hOmeLabs portable ice maker machine makes a batch of 9 cylinder shaped ice cubes on average every 6-8 minutes but it can take up to 13 minutes in hot environment.
Just like most ice machines at this price category this one also makes 26 lbs of ice per 24 hours.
It works best in air temperature of 50°F to 105°F (10°C to 40°C).
It makes cylinder shaped ice cubes in two sizes: small and large. Small ice cubes can fit through bottle openings so you can put them in your water bottle if you are going for a hike in a hot summer day. Large ones are great for putting in your drinks.
Ice quality is decent but not perfect. They are really chewable, density is decent but not best, biggest drawback is that ice cubes come out quite wet.
Ice basket & Water reservoir
Ice basket is removable and has capacity of 1.5 lbs which feels up in about an hour. Once it’s full hOmeLabs portable ice maker will stop making ice until there is free space in the basket.
Ice basket isn’t refrigerated so ice cubes do melt inside it, they doesn’t melt super fast but they do seem to melt faster than in some other ice makers. Perhaps it’s not insulated well enough.
Water from melted ice cubes go back into water reservoir and is then used to make new ice cubes. Water reservoir capacity is 2.2 liters which is about 0.58 gallons.
Interface is very simple: there is only two buttons: for turning on/off the ice machine and for choosing ice cube size.
It also has 5 indicator lights that indicate if more water needs to be added in water reservoir, if the ice bin is full, if the ice maker is turned on and which size of ice cubes is chosen (small or large).
Dimensions & Weight
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Machine measures 9.5 x 12.9 x 14 inches. It weighs 19.4 pounds.
Features and maintenance
It doesn’t really have any features of fancier ice makers like self-cleaning mode or timer. You have to clean it manually:
- Remove the ice bucket
- Clean inside with diluted detergent, warm water and soft cloth
- Rinse inside with water
- Drain water by unplugging drain cap (it’s located on front bottom side)
- Dry inside with a clean soft cloth
It’s also recommended to change water every 24 hours for hygiene reasons.
Before you use it for the first time you have to let it sit upright for 24 hours.
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker is ETL certified meaning it has been tested by Edison Testing Laboratories and is compliant with North American safety standarts.
It comes with BPA free ice scoop.
Possible issues and solutions
Although unlikely there are some issues you might run into while using hOmeLabs portable ice maker.
If you find ice cubes sticking together it’s most likely causes by either of two issues:
- It takes too long to make a batch. Solution: Restart the machine and choose “small” ice setting. If you want to make large ice cubes then let machine to make 2-3 batches of small ones before choosing “large” setting.
- Bad water temperature: Ice cubes might stick if wrong water temperature is used. If that’s the case then replace water in reservoir that’s between 40°F – 90°F (4°C – 32°C).
If it seems to be working but doesn’t make any ice cubes then most likely issue is either air temperature (50°F – 105°F / 10°C – 40°C is recommended) or water temperature (40°F – 90°F (4°C – 32°C) is recommended). This issue might be also caused by cooling system leaking or cooling system pipe being blocked in which case you should contact hOme™ Customer Service.
hOmeLabs Ice Maker is a decent budget price portable ice maker. It’s far from perfect but considering the price it works well and will satisfy most consumers.