I made a sorbet using a bad recipe (too watery) and I had a 3 mm thick layer of solid ice form around the walls of the ice cream maker bowl. The plastic spatula can't break it and the user's manual warns against using hard/scratchy implements in the bowl (metal is explicitly forbidden).

I would like to clean it without letting the bowl warm until it thaws, as the bowl needs a day of refreezing before reaching optimal ice cream making temperature. Any ideas?

  • I don't think there is any truly effective way to do this. Even if you pour boiling water in to melt the contents, some will freeze to the walls again when you pour it out. You may have to accept a thaw and refreeze cycle. In my mind, this is the biggest disadvantage of the freeze-the-bowl ice cream makers, offset of course by their low cost.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jan 16, 2013 at 22:48
  • I haven't tried it, but I suspect ethanol would do the job. Cocentration (proof) required would depend on how cold it is. And it's edible, unlike automotive deicer.
    – derobert
    Jan 20, 2013 at 15:56

3 Answers 3


I take a "good enough" approach - scrape it out reasonably well, rinse the rest of the way with hot water with a towel waiting in hand, then dry it as fast as possible. I usually end up with a very thin film of ice in some places, but it's not enough to keep it from working well the next time, and even if you always do this, it doesn't accumulate since you're rinsing and melting it all every time.


You could let it warm up just a little, then dump some salt into the bowl, which will speed up the melting process by preventing refreezing.

Or if you like to live dangerously (and I know you do), you could just spray some automotive de-icer, the kind you would use to de-ice a frozen windscreen in there, and wash extremely thoroughly afterwards.

  • Hoe would he rinse out the deicer without the rinse water freezing to the walls?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jan 16, 2013 at 22:46

I've never had quite as much ice form in my ice cream maker bowl.

Whenever I get bits of ice or frost on the inside of my ice cream maker bowl, I just wash it under the tap using cold water. You really only need melt and dislodge it enough to pull it away with your hands or the spatula. The running water should keep things melting.

Once the ice is gone, I wipe down thoroughly with a dry cloth and put back in the freezer. I've never had small amounts of water freeze so quickly that I couldn't wipe it away.

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