfordinner-momwhatsfordinner
Make Your Own Seed Bombs
Seed bombs are great for sprucing up your outdoors. If you have areas that are otherwise lacking in color, you can just throw a few seed bombs on them and they will begin to grow loads of beautiful colors to cover up those otherwise boring areas.
You can use ice cube trays to help you to shape the seed bombs and to keep all of the ingredients inside until they mold properly. If you want to add a little color to your outdoors this spring, these ice cube tray seed bombs are a must.
Instructions and Project Credit – Wearableplanter
Make Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tablets
Dishwashers are absolutely wonderful until you have to keep buying the tablets to put in them. Those can get a bit expensive. You can, however, use those old ice cube trays to create your own dishwasher tablets with a recipe that will not only get your dishes sparkling clean, but it will also leave them smelling lemony fresh.
Just add the ingredients together, push into your ice cube trays, and then leave it in a warm, sunny area until the tablets dry. You can then store them in a lidded container for as long as you need.
Instructions and Project Credit – Onegoodthingbyjillee
Make Gummy Worm Cubes
If your kids love gummy worms and prefer things on the gross side, you can make them these adorable gummy worm cubes that are perfect for Halloween or just any time they want a unique and somewhat weird snack.
You just have to freeze fruit punch (or you could use juice or any other liquid, really) and then add the worms before you freeze. Put popsicle sticks in them for great frozen treats or use them to keep fruit punch or juice really cold.
Instructions and Project Credit – Babble
Freeze Eggs for Future Use
Don’t you love it when you find a great deal on eggs? But then, you have to use those eggs before they pass their usability date. Well, not really. You can put those ice cube trays to good use by using them to freeze the eggs.
When you need them, just allow them to thaw (don’t microwave them or they’ll actually cook) and then add to your favorite recipes. You can do whole eggs or separate the yolks from the whites for when you need separated eggs in recipes.
Once they’re frozen, take them out of the trays and store in freezer bags.
Instructions and Project Credit – Bakedbyrachel
Make Herbal Ice Cubes
Imagine how beautiful your iced teas and other drinks will look this summer when you add herbal ice cubes to them. You can create lovely cubes of frozen flowers (that are perfectly edible by the way) and add them to lemonade, tea, or anything else you may be drinking.
This is a great trick for summer barbeques and parties and makes ice a bit more interesting. You could also freeze the flowers in whatever drink you are serving so that the ice won’t water your drink down as it melts.
Instructions and Project Credit – Chestnutherbs
Make Mini Cheesecake Bites
Yummy chocolate covered cheesecake bites are heavenly and very easy to make in your ice cube trays. You can use silicone or plastic trays for this. Simply assemble the ingredients as instructed and then freeze the cheesecakes in the ice cube slots.
They need to freeze for a couple of hours and then you should leave them out on the counter for a couple of minutes prior to serving. These are great for dinner parties and perfect for those late-night snacks when you want just a little something sweet.
Instructions and Project Credit – Damyhealth
Make Frozen Coffee Cubes
If you love iced coffee, use your ice cube trays to create coffee cubes that will keep iced coffee cold without watering them down. Whenever you have coffee leftover in the pot, just add to the ice cube trays and freeze.
Then store the cubes in a freezer bag and take them out as needed. This is also a great way to cool down coffee that may be a bit too hot without actually using plain water.
It’s also good for keeping coffee on hand for certain recipes that may call for it so you don’t have to brew a pot just to have a few spoonfuls.
Instructions and Project Credit – Foododelmundo
Make Perfect Sushi
If you love sushi but just don’t want to have to go out to enjoy it now and then, you can make your own at home and you can use those ice cube trays to provide the perfect mold.
Your family and friends will swear that you are a hibachi master when you serve them your perfectly molded sushi. The fish molds perfectly into the plastic of the ice cube tray so you just have to add the ingredients and then pop them out onto your serving tray.
Don’t forget the wasabi on the side.
Instructions and Project Credit – Dailycandy
Freeze Leftover Buttermilk
If you have some buttermilk that is about to hit its use-by date, you can freeze it in ice cube trays. Store those frozen buttermilk cubes in a freezer bag for up to three months.
This not only keeps you from having to throw out that milk when it sours but it also helps to ensure that you always have a little buttermilk on hand for your favorite recipes.
You will want to mark down on the bag when you added the cubes so that you’ll know when they are expired.
Instructions and Project Credit – Rachelschultz
Make and Freeze Your Own Baby Food
Baby food is not terribly expensive but some parents worry about the ingredients in those little jars. You can actually make your own baby food, which ensures that your little one gets nothing but all-natural foods.
You can use ice cube trays to freeze your homemade baby food so that it stays fresh longer. Baby food will last for several months in the freezer and the little ice cube slots are the perfect portions for babies.
You just thaw out what you need and the rest is there for later.
Instructions and Project Credit – Helpmegrowutah
Make Wine Cubes
If you tend to have wine leftover after dinner parties or you just have a bottle or two that only has a bit left in the bottom, you can freeze wine cubes in your ice cube trays.
You just pour the wine into the cube slots and allow it to freeze. Once frozen, you can use those wine cubes to add to other drinks when you really don’t want ice melting in them or use them in your favorite recipes that call for a tablespoon or two of wine.
You can keep wine cubes for a year or longer and just store them in a freezer bag for future use.
Instructions and Project Credit – Pontewinery
Make Chocolate Ice Cubes
Vanilla milk (or you could use coconut or almond milk if you want) with chocolate ice cubes is a wonderfully refreshing drink. You just freeze the chocolate recipe which consists of coffee, cocoa, milk, and a few other ingredients and then store your chocolate cubes in a freezer bag or other container.
When you want something cold and sweet, just pour yourself a glass of your favorite milk and add a few chocolate ice cubes. These would also be great in iced coffees.
Instructions and Project Credit – Thekitchn
Make Perfect Peanut Butter Cups
If you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you can create your own versions and make them perfectly “cupped” by using your ice cube trays. Silicone trays may work best for this one but you can use plastic.
You will just want to spray a bit of cooking spray in the slots before you add the chocolate and peanut butter ingredients. Once you have everything in them, you need to freeze these for about 10 minutes and then just pop them out and enjoy your own peanut butter cups.
This is a great idea for homemade Christmas or Easter candies.
Instructions and Project Credit – Creativesimplelife
Make Frozen Cookie Dough
Frozen cookie dough is so convenient but it’s not very cheap. Making your own homemade cookies is a lot less expensive and allows you to know exactly what ingredients are in your cookies.
If you prefer the convenience of frozen dough, however, you can make your own by freezing your cookie dough in ice cube trays. The trays offer the perfect size and once frozen, you can store your cookies in a freezer bag for months – if they last that long.
Just pop out however many you need and bake.
Instructions and Project Credit – Stockpilingmoms
Make Hot Chocolate On a Stick
Imagine giving away little hot chocolates on a stick for Christmas or other gift-giving occasions. These are really easy to make and you mold them in an ice cube tray.
Once finished, you just add the stick with the hot chocolate and marshmallows to a cut of hot milk and after a few minutes, it creates hot chocolate.
You can lightly spray the ice cube tray with cooking spray to keep the chocolate from sticking and to make for easier cleanup.
Instructions and Project Credit – 30poundsofapples
Make-Ahead Soup Stock
If you are cooking chicken, beef, or vegetables, you can keep the stock that you may normally throw out and freeze it in ice cube trays. This way, when you need stock for certain recipes, you just grab a few cubes and let them thaw or drop them into your soups and sauces frozen.
Stock will keep in the freezer for several months. Be sure that you label which stock is in which bag if you are doing different kinds. There is also a great recipe for homemade chicken stock that you can use to create months’ worth of stock for future use.
Instructions and Project Credit – Thepauperedchef
Stock Up On Pesto
If you have a few green tomatoes and you aren’t quite sure what to do with them, you can make green pesto and use your ice cube trays to freeze it for later. Pesto is great for soups, dips, salad dressings, and many other recipes.
You simply make the pesto from the green tomatoes, freeze it in the individual ice cube slots and you have the perfect portion size for adding to all of your favorite dishes.
You can store the frozen pesto cubes in freezer bags and they will keep for several months.
Instructions and Project Credit – Trishabrinkdesign
Make Frozen Fruit Salads
Summer is nearly here so you need some great cool recipes that are light and tasty. Using those ice cube trays, you can create a wonderful frozen fruit salad that contains sour cream, maraschino cherries, fruit cocktail, and bananas, along with a few other ingredients.
You just mix these together and fill your ice cube trays. Once they have frozen, you have a delicious and cooling dessert that is perfect for summer barbeques or just any time you want something light and sweet.
Instructions and Project Credit – Apinchoftheplains
Make A Jewelry Box
You can use old ice cube trays to store jewelry. Things like earrings and rings fit perfectly into those small individual slots and this will help you to keep all of your jewelry separated and perfectly organized.
This is a great idea for ice cube trays that may have cracks in them. Liquids may not stay in but jewelry certainly will.
You can even stack multiple trays in a dresser drawer to save even more space and to keep all of your jewelry where you can easily find it.
Instructions and Project Credit – Realsimple
Make Mini Popsicles
Ice cube trays are the perfect size for mini popsicles. There are a number of things that you can freeze in them and then simply cover with plastic wrap and insert toothpicks into each slot so that you have a stick for your popsicle.
This also gives you the perfect opportunity to avoid sugars that are often contained in store-bought popsicles and simply make your own. You can use fresh fruits that are healthier and taste much better than preservatives.
Instructions and Project Credit – Whiskedfoodie
Make Rice Krispies Poppers
Instead of making traditional Rice Krispies treats, mix it up just a bit by forming your treats in the slots of ice cube trays. They come out in smaller bite-sized pieces which are absolutely perfect for parties or any snack time.
You just make them as normal and then form them in your ice cube trays. Once they have set up properly, you can pop them out and dip them in chocolate and sprinkles or just serve them plain.
These are great for treat bags and will be perfect for Christmas candy when the Holidays roll around.
Instructions and Project Credit – Smartschoolhouse
Make Bite-Sized Candy Bars
Homemade candy bars are so delicious and they are really easy to make, particularly when you have a candy bar mold on hand. If you don’t have a mold, you can use your ice cube trays.
They make the perfect squares of candy and are just the right size for smaller snacks, treat bags, and party foods. You can create just about any candy bar recipe, like a chocolate turtle, that has plenty of taste and is much easier to mold when you just have to pour your candy into ice cube tray slots. You may want to spray the slots with just a bit of non-stick cooking spray before adding the chocolate.
Instructions and Project Credit – Almondsandavocados
Preserve Fresh Herbs
By adding herbs to olive oil and freezing, you can keep fresh herbs on hand for all of your favorite recipes and save a little space as well.
Freezing the herbs in olive oil helps to reduce some of the freezers burns that herbs are prone to and most dishes often call for oil anyway so you can save a step when you have your oil and herbs in the same cube.
You just fill the ice cube tray slots with olive oil, add your herbs and then freeze. Store them in a freezer bag with the type of herb and the date on it and they will keep in the freezer for several months.
Instructions and Project Credit – Thekitchn
Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries – or bananas or other fruits – are delicious but they can be so very messy to make. You can avoid the mess and make the perfect sized treats when you use your ice cube tray as opposed to the traditional way of dipping your fruits in chocolate.
You just pour the melted chocolate into the ice cube tray slots and then add your strawberries or other fruit. Once the chocolate sets up, just pop out your yummy treats and completely avoid the mess that they usually cause.
Instructions and Project Credit – Cheaprecipeblog
Prepare Tomato Sauce for Future Use
Imagine being able to cook a home-cooked meal and save time while you do it. When you prepare certain things ahead of time (like months ahead of time) then you save time and you still get the deliciousness of a home-cooked meal.
You can use ice cube trays to prepare homemade tomato sauce that you can use months down the line. Just prepare your tomato sauce, pour it into the cube slots, and then freeze.
You can store homemade frozen tomato sauce for several months in the freezer so you’ll have plenty to do you until the next time you want to make a batch.
Make Jell-O Shots
If you love Jell-O shots but you don’t particularly like making them, there is a much easier way that involves those old ice cube trays you don’t use. You can mix up your shots and then just pour them into ice cube trays.
They serve as the perfect mold so your shots will come out the same size and the same shape and you can add fruits to them easily without worries of causing the Jell-O not to form properly. These are great if you are planning a party where you need quite a few shots.
Instructions and Project Credit – Bionicbites
Make Your Own Seed Starters
Spring is here so it’s time to think about planting. If you normally use seed starters and you want to save yourself a bit of money, you can create your own seed starters using your ice cube trays.
You’ll need to drill a hole in the bottom of each slot for drainage so you won’t be able to hold the liquid in the tray any longer but you will be able to create your own seedlings which can help you to save a small fortune if you are planning a large garden area.
Just plant in the ice cube trays and follow the directions you would for normal seed starters.
Instructions and Project Credit – Mrbrownthumb
Make Christmas Ice Cubes
Ok, so it’s not Christmas but this is an excellent idea to keep in mind for the Holidays. Or, you could actually do these with a summer theme and use things that would be colorful and cheery for outdoor cookouts and get-togethers. The gist is to add things to your water that matches your theme so for Christmas for instance, you could add peppermint candies, cranberries, or anything that has to do with the Holidays. These would be perfect for parties or small gatherings and will certainly be conversation starters.
Instructions and Project Credit – Kyti.me
Make Sugar Scrub Cubes
If you love sugar scrubs for getting out the dirt, you can make your own and form them perfectly with old ice cube trays. The ice cube tray slots are the perfect size for a sugar scrub cube that will last one time.
By making them this size, you can store them all together but you only grab one cube for each time you want to scrub. These are great for gifts as well. Just make them up and add them to a mason jar or other glass container or keep them for yourself.
If you love that pampered feeling but just don’t always have the time to whip up your sugar scrub, make it ahead with ice cube trays.
Instructions and Project Credit – Henryhappened
Make Chai Iced Tea Cubes
If you love Chai lattes, you can make your own Chai iced tea cubes to add to your lattes which will help to keep them cold without watering them down as normal ice cubes do. These tea cubes are very easy to make and you can store them in the freezer for several months in a freezer bag. You just mix up the ingredients for the tea and then pour it into your ice cube trays and allow to freeze for an hour or so.
Instructions and Project Credit – Willcookforfriends
Instead of throwing out old crayons when they get broken or too small, simply peel the paper off, put them together in a silicone ice cube tray, and bake for a few minutes.
The crayons will melt into each other creating new crayons. If you use shaped ice cube trays you will have really fun shaped crayons for the kids. You can create new crayons of the same color or just mix a lot of different colors together.
Note that you will have to use silicone trays for this as plastic will melt in the oven.
Instructions and Project Credit – Sheknows
Make Storage for Small Craft Supplies
Ice cube trays offer the perfect sized compartments for keeping buttons and other smaller craft supplies perfectly organized. You can use plastic or silicone trays and they will stack neatly on top of each other so you can clean up your craft closet or cabinet and keep it organized much better. Those smaller items will always be easy to find and won’t get mixed in with larger items. This is a great way to store screws, push pins, and other items that can be painful when found accidentally.
Instructions and Project Credit – Bhg
Make A Paint Palette
If you are a painter or you have little ones who love to paint, you can use old ice cube trays as paint palettes to make for easier cleanup. This is a good idea for those trays that have cracks that won’t actually hold liquid.
Paint is a bit thicker so it should stay in trays with smaller cracks. You can divvy up the paint that your little ones need for their project and avoid messes that can come along with larger containers of open paint.
Plus, it helps to keep the colors organized for easier access.
Instructions and Project Credit – Realsimple
Make Simple Syrup Ahead
Simple syrup is great for adding just the right sweetener to iced teas and other drinks. When the syrup is in the ice cube, you can add as little or as much as you like so everyone gets their drink sweetened perfectly.
You can make your simple syrup ahead of time and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then, when you are ready to use, just add as many ice cubes as you want to sweeten your drink.
This is great for parties and dinners where not everyone may enjoy their drinks to the same sweetness level.
Instructions and Project Credit – Seattleseedling
Make Herbed Garlic Butter
If you love flavored butter and you love to make things yourself, you can use your ice cube trays to make your butter ahead of time. The slots in the trays are the perfect size for molding butter pats and it makes adding herbs and garlic a bit easier, too.
When you need them, simply place a few of the pats on a serving dish. These are great for a number of recipes, too. You just have to melt your butter, add your herbs and/or garlic and then pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
These will keep in the freezer for several months in a Ziploc bag.
Instructions and Project Credit – Wishfulchef
Save Lemon and Lime Juice
If you have leftover lemons and/or limes, you can squeeze the juice from them and freeze in your ice cube trays. Add a bit of water if needed and you can use these cubes for recipes or as ice cubes for teas or waters.
The juice is perfect for iced tea and gives it a wonderful fresh lemon or lime taste plus the ice cubes are filled with juice so they won’t water down your drinks.
Instructions and Project Credit – Realsimple
Freeze Fresh Berries
If you love fresh berries but hate when you freeze them and they all clump together, you can avoid this problem by freezing those berries in your ice cube trays.
You simply add the berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.) to the slots in the ice cube trays and then fill the compartment with water.
The water helps to protect the berries from the freezer burn. These are great for when you want a few berries but not an entire dish or you could use them to flavor waters or other drinks.
Instructions and Project Credit – Momables