Ice Makers or Ice Making Machines are specialized electrical appliances that can efficiently produce ice cubes or other forms of ice. These machines are available in different types, including portable countertop models, built-in undercounter units, and larger commercial-grade machines. One notable application of Ice Makers is in homes, where standalone ice maker units on countertops ensure a steady supply of ice cubes for beverages and cooling. Whether it is for a refreshing drink on a hot day or entertaining guests, having a home ice maker simplifies the process of keeping drinks chilled.
In commercial environments such as restaurants and bars, ice makers are essential for maintaining the quality of beverages and food items. Bartenders rely on ice to craft cocktails, and chefs use it for chilling ingredients during food preparation. Commercial ice makers, with their higher capacities and rapid ice production, ensure that these establishments can efficiently meet customer demands, maintain hygiene standards, and deliver a consistent experience. Beyond the food and beverage applications, you can also use the ice produced by ice makers for medical purposes, such as first aid.
Recently, we got our hands on one such interesting ice maker from Costway. It is a small countertop unit that can make about 29 lbs. of ice in a day. You can use its 2.6L water reservoir or connect the unit to a direct water supply. It also has several intelligent features for sensing low water level, tray full of ice, self-cleaning, and auto-defrost functions. This is the review of the Costway Ice Making Machine. We are writing this review after using and testing the device for over two weeks for its ease of use, time it takes to make the ice, noise, and many more. If you are looking to buy an ice maker for your home usage, then continue reading the review of the Costway Ice Making Machine.
Before taking a look at the contents of the package of the Costway Ice Making Machine, here is a quick note on Costway brand. Costway is an e-commerce company that offers a diverse range of products across various categories, including home appliances, furniture, hardware, sporting goods, toys, outdoor and gardening equipment, and more. The company is known for providing affordable and competitively priced products to consumers. Costway’s product catalog includes items for indoor and outdoor living, home improvement, fitness and sports, and even pet supplies. They offer a wide selection of products designed to cater to different customer needs.
While Costway primarily operates as an online retailer, they also sell their products through other online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. This approach allows them to reach a global audience and offer their products at competitive prices. One of Costway’s distinguishing features is its focus on providing budget-friendly options. They often offer products at lower price points compared to other brands, which can make their offerings appealing to cost-conscious consumers.
That said, the package contains very small number of components as the unit is fully-assembled and (almost) ready to use. We have the main ice making machine in the box. We will take a closer look at the design of the device in the next section. Next, we have an ice basket that can hold up to 3 lbs. of ice. You also get a spoon/scoop that comes in very handy to take the ice cubes out of the basket. There is a relatively long 1/4” PE Tube that helps you connect the unit to a continuous water supply. Last but not least, you get a user manual.
The Costway Ice Making Machine has a boxy shape design. At its highest point, it measures roughly 17” while the depth is also similar, around 17.5”. The width of the unit is slightly less than 10”. With this compact size, you can use the ice maker either in your home or RV. Most of the outer body is made from stainless steel except the top section that has some PP plastic and a transparent lid.
On the top, there are a couple of buttons and four indicators. The first button helps us in powering the device ON and OFF while the second button can activate the cleaning mode. As far as the indicators go, we have the Ice Making Indicator, Self-Cleaning Indictor, Water Shortage Indicator, and Ice Full Indicator.
If you lift the lid, you can see a tiny reservoir at the bottom. And on the top, there is a tray that pushes the ice cubes out. You have to place the ice basket in the top-section of the reservoir in order to collect these ice cubes. At the bottom of the unit, there are four hard rubber legs that keep the device stable on the surface.
On the back of the unit, we have a couple of drain pipes, an inlet to connect continuous water supply, and an exhaust vent with cooling fan.
There is no need to install anything if you want to use the 2.6L water reservoir of the Costway Ice Making Machine except a few checks. First, make sure that the drain pipes on the back are properly plugged in.
As the Costway Ice Making Machine contains a compressor, it will generate a lot of heat. There is even a heat dissipation vent on the rear. For the unit to work efficiently, you have to ensure that there is enough room on all its sides for the air to flow. Costway recommends at least 3” of clearance on all its sides.
After plugging in the device to an outlet, you can see the ice making indicator flashing. Now, open the lid, take the ice basket out (if you already placed it) and pour some water into the reservoir. Do not let the water level exceed the MAX marking.
Now, we can re-place the ice basket and close the lid. If we press the On/Off button, the unit starts the process of making the ice. It will take anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes for the ice cycle to begin and this is dependent ambient temperature as well as the water temperature. Once the ice forms inside the machine, it will push the cubes out of the tray and the ice basket will collect them. You can open the lid and take the ice cubes using the scoop. If you let the basket fill-up continuously, then after collecting roughly 3lbs. of ice in the basket, the Ice Full Indicator will light-up and the ice maker stops producing ice.
If you do not remove the ice from the basket for more than 8 hours, the machine will automatically start making the ice once again.
The Costway ice making machine will automatically stop if it detects the water level is too low. As an indicator, it will light-up the Water Shortage Indicator. You can manually turn the machine off any time if you feel you’ve got enough quantity of ice in the basket.
Instead of manually filling up the reservoir, you can connect the ice maker to an external source of water using the PE Pipe that came in the package. In this case, the machine will automatically stop once the water level is low, waits till the water in the reservoir fills up, and automatically starts making ice once the water level reaches MAX. This is very useful during house parties or barbeques where you have to entertain a lot of guests and need not worry about filling the water reservoir.
An important part of using the Costway Ice Making Machine is regularly cleaning and maintaining the unit. First of all, if you plan on not using the ice maker for a long time, it is ideal to drain all the water in the reservoir, let the unit dry and then store the device properly.
But if you want to use the device regularly, the Costway recommends cleaning the device every week. For this, you have to first remove the ice basket and add water and detergent to the reservoir. Costway suggest citric acid water as detergent. Press and hold the clean button for 3 seconds and the device enter cleaning mode.
After sometime (slightly less than 10 minutes), the unit will stop and the Ice Making indicator will flash. Now, you have to remove the drain tubes from the back of the device, place them in a sink (or some waste water outlet), and open the drain to remove the dirty water. Close the drain plug and fill the reservoir with water. Press the clean button once again. After second cleaning action, drain the water until the detergent is cleared. You can repeat this step if you feel there is still detergent left in the tank. Once done draining all the water, clean the inside of the ice maker with a soft cloth using warm water and vinegar. Clean the tubes and the ice basket.
So, how did the Costway Ice Making Machine perform in real-life usage? In our limited time usage, the Costway Ice Maker performed as expected. There was no hassle of installation and we did opt for an external source of water supply. After about 20 minutes, the ice maker started pushing ice nuggets out of the tray into the basket. All the automatic functions i.e., water shortage, ice full, auto on and off, all performed very well.
The Costway Ice Making Machine has a tiny yet powerful compressor that can start the ice cycle in less than 30 minutes. In one day, it can produce roughly 29lbs. of ice. We really like the choice of hooking the device up to an external source of water as the 2.6L water reservoir seems small for house parties. The compressor in operation is relatively quiet. We measured about 57dB noise at 1 feet distance.
Even though the ice maker has a three-layer insulation, it is applicable only for the refrigeration unit but nor for maintaining the ice. If you don’t want to use the ice immediately, you have to transfer it to a refrigerator so that the ice stays that way.
We felt that 20-minute ice cycle is a bit long as there are ice makes (even from Costway) that can make ice in less than 7 minutes. Also, for people who would like to us the device regularly, there is a weekly maintenance that they have to perform so that the device doesn’t become home to unwanted microbiological entities. Apart from these minor nitpickings, the rest of the performance of the Costway Ice Maker was really good.
The cost of the Costway Ice Making Machine is $299. While the performance of the device is decent, the warranty from Costway is subpar at only 6-months. We feel that Costway should back this product for at least a year.
Overall, we really like the tiny and portable Ice Maker from Costway. It is very simple to use and starts making ice in less than 30-minutes. In a day, it can make about 29 lbs. of ice. The 2.6L water tanks will get you up and running but if you are planning to use the device continuously, we feel hooking up the device to an external water source is a better option.
The compressor is very quiet and the self-cleaning system is very good to have. Although, you have to be present with the device for the duration of the cleaning to add water and clean it afterwards.
If you are looking for a well-built ice maker to use in your home or RV, then you can definitely consider the Costway Ice Making Machine. We wish Costway could give at least 1-year warranty on the product.